At the Heart of Helping - July 2019 Update
In This Issue:
letterLetter from the President/CEO
...At the Heart of a Present Summer

Heart to Heart Gala 2019 Speakers
The start of a new fiscal year is always a time of excitement and anticipation for the coming year. We are still feeling the momentum after our  Heart to Heart Gala last month, where members of our community helped us raise funds to pilot our new Youth Mental Health programs, which we are now preparing to roll out this year.

If you missed the event, and haven't yet had a chance to watch the videos from the Gala, I encourage you to do so here. You'll learn more about our history and our future, hear a heartfelt testimonial by two local teens who are working with us to develop our new teen program, as well as the extremely powerful words of our friend Jason Reid. If the remarks inspire you as much as they did the evening's attendees, we hope you'll make a contribution toward our efforts and make a difference in the lives of local youth and families.

We also encourage you to spend the summer trying some of the things we'll be teaching through these new programs: gradually reducing screen time, increasing self-care, and reconnecting with your family and friends. Here are a few resources to guide you:
There's a great opportunity to connect with family and friends around the dinner table while joining us "at the heart of helping" in just a few weeks - learn more below!

May we all find more time this summer to consciously put our phones down and look up.

Sara Myers
affinitygroupThe Affinity Group's Commitment to Kindness
...At the Heart of a Dedicated Support Group

The Affinity Group

Members of the Affinity Group work together throughout the year on fundraisers and projects that support the efforts of the Volunteer Center. The group was originally founded in 2005 to help Operation Teddy Bear with both financial and volunteer contributions, and they have also embraced other Volunteer Center programs over the years with kindness and enthusiasm. We feel extremely lucky to have such a wonderful group of women supporting us "at the heart of helping," and are grateful to them for recently providing annual contributions toward both Operation Teddy Bear and the new Youth Mental Health programs!
empoweringEmpowering Young Women in Long Beach
...At the Heart of Promoting Healthy Habits

Women_s Empowerment Series
President/CEO Sara Myers spoke with sixth and seventh grade girls about the impact of screen time and social media on their mental health in early July. The girls shared their struggles around the pressure to look perfect online, how screen time is affecting their sleep habits, and asked questions about identifying anxiety and depression. The presentation was part of Congressman Lowenthal's Women's Empowerment Series and was presented through Long Beach's city-wide WRAP (Winners Reaching Amazing Potential) Program. At the conclusion of the presentation, Sara received a Certificate of Recognition from Helene Ansel on behalf of Congressman Lowenthal in recognition of her efforts.
taskforceYouth Suicide Prevention Task Force Update
...At the Heart of Sharing Knowledge and Making Connections

SPA 8 Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force
Following the successful launch of the SPA 8 Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force in May in honor of Mental Health Month, the cross-sector group of local organizations and agencies has grown impressively, as has the group's progress. The Task Force now consists of 50+ members who meet monthly to share knowledge and best practices; identify resources and gaps; and collaborate on specific, local efforts. Members also recently finalized the purpose, goals and proposed outcomes for the Task Force. Click here for complete details, including a list of the organizations and agencies represented.
ffkFamilies Helping Families in Need
...At the Heart of Showing Generosity and Compassion

Food For Kids Donations - July 2019
We are grateful to the members of our community who continue to show generosity and compassion by making donations to 
Food For Kids program!
  • The team at C.H. Robinson collected and donated 520 pounds of food!
  • The kids from the Holt Family in Torrance collect money to help local organizations, and they recently chose to make a donation to Food For Kids. The children presented us with $350, which was then matched by mom and dad, bringing the family's total donation to $700!
  • Ryan Rossow, President of the South Bay Food Initiative at Mira Costa High School, presented us with a $200 donation for Food For Kids on behalf of the club's members!
  • Our Board Members continue to regularly provide Food For Kids donations as well. Jean Adelsman recently dropped off yet another bag of food for the pantry!
Click here to learn more about Food For Kids, including a downloadable copy of our Shelf-Stable Shopping List. You can also learn about the latest Food For Kids donations and see other updates when you follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
urbanplatesConnect and Enjoy Helping a New Restaurant
...At the Heart of Having Conversations Around the Table

Urban Plates
You are invited to connect with family and friends while enjoying a free, donation-based meal at Urban Plates' newest location in Torrance on Friday evening, August 9. Help the staff prepare for the grand opening of this new restaurant and enjoy a chance to challenge yourself to a screen-free conversation around the dinner table! The Volunteer Center will benefit from donations made during pre-opening festivities.

The August 9 dinner seating is only open to members of the Volunteer Center community who RSVP through a special link. Save the date and stay tuned for the link/complete details!
rockaroundtheblockRockin' Around Old Torrance
...At the Heart of Joining the Neighborhood Fun

Rock Around the Block

Since bringing the community together is at the heart of what we do, we love opportunities to participate in community events like last week's 1950's-themed Rock Around the Block, an annual event hosted by the Torrance Historical Society! We had a great time celebrating Torrance's 1956 All-American City Award with other Torrance businesses and organizations, and speaking with the community, including Mayor Pat Furey and members of the South Bay Touring A's (pictured).

We also set up our program-themed games for kids to play as they strolled down Post Avenue with their parents. The Operation Teddy Bear "Supply Toss" and the Food For Kids "Tin Can Toss" were a hit and a great opportunity to teach families about these programs that serve the local community. Huge thanks to our friends at Keenan for building these games for us last year!
featuredFeatured Kindness Opportunity
Beach Cities Volunteer Day
Thursday, August 8, 2019
8:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Join the Beach Cities Health District for their 4th annual Volunteer Day and provide a little TLC to school gardens in Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach. Visit for complete details and to register.
The Affinity Group
ActivePDF_ Inc.
Battle Creek Community Foundation
California Water Service
Crail-Johnson Foundation
Griswold _ Griswold Insurance Agency
Herbalife Nutrition Foundation
John Deere Foundation
Keenan _ Associates
Los Angeles Trial Lawyers_ Charities
The Molina Foundation
The Rudolph J. and Daphne A. Munzer Foundation
The Port of Long Beach
The Port of Los Angeles
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, referring thousands of volunteers to both traditional and court-referred service opportunities. 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 our new Youth Mental Health focus and how we're tackling this critical community need.