At the Heart of Helping - July 2020 Update
In This Issue:
letterLetter from the President/CEO
...At the Heart of Channeling Our Inner Superhero

Sara wearing her Heart of Helping Superhero Mask
Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves... right now, we're wearing ours on our faces.

Our goal at the Volunteer Center is to instill empathy and resilience in youth and families. Empathy - the ability to understand and feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference - is really just the capacity to place oneself in another's position. Add resilience to that - the ability to recover quickly from difficulties (or uncomfortable situations) - and the entire act of wearing a mask requires both empathy and resilience.

We must set ourselves aside, and instead, imagine how hospitalized COVID-19 patients feel; how our essential workers feel; how our seniors feel; how our doctors and nurses feel; how our teachers feel; and how our fellow high-risk colleagues, friends and family feel. Then, when we truly understand and listen to their experiences and fears, the only compassionate thing to do is to respond with kindness and gratitude by putting on a mask and maintaining social distance.

It's not an act for us. We do it to protect THEM and to show THEM that we are thankful that they take care of us when we're sick, save our lives, deliver items to our home, keep our offices and medical centers clean, keep our banks running, teach and care for our children, keep us safe, and help us keep food on our table.

Let's teach our children that real super heroes have big hearts and always wear masks. Join us and mask up. In doing so, you are literally saving lives... just like a real superhero!

SM Signature
Sara Myers

P.S. Need to help your kids adapt to wearing masks? Check out these tips from BIAS Behavioral Interventions and Solutions, shared recently by our friends at South Bay Kids Connection. We obviously love the idea of putting a mask on a teddy bear!
What do you think? Take a moment to share your thoughts!

When the community saw us wearing our masks, a few people approached us about joining our efforts to show kindness, empathy and resilience, and asked how they could get their own Heart of Helping Superhero Masks! We would love to know how many community members might feel the same.

Please complete this simple survey
 to help us think about how we might encourage people to wear their hearts on their faces, and embrace one of the many ways to show kindness, empathy and resilience during this time.
partnershipsSupporting Youth and Families Together
...At the Heart of Strong Partnerships

We are so grateful when companies and organizations join us "at the heart of helping" to support youth and families in the local community! We recently received a generous grant from No Kid Hungry and the Albertsons Companies Foundation in support of Food For Kids, making us part of the "Nourishing Neighbors" family. A national campaign focused on ending childhood hunger, No Kid Hungry was launched in 2010 by Share Our Strength, a nonprofit with a long history of successfully investing in local nonprofits and helping find the best approaches to eradicating poverty and hunger, and we are proud to be one of their newest program partners!

The West Coast Team of NES Global Talent in the Food For Kids Pantry
We are also excited to welcome the West Coast team at NES Global Talent as our newest Corporate Sponsor for Operation Teddy Bear! Members of the team had an opportunity to join us, while maintaining social distance, as they learned more about our work and helped us pack bags for our weekly Food For Kids distributions, and we look forward to additional opportunities to make a difference together in the coming year. Click here to learn more about Operation Teddy Bear sponsorship opportunities.
halfmydafHelp Us Receive a Matching Grant
...At the Heart of Putting Funds to Work 

Growing money for family concept
Do you have a Donor Advised Fund? If so, you could help us win a matching grant of up to $25,000! Every grant we receive from a Donor Advised Fund or Community Foundation - together with a commitment to #HalfMyDAF - increases our chances of being among the 150 nonprofits selected at the end of September.

Simply make a grant contribution to us through your Donor Advised Fund, which will help us as we support local youth and families, and then click here to complete the #HalfMyDAF commitment form and attach the grant confirmation before September 30.

#HalfMyDAF was created to encourage people with DAFs to make grants now, so that nonprofits can do their jobs as they work harder than ever through the uncertainties created by COVID-19. Click here to learn more.
bipocAwareness for BIPOC Mental Health Month
...At the Heart of Promoting Compassionate Language

BIPOC Mental Health Month
July is BIPOC Mental Health Month, and we realize that some of you may be unfamiliar with this acronym. Many mental health organizations across the country have updated the name for this month's focus on mental health awareness, using BIPOC - Black, Indigenous, and People of Color - in place of the word minority.

