Los Angeles may be famous for its Hollywood movies and its glitzy movie awards, but it is also rich in volunteer opportunities. Here are just four among the many:
Under the Bridge Ministry Dream Center
Dream Center is a non-profit Christian organization that reaches out to the needy of Los Angeles. It has many outreaches you can choose from. It has Adopt-A-Block where you can join a group that adopts a small community and tries to respond to the needs of that community. It also has the Food Truck that travels across Los Angeles every week delivering food to low-income families in at-risk neighborhoods. Also, it has the RE:scue project which is dedicated in rebuilding the lives of the victims of human trafficking. Moreover, my particular favorite is the Under the Bridge Ministry. This ministry serves hot lunch to the homeless of Downtown. A group would go to a corner of a street where many homeless hang out. They set a table to place big containers of hot food. Homeless individuals would line up while volunteers serve them a hot meal. You can get more information from their website at www.dreamcenter.org.
Sister Alice Marie heads one of them in Downtown Los Angeles. It is called St. Vincent Meals-On-Wheels. They need either drivers or runners. Driver volunteers drive the van that has the food to be delivered, while the runners knock on the door and put on a smiling face while handing out the tray to the recipient. The usual beneficiaries of this service are the elderly who are incapacitated to basically cook for themselves. They are alone. They do not have any help or assistant. Meals-On-Wheels deliver lunch in a tray and cold supper in a brown bag. More information can be obtained from their website at www.stvincentmow.org.
This organization strives to reduce the percentage of illiteracy in general, in this case Los Angeles. Volunteers tutor elementary students who are falling behind in reading. A tutorial is forty five-minute long once a week. Lessons are already prepared and organized. All the volunteers need to know is the reading level of the child and start from there. You have to commit at least half of the school year. They encourage that volunteers stick to their schedules since the rapport between the tutor and the student builds up over time. Check out their website at www.readingpartners.org.
If you like to visit an elderly who may be close to dying, a hospice might suit you. Silverado Hospice offers volunteers this opportunity. They have many hospices all over Los Angeles. Find close to your place and you are good to go. A volunteer basically visits an elderly to provide company. Most of the elderly do not want any visitors. However, volunteers may be the only ones to visit them. Some of these patients only see their family members during the holidays. Explore www.silveradosenior.com for more information.
Volunteering is an opportunity to get out of your glass bubble and see a bigger world out there. It is easy to get burdened with life, but getting out there to see a much bigger need will ease this weight.