Volunteer: Free and useful

By Meaghan Sands

Holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving instill feelings of hope, love and compassion in those of us not feeling especially Scroogy that year. But why does it take a holiday, the requirement of community service hours or guilt to motivate us to give back to others and our community?

It should be second nature. A constant tugging on our conscious when we see an opportunity to help.

There are volunteer opportunities to suit every age, gender, background, interest and activity level.

According to lacounty.gov there are over 10 million people living in Los Angeles County.

In a September article in the Los Angeles Times, the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality found that 2.6 million, or 27 percent, of those individuals were living in poverty as of 2011.

Feeling the tug? If so, here are some options to get you started.

Volunteer Los Angeles is an all-access website providing hands-on, business, and disaster volunteering. You can also join an L.A. beautification work crew and have your court-referred community service managed.

Finding something in your area is as easy as typing a keyword, zip code and mile radius.

For all the animal lovers out there PAWS/LA provides volunteer opportunities for those wanting to use their skills in a productive way without the heavy lifting.

PAWS/LA provides pet care services to low-income seniors and those with life-threatening illnesses with the aim of preserving the animal-human bond that is so important in these individual’s lives.

Got a green thumb? Unitepeople transforms plots of unused public space into urban farms so that communities can have access to safe, sustainable and organic food. They use these farms to spread food education and break down the economic differences that so strongly dictate what we eat.

Need some familiar faces to get ya goin’? Start your own Burrito Project. There are over 30 operating in communities across North America with one goal in common: “to get together with friends and build burritos to take to the streets.” Want to get your feet wet before starting your own? Hit up the LA Burrito Project Facebook page to see when the next meet is.

Volunteer/Charity Work

Pro: Gives you the ability

to give back in a way you


Con: None.

L.A. On A Budget

L.A. On A Budget

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