When the JED Foundation spoke about this update, they noted that "thoughtfully selected words and labels can help young people navigate their educational experience while feeling seen, included, and connected to their campus - and broader - community."

We agree and are proud to support our community by recognizing the direct impact language can have on an individual's identity and mental health. Click here to learn more about BIPOC Mental Health Month, including specific themes and actions you can take year round.

We've also highlighted a few of the many virtual conversations taking place throughout BIPOC Mental Health Month:
  • Bring Change to Mind is hosting a speaker series, Black Lives Matter: Perspectives on Racial Trauma & Mental Health, on their Instagram page, featuring multiple BIPOC voices talking about their own experience and work in the mental health space.
  • The Born This Way Foundation hosted a panel conversation about the unique mental health needs of the BIPOC community and how you can step up to be there for someone who needs support. Click here to learn more and watch the playback.
  • The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Christine Moutier, hosted two virtual conversations on Facebook Live as part of Elevating Voices for Long-Lasting Change: A Town Hall Series. Watch the playback using these links:
    • Mental Health in the Black Community - Panelists speak about disparities and solutions, the role of family, as well as mental health programs and statewide services that are making mental health and suicide prevention imperative for the Black community.
durfeeAwarding Dedication and Resilience
...At the Heart of Supporting College-Bound Teens

We are delighted to share that nine dedicated and resilient college-bound students, listed below, recently received Durfee Family Scholarships! These local teens will each receive a $1,000-2,000 scholarship in recognition of their commitment to their academic endeavors, while dedicating time to serving their communities and maintaining a positive attitude, while overcoming adversity.

The Volunteer Center awards Durfee Family Scholarships to local high school seniors each year to assist them with their first year of college. The scholarship fund was established in 1988 thanks to a generous endowment gift made by the late Ev Durfee, who was a longtime supporter and member of our Board of Directors.

We wish this year's Durfee Family Scholarship recipients - and the entire Class of 2020 - our heartfelt congratulations and warmest wishes as they embrace their bright futures ahead!
  • Brianna Baker graduated from Redondo Union High School and will be attending the University of California, Irvine.
  • Stephanie Bautista graduated from Leuzinger High School and will be attending Mount Saint Mary's University.
  • Kailah Cathey graduated from Leuzinger High School and will be attending Howard University.
  • Mia Elliott graduated from Chadwick School and will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Jalen Fisher graduated from Bishop Montgomery High School and will be attending the University of California, Riverside.
  • Julia Hsieh graduated from South Torrance High School and will be attending University of California, Berkeley.
  • Irene Kim graduated from North Torrance High School and will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Savannah Torella graduated from Port of Los Angeles High School and will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Anh Tran graduated from Leuzinger High School and will be attending the University of California, San Diego.
ffkContinuing to Help Local Families
...At the Heart of Providing Food with Your Support

Food For Kids Update July 2020

We are grateful to the members of our community who continue to help us feed local families in need with donations to our 
Food For Kids program!
  • Board Member Dianne Bozler and her husband Hans donated 221 pounds of food!
  • Longtime volunteers Joe & Kathy Gray and Friends collected and donated more than 150 pounds of food and contributed an additional $40!
  • Members of H.O.P.E. (Helping our Planet Everyday) donated nearly 50 pounds of food!
  • Members of the Saint James Armenian Church Youth Organization returned to donate another 100 pounds of food!
  • Our friends at Sandpipers continue to help us keep our pantry stocked!. Members have contributed nearly 400 pounds of food to date since they began making weekly drop-off appointments earlier this spring!
  • Heather Shohet of Redondo Beach, who supports both Food For Kids and Operation Teddy Bear, donated nearly 50 pounds of food!
  • Over the past few months, the student members of South Bay Food Initiative, led by recent Mira Costa High School graduate Ryan Rossow, collected and donated more than 400 pounds of food and close to $500!
  • We also received some donations through our Amazon Wish List, including 51 pounds of food from Meghan Kinslow and 38 pounds of food from Kristin Kumar. We always appreciate when donors like Meghan and Kristin email us that items are coming from our wish list, so we can look for the packages and acknowledge their kindness!
We are currently accepting food donations by appointment only, and we have the greatest need for the following items: canned vegetables, breakfast foods, pasta and pasta sauce in regular-sized, non-breakable containers.  Click here to learn about our temporary donation procedures, download our non-perishable food Shopping List, find a link to our Amazon Wish List with details about emailing us if you order, and more!
quote- Quote of the Month -

"Regarding other human beings as our brothers and sisters can make our lives happier and more meaningful. Some people think that when we cultivate compassion and affection for others only they benefit-in fact, we ourselves derive great benefit and satisfaction from such conduct."

