Saturday, January 10, 2009

Think Globally, Act Locally - the National Day Of Service

We are one people; We are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in America’s story.
- President-Elect Barack Obama

Folks, let's not sugar coat it. It sucks out there.

Unemployment is at a 16-year high, California will be issuing IOU's instead of tax refunds, the stock market is lower now than when Bush took office in 2001  and our social safety net is falling apart.

Everyone reading this knows someone who lost their job, or who's worried about losing their job. Affordable health care or insurance? Forget it. Want to go to a California college so you can improve your chances in the job market? Well, that just got a lot tougher too.

But here's the thing. These problems aren't confined to Democrats. No, they hit almost everyone - Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, the poor, the middle class, the inner city and the outer exburbs. 

And just as these problems are "bi-partisan", so too, are the solutions. 

"Change can only happen when citizens stand together and take ownership over their government, their country, their communities and themselves."   

That's the header on this blog, and today it takes on new meaning.

Activists from the Westside, the South Bay, and the Harbor are rising to President-Elect Barack Obama's  call for "National Days of Service" by organizing a week of community service projects to mark a new era in American politics.

We are scheduling food drives, environmental restorations, fundraising events, and clothing drives for injured troops. The events will take place January 17-20, coinciding with the presidential inaugural ceremonies.

With the launch of a new website – -- that works as a hub similar to the popular Craigslist classifieds site, users are able to promote their own community service events or seek out opportunities for getting involved.

The site already has some 5,000 volunteer events scheduled across the country, and in Los Angeles County alone, more than 100 events have been created so far, with more expected. 

In our sprawling 36th Congressional District, stretching from West Los Angeles and Venice down the coast to San Pedro, we have TONS of ways you can get involved!

These are just few, to find more near you, log on to and enter your zip code!

Soldiers’ Angels - January 10-20
Contact: Linda Green, Manhattan Beach, CA | 310.213.1019

In honor of the memory of 1st Lt. Matthew C. Ferrara, Torrance, CA, who served bravely in Operation Ongoing Freedom we are collecting new clothing, blankets and pre-paid phone cards for those courageous men and women wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-based nonprofit group based in Pasadena, CA, with over thirty different teams of military and civilian volunteers supporting all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Through special projects, Soldiers’ Angels makes a visible difference in the lives of our service members and their families.

Soldiers' Angels Germany, as part of the Soldiers' Angels Medical Support Team, is committed to the support of wounded and ill soldiers being treated at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) facilities. LRMC provides medical treatment to the injured soldiers from both Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 400 patients monthly are provided with 1,000 lbs. of much needed items for a more comfortable time of recuperation.

Click here for a list of needed items.

Collection locations and times: (more locations and times will be added)

Vera Davis McClendon Center
610 California Avenue Venice CA 90291
Wednesday 1/14/09 to Friday 1/16/09
9:00am to 5:00pm

Councilmember Bill Rosendahl’s Office – West LA
1645 Corinth Ave. – Suite 201 Los Angeles, CA 90025
Wednesday 1/14/09 to Friday 1/16/09
9:00am to 5:00pm

Councilmember Bill Rosendahl’s Office - Westchester
7166 W. Manchester Ave. Westchester, CA 90045
Wednesday 1/14/09 to Friday 1/16/09
9:00am to 5:00pm

Democratic Action Center
1673 Cravens Ave. (Corner of Cravens & Carson)
Torrance, CA 90501
Wednesday 1/14/09 to Friday 1/16/09
12:00pm to 7:00pm

Councilmember Janice Hahn’s Office
638 S. Beacon St. – Suite 552
San Pedro, CA 90731
Wednesday 1/14/09 to Friday 1/16/09
9:00am to 5:00pm

Fill The Food Bank – January 10-20
Contact: Amanda Baker 

Venice for Change, in partnership with the Fruit Gallery and Venice will be collecting donations through Inauguration Day, January 20th for the Saint Joseph Center Food Pantry, serving the working poor, veterans and homeless men and women of our community

Collect from your friends and family and bring your donations to any of the following locations anytime before January 20th.

