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Federation Volunteers Give of Themselves and Bring Light to Greater Los Angeles

On November 3, Federation volunteers participated in the fifth Community Service Day of 2013! In anticipation of Thanksgivukah (when Thanksgiving and Chanukah overlap – once every 79,043 years!), over 100 of us participated in projects across the city and brought light to a spectrum of issues including environmental sustainability, children with special needs, at-risk youth, and food and hunger insecurity. 

Volunteers at Santa Monica Beach picked up over 1,100 pieces of trash from the sand, especially those smaller items that often get overlooked but still pose a danger to ocean life and our environment. This was the final of our Federation’s three volunteer beach clean-ups this year as part of Heal the Bay‘s Adopt-A-Beach program. We are proud to have partnered with Heal the Bay and the California Coastal Commission on this!

Just up the 405 from where the Heal the bay project took place, our volunteers played with children with special needs at the exciting Noah’s Ark exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center. They wrapped up the day together with arts and crafts activities. This program was in partnership with HaMercaz, the central resource for families raising children with special needs in the Los Angeles area. Our Federation’s ‘Caring for Jews in Need’ strategic initiative supports this wonderful program.

In downtown, we helped to support the mission of Inner-City Arts, which provides arts education to help at-risk children develop their creativity, improve learning skills and build self-confidence. We helped them to organize their arts supplies and also took part in an arts workshop to understand the methodology and philosophy behind their educational programming.

Mitzvah Day

In collaboration with our Community Service Day, The Jewish Federation Valley Alliance convened over 40 Valley Jewish institutions and approximately 3,000 community volunteers for Mitzvah Day with a wide range of activities throughout the Valley.  Over in Van Nuys, we had two shifts of Federation volunteers help to sort and categorize over 13,000 pounds of food donated during JFS { SOVA’s High Holiday food drive! The first shift was designated for our YALA volunteers (ages 25-40) and was followed with an organized reflection and discussion, led by Rabbi Chaim Tureff of Pressman Academy. This was one of many projects at various sites across the Valley.  Some of the other projects included community gardening, fruit harvesting for the JFS {SOVA Food Bank, and filling brand new backpacks with school supplies for children in need.

Whether it was making sure that the physical world we live in is left a healthier one for future generations, improving the lives of children all over Los Angeles, or helping to alleviate hunger, our dedicated Federation volunteers helped to bring light to so many people in our city. See below for photos of Federation and community volunteers working hard and giving back.

We hope to see you on December 15 – our last Community Service Day of 2013!

To be placed on our volunteer e-mail list, please fill out our short volunteer sign-up form. And don’t forget to check us out on Facebook!  

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