At the Heart of Helping - December 2017 Update
In This Issue:
letterLetter from the President/CEO
...At the Heart of Generosity and Compassion

An Operation Teddy Bear delivery with The Molina Foundation
I love this time of year because we get to witness the best in people each and every day. From running into our regular Food For Kids volunteers as they sort donations for the upcoming elementary school deliveries, to working with our corporate partners as we pack Operation Teddy Bear schoolbags and distribute this kind gift to thousands of first graders, we truly appreciate these moments, because they prove that there is a tremendous amount of generosity and compassion in the world.

We are also incredibly grateful for all of our supporters and the kind gifts you provide, whether you give your time as a volunteer or money as a donor. Your generosity allows us to continue to serve our community and your kindness sets a wonderful example for the children we serve.

During this season of giving, we hope we can count on you for your continued support. We really want to help and inspire more students next year, so as you plan your year-end contributions, please consider making a kind gift to the Volunteer Center by December 31.

Emails like this are one of the best ways we can thank you for your support, providing you with regular updates so you can see the impact of your kindness. If you would like even more updates, make sure to follow us on Facebook and check our Facebook page regularly!

Thank you for continuing to be "at the heart of helping!"

Sara Myers
wotyLea Ann King Nominated for Woman of the Year
...At the Heart of Honoring a Dedicated Board Member

We are delighted to announce that Lea Ann King, a longtime member of our Board of Directors, is one the four women who will be honored as
2018 South Bay Women of the Year , presented annually by the Switzer Learning Center.
Dr. Rebecca Foo, Switzer's Executive Director, surprised Lea Ann at our most recent Volunteer Center board meeting to announce the nomination. We agree that she has indeed made great contributions to the South Bay community. We are grateful for her many contributions to our organization and proud to see her name alongside this year's other nominees!
helpingothersHelping Others During Crisis
...At the Heart of Supporting our Neighbors and Firefighters

As we watch the heartbreaking coverage of the wildfires affecting our neighbors throughout Southern California, many of us are looking for the best ways to help. It can be tough finding last minute volunteer opportunities during disasters like this, since training and verification take time. We encourage you to use this opportunity to apply and become verified as a disaster response volunteer with the Red Cross, so that you will be ready when the next disaster strikes.
Click here  to learn more and click here  to apply.
Airbnb is encouraging California homeowners to offer their homes to evacuees. If you're willing to open your doors to those displaced by the fires, you can sign up do so  here . Business Insider has published a resource of ways you can give time, money and in-kind donations. The Volunteer Center has not vetted these organizations. We simply wanted to provide this information to help you start your search, so you can decide how best to help.
Spark of Love
You can also help local kids this holiday season through the Spark of Love Toy DriveOver the past twenty five years, Southern California firefighters successfully collected more than ten million toys for underserved children and teens. Simply drop off new, unwrapped toys or sports equipment at any local fire station to ensure kids across Southern California receive a new toy this holiday season. Whatever you are able to donate - whether it's time or resources - will certainly make a huge impact on those who need it most right now.
shoppingLast Minute Holiday Shopping and Gift Wrapping 
...At the Heart of Holiday Gift Giving

Give A Gift
Join the Volunteer Center and members of the Corporate Volunteer Council for some last minute shopping, free gift wrapping and holiday cheer at the
Barnes & Noble in Torrance this Friday, December 22 between 11:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
If you plan to do your last minute shopping online, don't forget to use the special AmazonSmile URL every time you shop on Amazon - you will automatically support your selected charitable organization, at no cost to you. There are a few ways to ensure the Volunteer Center receives a percentage of your purchase on eligible items through AmazonSmile, whether it's for holiday gifts or everyday needs. Click here for complete details!
otbAnother Successful Year for Operation Teddy Bear
...At the Heart of Promoting Kindness and Volunteering

Operation Teddy Bear Deliveries December 2017

We are truly grateful to the community of volunteers, donors and sponsors that make Operation Teddy Bear possible each year. Thanks to their support, we provided more than 4,000 underserved first-graders at local elementary schools with a kind gift this holiday season - a brightly-colored schoolbag filled with educational materials, including reading and coloring books, writing journals, a learning clock, a toothbrush, pencils, crayons, and of course, a teddy bear.
In addition to distributing these schoolbags and nearly 200 teacher appreciation kits, volunteers taught the students a new vocabulary word, "volunteer," using our original story - "Teddy Beary Tales" - to demonstrate how volunteering benefits both the individual and the community, and using the experience of receiving this kind gift as encouragement to pay it forward!

Thank you to all of our spirited and hard-working volunteers for taking the time to distribute the schoolbags and speak with these students, including representatives from the Affinity Group, Beacon HouseGreenVetsLA, John Deere, Keenan, Kinecta, Manhattan Beach Rotary Club, The Molina Foundation, MOOG, Rudolph J. and Daphne A. Munzer Foundation, Port of Los Angeles, Simon Law Group, South Bay Association of Realtors, South Bay Junior Women's Club, Torrance Refining Company, U-Haul Moving & Storage of Carson, Valero, Watson Land Company, as well as a group of LMU Alumni and several individual volunteers. We also want to once again thank our  major sponsors and in-kind donors for making this program a reality!
ffkOur Hearts and Shelves are Overflowing
...At the Heart of Non-Perishables Piles

Food For Kids Food Pantry
Around this time of year, our food pantry and the surrounding rooms start to look like this... and we couldn't be more grateful! Thank you to Del Amo Hospital, GreenDart, Halau O Kahealani, the Paolucci Family, Simms Restaurant Group, West High School's Interact Club, and several individuals for their recent donations totaling nearly 1,000 pounds of food.
Support like this is how we are able to distribute bags of food to eligible families every week throughout the school year. Click here for details about making donations, including our Non-Perishable Food Shopping List.
familyfunfaireSAVE THE DATE! Heart of Helping Family Fun Faire
...At the Heart of Having Fun While Giving Back

Mark your calendars and join us for our second annual Heart of Helping Family Fun Faire on Saturday, March 10, 2018! This year's event will take place from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. right outside our central Torrance location.
Teach your kids about giving back while enjoying an afternoon of entertainment for both kids and adults, including carnival games, face painting, raffle drawings, prizes and more! Sponsorship opportunities are available - click here to learn how you can support volunteerism and philanthropy in our community.
aagAAG Wants to Award You for Helping Senior Citizens
...At the Heart of Sharing Your Kindness

AAG Do Something Good Grant
Are you an energetic, compassionate volunteer who dedicates a portion of your time to senior citizens through community service? If so, the American Advisors Group (AAG) wants to recognize you with their Do Something Good Grant - part of their commitment to helping American seniors.
Simply upload an original photo of yourself helping out the senior community, along with a caption (100 words or less) explaining what you do for seniors by December 31, and you could win $1,500! Click here for complete details.
voloppsVolunteer Opportunities Available 24/7!

Looking for volunteers? Click here to learn about becoming a Partner!
The Volunteer Center  South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach
Phone: (310) 212-5009 | Fax: (310) 212-7201 |

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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. Volunteers are recruited and referred to more than 400 nonprofit organizations in its service area of 44 cities, as well as for their own signature programs: Operation Teddy Bear and Food For Kids.

By contacting the Volunteer Center, potential volunteers can obtain information and connect with just the right service experience, fulfilling its mission of "mobilizing people and resources to deliver creative solutions to community needs." Learn more at