|Letter from the President/CEO
...At the Heart of Listening to Our Community
The heart of our mission lies in knowing the most urgent needs facing our community. We discover this by listening to you. As part of our strategic planning process, we have asked what worries you, what you're struggling with and what affects your family's well-being the most. We have also spoken with and combed through community data from organizations such as our local hospitals, partner nonprofits and county agencies.
What we heard again and again is that our community is facing a social and emotional health crisis, especially our children. Stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness and thoughts of suicide are skyrocketing, sometimes even in children as young as five years old. It has become clear that this problem is personally affecting all of us and our family members without regard for income, location or skin color.
I am very proud to say that our board heard the call for help and moved swiftly into action. At a recent board meeting, they voted to spend February, March and April intensely researching this issue and interviewing the community to identify the need, current programs and gaps we may be able to fill. Once we identify the heart of the problem, we will bring a team of experts together who have volunteered to help us figure out the most creative and effective response in the form of innovative new programs and services.
Many of you have personal, relevant experience with these issues as parents, teachers, psychologists, first responders and community leaders. If you have a story, experience or idea you'd like to share with us, which would be included anonymously in our data, please email it to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can email me to set up a phone call if you prefer.
We look forward to sharing more of this story as it unfolds, but in the meantime, we are so grateful to have the opportunity to be "at the heart of helping" our community with this urgent need.
p.s. If you feel passionate about this subject, I would love to talk with you at our Heart of Helping Family Fun Fair this Saturday! In addition to raising funds for our current programs and services, the event will help fund this research and new focus. You can also make a donation in support of this project by clicking here.
|Celebrate Helping Others With Us THIS Saturday
...At the Heart of Helping Family Fun Fair!
We are so excited to celebrate kindness and volunteering with you at our second annual Heart of Helping Family Fun Fair THIS Saturday, March 10 from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. While there is no cost for admission, you are encouraged to purchase Game/Activity/Food tickets at the event, as well as Opportunity Drawing tickets for a variety of great prizes and tickets for our Special Drawing for 4 Disneyland® Resort 1-Day Park Hopper® Passes! And rest assured, we are watching the weather and have a rain plan to move some of the activities indoors if it begins to pour.
No matter the weather, join us to put the fun in fundraising with carnival games, crafts, face painting, opportunity drawings, prizes, an appearance by Wonder Girl, and a kindness-themed story time, all to benefit our programs and services. There will be plenty of opportunities to introduce your kids to community service and helping others, including these scheduled entertainers and special guests:
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Wonder Girl Meet & Greet
1:00 p.m. - Performance by Halau O Kahealani
2:00 p.m. - Kindness-themed Story Time
2:45 p.m. - Opportunity & Disneyland® Drawings Close
2:50 p.m. - All Winners Announced
We are extremely grateful to our sponsors at the Simon Law Group, Torrance Memorial, Torrance Refining Company, Keenan & Associates, Kinecta, Impact Production, Saatchi & Saatchi, Smart & Final, South Bay Families Connected, South Bay Mommies and Daddies, the California Water Service, DJ Ozzie, MOOG, Torrance Bakery and Torrance Community Credit Union, as well as many volunteers and in-kind donors for making this community celebration possible. Visit
for complete details!
|Your Generosity Continues to Fill Our Pantry!
...At the Heart of Helping to End Hunger
We are so grateful for the support we continue to receive from the local community for our Food For Kids program!
- A million thanks to our Affinity Group members who makes a special effort to collect food donations at every meeting they host. Ongoing contributions like these help keep our shelves stocked in between other donations from the community!
- A huge thank you Cub Scout Pack 862 in Torrance for hosting a food drive as part of "Scouting for Food," and thank you to the pack's leaders for teaching your Cub Scouts about helping to alleviate hunger in the community. Altogether, Pack 862 collected more than 650 pounds of food and $50 in donations for Food For Kids!
- Tremendous thanks to the Sri Panchamukha Hanuman Temple volunteers and South Bay Balvihar families for collecting nearly 2,000 pounds of food and assembling more than 200 bags for Food For Kids!
Donations like these help us fill the bags of food we distribute to eligible families every week. Visit
to learn more about the program, including what, how and where you can contribute. You can also learn about the latest Food For Kids donations from the community and more
on our Facebook page
|Good Deeds Day and National Volunteer Week
...At the Heart of Springing Into Service
Nowadays there seems to be a "day" for everything, including many days to do good through the officially recognized National Days of Service. One of these opportunities is coming up on Sunday, April 15 - Good Deeds Day!
Good Deeds Day launched in 2007 and went global in 2011, uniting people all over the world in acts of service. The largest Good Deeds Day took place last year, with 2,500,000 participants from 93 countries taking part in 20,000 projects for a total of more than 6.7 million volunteer hours! Want to be part of Good Deeds Day this year?
for complete details.
Good Deeds Day happens to also coincide nicely with National Volunteer Week, an opportunity celebrate service the week of April 15-21. We can't wait to recognize and thank you, our amazing community of volunteers, who lend your time, talent, voice and support to causes you care about in our community, including the Volunteer Center!
Donate Your New/Unused Toiletries
...At the Heart of Helping Those Facing Homelessness
Start gathering all those little bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotions from hotels, along with other toiletries you have sitting around, because the City of Torrance Social Services Commission is holding a Toiletries Drive Monday, March 12 through Friday, March 23
The donations will
benefit three local organizations serving those experiencing homelessness
: Harbor Interfaith, Family Promise of South Bay, and 1736 Family Crisis Center.
The Commission is seeking donations of the following
- Hand Sanitizer
- Lip Balm
- Baby Wipes
- Hand Towels
- Bath Towels
Drop-off Locations include:
- Torrance City Hall Lobby
- Torrance Civic Center Human Resources/Personnel Building Lobby
- All Torrance Public Library Branch Lobbies
- Torrance Police Department Lobby
- All Torrance Fire Department Station Lobbies
THANK YOU TO OUR MAJOR SPONSORS:
The Volunteer Center
South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach
The Volunteer Center South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach recognizes the valuable role volunteers play in our society and has been "at the heart of helping" for more than 50 years. We recruit and refer volunteers to more than 400 nonprofit organizations in our service area, as well as for our own signature programs, Operation Teddy Bear and Food For Kids. Potential volunteers can contact us to obtain information and connect with just the right service experience, fulfilling our mission of "mobilizing people and resources to deliver creative solutions to community needs." Visit www.volcenter.org to learn more.