Season of Sharing: 10 Ways to Give Back

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With the whirlwind of holiday shopping, visiting relatives, and the kids out of school, we often forget that the holiday season is all about giving back. There are countless local charities in Los Angeles that wonderfully serve the community year round so we dug around and asked local moms and dads where they choose to give back. The list below is just a small sample of the many great Los Angeles charities so share the love and let us know in the comment section below where you and your family plan to give back this holiday season.

Karma Rescue. Karma Rescue saves at-risk dogs from the Los Angeles area shelters. They provide each dog a new beginning and finds them safe and suitable permanent homes. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to help with adoption events, walking the dogs, and giving them attention.

Hope Net. A local charity, Hope Net believes that none of our neighbors should go hungry. Fighting hunger and homelessness in the metro Los Angeles area depends on the help of pantry volunteers and other community members to serve those in need.

826LA. This non-profit organization supports students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills. Volunteers can help tutor after school, organize the annual Young Author’s Book Project, and assist on class field trips. There’s no hourly commitment for volunteering either, so it works around your schedule. Find 826LA hidden in this super cool Time Travel Mart!

One Voice. A multi-faceted organization, One Voice offers relief service to Los Angeles families struggling with poverty. During the holidays, One voice provides Christmas food baskets, toys and books to 2,500 families living in poverty in the Los Angeles area. Volunteers help sort and package the food and personally hand it out to those in need.

Westside Children’s Center. Westside Children’s Center is specifically geared towards children, especially those who enter the foster care system. Their mission is to place children in loving and stable homes and build safe communities for kids in Los Angeles.

El Centro del Pueblo. A culturally and linguistically oriented social service agency, El Centro del Pueblo provides job training, family preservation, child abuse and neglect intervention, emergency services, youth counseling, behavior change outreach, alcoholism prevention, AIDS prevention and a family development network.

Coach Art. CoachArt is a non-profit organization offering free lessons in the arts and athletics to patients with chronic illnesses and their siblings, ages 6-18. Volunteer mentors can pick the lessons they want to teach, including art, cooking, dance, music, sports, yoga, photography and more!

Union Station. Homelessness and very low-income families face tremendous hardships. Union Station is the largest social service agencies in the San Gabriel Valley, and works to rebuild the lives of men, women and children affected by homelessness. Volunteers can prepare meals, lead workshops, and help with administrative tasks.

Baby2Baby. Baby2Baby supplies Los Angeles families in need with essential baby gear and clothing for their children 0-4 years old. They distribute new and gently used items through a different community based organizations.

P.S ARTS. Arts education can make a significant difference in a child’s development–both socially and educationally. P.S. Arts offers arts programs to under-served schools and instructs educators on how to integrate creative expression into academic learning.

What does your family do to give back during the holidays? Do you give your time or put together items to donate?

— Scott Wardell

Photo credit Karma Rescue facebook page, 826LA facebook page, Westside Children’s Center facebook page, Coach Art facebook page, Baby 2 Baby facebook page