  • The Otheroom - 1201 Abbot Kinney Blvd , Venice, CA 90291
  • Urban Escape - 1505 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
  • The Slave Boutique - 2122 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
  • Trim - 1424 Abbot Kinney Blvd , Venice, CA 90291
  • Paper Scissors Rock - 1711 Pacific Avenue, Venice, CA 90291
  • Marta's House - 758 Palms Blvd ,Venice, CA 90291
  • Carol's House - 1241 Walsh Ave, MDR/Culver City
  • Amanda's House - 4162 Chase Ave, West LA
  • The Fruit Gallery Juice Shop - 1 Westminster Ave at the Venice Beach Boardwalk, Venice, CA 90291

Westside Food Bank – January 17-18
Contact: Alan Bail |310.892.2149 

Nearly 30 million Americans rely on government aid and food banks to keep food on their tables amid unemployment and rising prices. In LA County alone, demand has jumped 33%, while contributions have dropped precipitously. And just because the holidays are over, doesn't mean the need is any less.

West LA Democratic Club will be manning tables at the Venice and Mar Vista Whole Foods to collect food from our neighbors and to encourage them to pick up a few extra items as they shop for themselves.

All donations will go to the Westside Food Bank, which supplies the food assistance programs of social service agencies in Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, West Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Inglewood, and the LAX area..

We need volunteers to man tables and pass out flyers for two-hour shifts starting at 10am.

RSVP here: Venice store on Saturday.
RSVP here: Venice store on Sunday.

RSVP here: Mar Vista store on Saturday.
RSVP here: Mar Vista store on Sunday.

Greening Toberman Center – January 17
Contact: Karen Ceaser 

Toberman Neighborhood Center  of San Pedro is a non-profit, multi-purpose neighborhood center that provides various social service programs to low-income individuals and families living in the South Bay, moving them from poverty to self-sufficiency.

Come join us from 10am to 2pm as we perform much-needed landscape maintenance at the center. Be sure to wear work clothes and closed-toed shoes. Bring gardening tools if you have them. Gloves recommended.

Habitat for Humanity – January 17
Contact: Acacia Squiers, Volunteer Coordinator | 310.323.4663 Ext. 113

Habitat for Humanity - Greater Los Angeles is in need of volunteers on Saturday, January 17, starting at 9am, for their current multi unit condo project in Lynwood, CA, and for the Home Improvement Store located in Gardena, CA.

Ballona Wetlands Restoration – January 19
Contact: JaneAnne Jeffries | 310.575.0865

Meet at 1pm. at the Shallow Water Nature Store in the Matilla Village Center, at the corner of Culver Boulevard and Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey. 

We have a number of activities!

Take a nature walk to learn about the habitat, ecology, and stewardship needs in this area of Los Angeles.

Remove trash from La Ballona Creek Estuary Channel and Del Rey Lagoon Park, to prevent litter on the beaches and pollution of Santa Monica Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

Gather petition signatures from people on the bike path and Pacific Avenue bridge. The focus of the Committee to Complete the Park is “Saving Egret Park” - an important open space, threatened with development, which is part of the Ballona Wetlands ecosystem. Petitions ask our leaders to help acquire this land for preservation.

Install protective fencing to protect native plant butterfly gardens at La Ballona Creek estuary.

Take photographs and/or use artistic skills and/or write poetry or letters to send messages to elected officials about the importance of saving Egret Park. Creative people wanted!

Venice Family Clinic - The 10% Solution - January 19
Contact: James Samakow 

To celebrate the National Day of Service, local Venice dining institutions, James' Beach, Canal Club, and Danny's Venice Beach Bistro & Bar will donate 10% of all proceeds this day to the Venice Family Clinic.

Since, 1970, the Venice Family Clinic has provided comprehensive primary health care, specialty care, dental care, mental health services, health education and child development services, as well as public insurance enrollment to more than 23,500 patients, including approximately 5,800 children, who make nearly 100,000 visits annually. Prescription medicines are provided at no charge.

Patients, most of whom live and work in the Westside neighborhoods of Venice, Mar Vista, Santa Monica, Culver City, and Inglewood, are low-income and lack private health insurance. Sixteen percent of the Clinic’s patients are homeless.

  • James Beach - 60 North Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291
  • Canal Club - 2025 Pacific Avenue, Venice, CA 90291
  • Danny's Venice Beach Bistro & Bar - 23 Windward Avenue, Venice, CA 90291

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