Happy National Volunteer Appreciation Week!
Each year, Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) celebrates National Volunteer Appreciation Week. Many volunteers stepped up in extra ways this year to support the community during the pandemic. Throughout the week, we will be featuring our volunteers on social media to say THANK YOU for the incredible work you did this past year!
We also thank all of our volunteers who are staying home to keep others safe during this time. We miss you, but are so appreciative that you are doing your part to keep our community safe. We’ve had committees meeting virtually and others are providing support to isolated and vulnerable residents.
  • 21 volunteers made more than 750 meal deliveries and more than 600 errand runs for folks needing essential supplies.
  • Volunteers have also made more than 1,700 check-in calls to BCHD clients, increasing connection and reducing social isolation from a distance.
  • In addition to volunteers at BCHD’s COVID-19 testing site, volunteers collectively donated more than 800 hours calling people who tested positive for COVID-19. We also welcomed volunteers and interns to assist with special projects virtually this past year.
  • More than 150 volunteers began supporting COVID-19 vaccine clinics in both clinical and non-clinical roles, providing more than 1,500 hours of service in an effort to help get people vaccinated.
At BCHD, we know that volunteering is even more than being helpful to othersit’s good for one’s own health and can create a circle of gratitude. It has been wonderful hearing from volunteers about the gratification they’ve experienced through service this past year.
"During the pandemic in particular, with the isolation from family members and news reporting that often seemed so negative and disturbing, it was so nice to be able to put all that in a better perspective by volunteering and to be part of something very positive that promoted kindness and caring for others.” – Jackie Jednyak, Meal Delivery Volunteer

"I'm happy to do my little part to help people get tested (and vaccinated) so we can get through this pandemic as soon as possible! I enjoy getting people checked in and out quickly and efficiently." Brad Angle, COVID-19 Testing Site & Vaccination Site Volunteer

“I think we all need to try to be positive during such uncertain times and I am grateful to [deliver meals] as a regular reminder of the things I am grateful for, like having good health, living in an area with great weather and having my own transportation. I hope that our services and occasional conversations, while doing my best to keep them safe, remind our clients that they have not been forgotten and that BCHD is here for them. Our clients are always quick to express their gratitude for these services and I have had some really wonderful exchanges. I guess, in essence, that being a volunteer during the pandemic has allowed me to be able to continue living some of my values of being a leader, creating and nurturing my community, expressing empathy and trust. “ – Paula Dobin, Meal Delivery Volunteer, Errand Volunteer, Support Line, Volunteer Advisory Council
“It was very gratifying to help others in need during these unprecedented times. The smiles on their faces and their appreciativeness was well worth my very modest efforts.”– Don Luke, Meal Delivery & Errand Volunteer
We would like to thank each and every one of our wonderful volunteers! We are so grateful to have such a strong and compassionate volunteer team who is always willing to go above and beyond to help us support our community! Volunteers truly have helped the community during this pandemic. We can't thank you enough!
Virtual Gratitude Activity

In celebration of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, we are hosting a special virtual gratitude activity for BCHD volunteers lead by Edwina Klein, BCHD Brain Buddy Volunteer and Expressive Art Therapist.

Thursday, April 22 from 1-2 p.m.

  • This activity is for everyone, no artistic aptitude, special skills or training needed.

  • Create a “Mandala of Gratitude” utilizing basic art supplies. The instructor will offer a brief breathing meditation to help enter the space of being mindful and thankful in the moment followed by a guided visualization and instruction on how to create the mandala.

  • Materials: Watercolor pencils (any paints, colored pencils, pastels or crayons can work), a small paintbrush, sheet of paper and a round plate.
BONUS: Several lucky attendees will win BCHD swag or gift certificates to Dive N' Surf!

About the Instructor
Edwina Klein, BCHD Brain Buddy and Expressive Art Therapist, was born and raised in Houston Texas. She received a BS in Psychology and Masters in Counseling from CU Boulder. Later, she completed a BA in Interior Design and went on to have a successful career in interior design. Her background lead her to a certification in Expressive Art Therapy and volunteering as an Artist Mentor at Venice Arts for seven years. Her skills in art therapy has made for a very successful match with her Brain Buddy who has aphasia and has become very passionate about coloring intricate pieces. Their work together was featured on the BCHD website, which you can read about here.

Edwina says “I believe we are all born with creative abilities. However, due to many factors early on, many people become judgmental and shut down their creativity. My goal is to help people learn to enjoy creating in whichever modality suits them. By doing so creating/enhancing self-compassion.”
Volunteer Spotlight: Amanda Reid, Master of Social Work (MSW) Intern
It requires someone with very specific skills and personality traits to have a life-long vision for working with people in palliative care. Providing support around grief and bereavement can be mentally exhausting. Most of us know that this isn’t something we’d find easy. Thankfully, BCHD MSW Intern Amanda Reid is one of those incredible people who was born to deliver meaningful palliative, end of life and bereavement care.
Beach Cities Health District continues to publish a regular newsletter, website updates and social media posts to inform the community of the latest information regarding COVID-19 health guidance, testing, vaccines, closures and recovery. Be a health leader in the community by staying informed and staying safe.
Check this page on our site for other ways to help during COVID-19
2021 Volunteer Hours

While volunteer support has changed with our continued adaptations due to COVID-19 in 2020 and the hours reported below don’t fully capture the support people have given to the community, we are grateful for the 15,330 reported hours of BCHD volunteer service in 2020. Thank you! We know BCHD volunteers will continue doing remarkable things in 2021.

January: 1,136
February: 1,178
March: 2,868
Stay tuned...
Volunteer Anniversaries

Although many of you aren’t actively volunteering in your usual roles right now, we are endlessly grateful for your commitment. The many collective years of efforts toward a healthy beach community from our volunteers is truly incredible.

Marcie Dean, 22
Candice Gill, 12
Sean Guthrie, 9
Jim Hannon, 9
Marlis Saunders, 8
Faye Gipson, 7
Lisa Christman, 5
Jay Foster, 5
Lisa Sheinberg, 5
Harry Yamada, 4
Karen Blanchard, 3
Katie Lowe, 2
Franny Stafford, 2

* Official years of service in BCHD system.
Just for Fun Puzzle Time!
Enjoy some down time solving this super fun word search by finding all of the words hidden in the puzzle. The words may be placed diagonally, horizontally, vertically, or backwards.
March Answer Key
Held in partnership with BeachLife Festival, B-Well offers health tools to increase happiness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign will feature celebrity appearances, social media videos, livestream performances and more.
Thursday, April 22
6 – 7 p.m.
LIVESTREAM featuring performance by
Lisa Loeb

Saturday, April 24
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Live Virtual Mental Health & Happiness Workshop: Boost Empathy
Virtual Blue Zones Project Nutrition Workshop
In collaboration with Cancer Support Community, Registered Dietitian Marissa Martorana will discuss how to eat well during cancer treatments, address common side effects and share tips to support proper nutrition and hydration. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Friday, April 30
11:30 a.m.  12:30 p.m.
Virtual Happiness Chats
Support your well-being with casual discussions focused on connection and resilience. Attend one or all chats!
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.