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Ready, Able and Willing to Help

January 02, 1988

Once again this Christmas, my husband and I sat around bored, staring blankly at the TV, eating too much, or doing household chores. Once again this year, I called innumerable places to offer our services as volunteers, hoping to give someone a reprieve who might want to be with his family, or just adding an extra loving hand on this holiday that the majority of our population celebrate.

The responses at many places I called were: "Well, are you a regular volunteer?" or "No, we don't have anything special like that. If you were with a school or something, etc., etc., etc." No, I may not have the time right now to volunteer once a week for three months prior to Christmas to be assured a volunteer spot on the day that the world seems to shut down? I looked in the L.A. Times volunteer section that appears on Sundays for weeks before Christmas hoping to find something, but nothing referred specifically to Christmas.

My family lives in Atlanta where there is an organized effort on Christmas Day to get volunteers to help out at children's hospitals, old-age homes and missions. As a matter of fact, the event is sponsored by a synagogue that donates its recreation hall to all sorts of charities to come on Christmas morning to set up a booth. Volunteers only need to get to the synagogue and then choose a charity that interests them for the day, and they can be of service on Christmas Day.

This letter is not meant to be an outcry to the world that we wanted to help but no one wanted us; but rather a question to Los Angeles and its environs. We complain bitterly about the lack of people who want to help out and give that intangible--time--just once in a while. Here were two individuals who would have helped in a minute. Why can't we be as organized as Atlanta is when it comes to helping? I would love an answer that makes sense if anyone can think of one.

CYNTHIA OSOFSKY

La Crescenta

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