| Letter from the President/CEO
...At the Heart of Creating More Awareness to Inspire
The past few weeks have been very exciting, because we've seen a lot of momentum in our Community Education strategy. I was interviewed about our new Youth Mental Health focus, the connection to screen time, and compassionate steps parents can take to begin addressing the issue for an article in the September 2019 issue of L.A. Parent Magazine - click here to read it online. You can also find free copies of the print edition at local grocery stores, libraries, museums, hospitals, doctors' offices, community centers and schools.
Some of our community partners have also launched efforts to inspire and support families in gradually reducing their screen time. Torrance Unified School District and the Torrance Council of PTAs recently hosted four screenings of the documentary LIKE, and I was honored to participate in panel discussions following each screening. I also gave a presentation about the link between screen time and mental health for the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce's new Wellness Plus series. Learn more about both events below.
We were grateful to see our partners at Beach Cities Health District launch a ScreenTime Challenge, encouraging the community to actively reduce screen time this September, and Kaiser Permanente posted a fantastic video on Twitter demonstrating the benefits of setting your phone aside to unwind for a zen break. You can also watch it on YouTube and Facebook.
Finally, as we count down to World Mental Health Day on October 10, we encourage you to join us in talking more openly about emotions, really connecting with each other, and practicing self-care regularly. Check out the Helpful Resources page on our website - especially if you haven't visited it recently - for resources on both screen time and mental health, as well as guidance on having conversations about mental health and talking about how we really feel. We also regularly post a variety of resources and tips on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
May we all lead by example, gradually reduce our screen time and encourage others to join us!
|The Impact of Screen Time and Social Media
...At the Heart of Finding Balance On Screen and Off
More than 1,500 students and parents joined the Torrance Unified School District and Torrance Council of PTAs at four screenings of the documentary LIKE during the first week of school. Similar to how we listened to the community's needs with our new focus, the school district hosted this event after hearing the students' concerns about the stress and anxiety caused by social media. Dr. Kati Krumpe, the school district's Chief Academic Officer, opened the event by dedicating it to the students. She also said, "We hope today's screening starts a conversation about ways we can work together to help our students deal with the many challenges facing them today."
Following the documentary, a four-person panel responded to questions from the audience. Each panel included two high school students, a mental health practitioner, and our President/CEO Sara Myers discussing things such as finding more balance, leading by example, creating buy-in as a family, open communication, and what parents can do from the students' perspective.
Nannette Nolan from the Torrance Council of PTAs said that it was also "a great opportunity to help parents bridge that divide... [and] understand what students are really facing" in the world today. Click here to watch Torrance CitiCable's coverage of the LIKE documentary screening and the panel discussion that followed, including interviews with Sara Myers and parent/Board Member Roseanney Liu.
|Increasing Awareness and Helping Local Families
...At the Heart of Educating Business Leaders in Torrance
Earlier this month, President/CEO Sara Myers presented Connected to Screens, Disconnected from Life: Helping Our Community Refocus on Improving Their Mental Health to members of the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce at the inaugural session of the Chamber's Wellness Plus series. The presentation covered details that we've learned through our research on the mental health crisis, including how screen time and social media addiction are contributing to the issue. Sara also shared suggestions to help the attendees address screen usage with their families and improve the mental, social and emotional wellness of the youth in their lives.
"Sara's presentation focusing on crucial issues facing today's families was informative, inspiring and thought-provoking," said Donna Duperon, the Chamber's President and CEO. "From depression to peer pressure and screen time to communication skills, our chamber members were educated on the issues and were able to take away valuable information to help them day-to-day."
We are also available to provide this training presentation to local companies who invest in on-going health and wellness enrichment for their employees. Please contact Liz Reinhardt, Director of Fund Development and Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 212-5009 for details and pricing.
|Dental Supply Drive Ends September 30
...At the Heart of Helping Kids Brush Their Teeth
There's still time to contribute single, individually-packaged youth or adult toothbrushes and/or travel-sized toothpaste to our Dental Supply Drive to help us get ready for Operation Teddy Bear's 25th year! Come by our Torrance office (1230 Cravens Ave.) Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and leave your donations in the box in the lobby by Monday, September 30.
We've also made it easy to support the Dental Supply Drive by adding items to our Amazon.com Wish List. Click here to view our Wish List and add one or more items to your cart. You can choose to have the item(s) shipped directly to us at check out, and if you use AmazonSmile to shop, a percentage of eligible purchases comes to us too! (Click here for complete details on shopping through AmazonSmile.)
|Filling Bags with Food and Kindness
...At the Heart of Supporting Those In Need
We are grateful to the members of our community who continue to show generosity and compassion by making donations to our Food For Kids program!
- Board Member Dianne Bozler and her husband Hans donated 50 pounds of food through our Amazon.com Wish List, along with a donation to the Dental Supply Drive.
- The Carson Lions Club and National Association of University Women donated 66 pounds of food.
- The Social Security Administration's Torrance Office hosted their annual drive, collecting and donating 577 pounds of food!
- The Torrance Community Credit Union hosted their annual summer food drive, collecting and donating 367 pounds of food, which is more than they collected the past two summers!
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!
- The cast and crew of Torrance Theatre Company's production of Beauty and the Beast donated 60 pounds of food.
Smart & Final Donation Drive
...At the Heart of Local Community Support
Support the Volunteer Center when you shop at one of 28 Smart & Final stores in Southern California September 16-27! Simply ask for a flyer to make a $5 or $10 donation at check out and help local youth and families through our programs and services.
Participating Smart & Final stores include:
- 3123 Baldwin Park Blvd, Baldwin Park
- 15930 Bellflower Blvd, Bellflower
- 20410 Susana Road, Carson
- 280 East Compton Blvd, Compton
- 114 N Azusa Avenue, Covina
- 11110 E Ramona Blvd, El Monte
- 10100 S. Crenshaw Blvd, Inglewood
- 1575 Centinela Avenue, Inglewood
- 15427 Amar Road, La Puente
- 4237 Woodruff Avenue, Lakewood
- 15205 Hawthorne Blvd, Lawndale
- 644 Redondo Avenue, Long Beach
- 1320 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach
- 4480 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach
- 8137 S Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles
- 1125 E El Segundo Blvd, Los Angeles
- 10833 Long Beach Blvd, Lynwood
- 10935 Firestone Blvd, Norwalk
- 28500 S Western Avenue, Rancho Palos Verdes
- 615 N Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach
- 1516 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach
- 1636 W 25th Street, San Pedro
- 21600 S Vermont Avenue, Torrance
- 2775 Pacific Coast Hwy, Torrance
- 17500 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance
- 21035 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance
- 15055 Mulberry Drive, Whittier
- 13003 Whittier Blvd, Whittier
Featured Kindness Opportunity
Volunteer at the United Way's
Fall Into Literacy Community Book Festival
Saturday, September 28, 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Banning Museum, 401 E M St, Wilmington, CA 90744
Now in its ninth year, this fun and inspiring event draws close to 4,000 community members, and they need your help as they promote a love of literacy among families in Wilmington and the surrounding communities.
Volunteers are needed for various duties, including set-up/clean-up, greeter, check-in, booth assistance, stage/performer support, and more. Parking, breakfast/lunch, and a volunteer t-shirt are provided. This volunteer opportunity is open to adults and teenagers 14 and older. Parents must sign waiver for minors and be present at all times.
Click here to learn more and sign up to volunteer.
THANK YOU TO OUR MAJOR SPONSORS:
The Volunteer Center
South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach
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 our new Youth Mental Health focus and how we're helping youth, families and the community gradually reduce screen time, while increasing face-to-face connections and self-care.