- The Dalai Lama (via Twitter @DalaiLama 7/13/20)
resourcesFeatured Resources
  • We know everyone is dealing with disappointments right now... help younger kids deal with these disappointments and process the emotions that go along with it with this Monster Meditation video from Elmo, Sesame Street and Headspace!

    And d
    on't forget that Headspace has also partnered with the L.A. County Department of Mental Health to offer free subscriptions to their mindfulness and sleep content, mini exercises and more for all L.A. County residents throughout 2020! Click here for details.
  • "Quarantine fatigue is definitely real!" according to local therapist Melissa Dumaz, MS, LMFT in an article she wrote for South Bay Mommies and Daddies. "We can acknowledge our fatigue, be compassionate to ourselves and others, and find ways to manage it." Read more in 10 Simple Steps to Overcome Quarantine Fatigue.
  • Check out this free At-Home Mini-Camp Curriculum by Inspire Kindness! The 5-day curriculum - Be Present, Take Responsibility, Be Thankful, Ask and Listen, and Practice Practice - is filled with kindness lessons, key questions, daily quotes, activities, and a set of lists featuring kind acts by age. (You can also find the lists by age here.)
You can find these and other resources posted regularly on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages!
kindnessFeatured Kindness Opportunity
Torrance Cares Dare 2 Care Challenge

Participate in the Torrance Cares Dare 2 Care Challenge!

At the July 14 Torrance City Council Meeting, with support from the City Council, Councilman Tim Goodrich requested that staff develop a city-wide campaign to combat hate with kindness, support and inclusion.

The response came in the form of the Torrance Cares Dare 2 Care Challenge: "Changes are happening and at times it can feel out of our control. For some, these changes can trigger irritable emotions. We're in this pandemic together. Let's work together to strengthen the Torrance neighborly spirit."

Join in vocalizing and showing your support by covering your face for everyone's safety to demonstrate your kind act and show that kindness is contagious, as well as embracing diversity, celebrating differences, promoting kindness and challenging others to do the same!

Click here to learn more, including a list of examples to practice random acts of kindness in the community. You can also find lists of kind acts by age in the Featured Resources above!
The Affinity Group
ActivePDF_ Inc.
Albertsons Companies Foundation
Bank of America
Battle Creek Community Foundation
California Water Service
Griswold _ Griswold Insurance Agency
Herbalife Nutrition Foundation
John Deere Foundation
Los Angeles Trial Lawyers_ Charities
The Molina Foundation
The Rudolph J. and Daphne A. Munzer Foundation
NES Global Talent
No Kid Hungry
Port of Long Beach
The Port of Los Angeles
Rotary Club of Manhattan Beach
Sares Regis Group
Sempra Energy Foundation
Torrance Memorial
Valero Energy Foundation
Watson Land Company
Carl E. Wynn Foundation
Whitney Young Children_s Foundation
The Volunteer Center  South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach
Phone: (310) 212-5009 | Fax: (310) 212-7201 |

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Recognizing the value of empathy and service to others, the Volunteer Center has been "at the heart of helping" for more than 50 years. The heart of our mission lies in knowing the most urgent, local needs. We learn these needs by regularly listening to the members of our community. When we discover a critical need is going unmet, we lead the response by assembling a team of caring, talented volunteers to create signature programs, such as Operation Teddy Bear and Food For Kids, offering members of our community the opportunity to contribute to the solution. Click here to learn more about Engaging Hearts and Minds - our new, all-encompassing program designed to compassionately support community members, so everyone can look up, re-connect, empathize with each other, build resilience, express emotions and practice self-care.