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July 30, 2013
Re "To limit child tragedies, give protectors more help," July 27 Sandy Banks writes that "foster children don't have many champions. " I believe there are so many people in L.A. County who, like me, would become "champions" if given the opportunity to volunteer. We cried when we read about the death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez and all the other children in the system who were abused or died. People would volunteer to be their champions. Retired people frequently do volunteer work, and we would certainly give up some time to save children's lives.
April 20, 2014 | By Alicia Banks
Joe Zeccola's classroom at Santee Education Complex is crammed full with 43 desks. When class is in session, students occupy every seat. That's the problem, said Zeccola, who teaches freshman English at the secondary school near downtown Los Angeles. Large classes are not conducive to student success. "Unless you're going to give me rollerskates and amphetamines, I don't know how I'm supposed to reach 43 students and add one-on-one interaction," he said. "It's not possible. When they [students]
August 10, 2009 | Valerie Ulene
For more than 20 years, Penny and Ted Landreth have been feeding the hungry and homeless. It's not glamorous work. Afternoons, they -- along with a small but formidable group of volunteers -- prepare dinner using whatever food donations they happen to have on hand. The couple then head for the corner of Romaine Street and Sycamore Avenue in Los Angeles, where up to 150 men and women wait for what may be their only meal of the day. The benefits of Penny and Ted's hard work are obvious.
April 14, 2014 | By Steve Chawkins
Charles F. Farthing, a physician who was at the forefront of care for HIV/AIDS patients and who drew attention to the need for an AIDS vaccine by announcing his willingness to inject himself, has died. He was 60. Farthing, who collapsed in a Hong Kong taxi April 5, had a heart attack, family members said in an announcement. Farthing was chief of medicine for the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation from 1994 to 2007. He was planning to return to the foundation in June as director of treatment programs in the 32 countries outside the U.S. where it provides services.
December 20, 2009
New Orleans-area nonprofits looking for home-building volunteers: Habitat for Humanity, Preservation Resource Center, www.prcno.orgCatholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, St. Bernard Project, Project Homecoming,, (504) 942-0444,, (504) 278-1240 Historic Green, AmeriCorps,
January 31, 2002
Re "Poll Says College Freshmen Lean Left," Jan. 28: According to UCLA's survey of college freshmen, volunteering is at an all-time high. Yet young adults are the lowest-voting population in the country. The survey confirms a well-observed trend among young adults. Fortunately, young adults are not apathetic; they choose not to vote because they feel they have a greater impact on their communities through volunteering than they do through voting. The gap between volunteering and voting deserves immediate attention by all those concerned with strengthening California's democracy.
October 14, 1999
Volunteering is the "social thread" that bonds our society. It isn't about the paycheck or the benefits, but the privilege to be able to serve others in a capacity where the only return is the selfless gratification we get from seeing the joy it brings. However, when the "social thread" begins to fray, its useful purpose ceases to exist. I have spent many hours volunteering over the years, and all too often I have heard the phrase "We are only volunteers." Make no excuse, volunteering can be a thankless job. But if we are volunteering because we expect a pat on the back or we want something done our way, then we are in it for all the wrong reasons.
August 16, 1991
The "district" that the LATC lives in has never deterred me from either volunteering to usher or watch a good performance. However, the continuous decline in the quality and the purpose of theater art in favor of politics and cultural influences has certainly discouraged me from either volunteering or paying to see anything at the LATC recently. Art can survive if it is well done and its purpose is not completely to serve what can be accomplished with posters or newspapers, i.e., journalism.
October 22, 1997
Re the Cassini probe launch: It's a study in contrasts: We hear of 50 health workers risking long-term illness and possibly death in volunteering to inoculation with an experimental strain of HIV (Sept. 22). Meanwhile, space scientists volunteer large segments of the world's population to possible long-term illness and death by exposure to plutonium in an experiment with a payoff, not to benefit humankind in general, but of benefits limited to the experimenters. LOUIS ST. MARTIN Pomona
February 1, 1988
In response to the story on former Gov. Edmund Brown Jr. in Calcutta, India, volunteering for the destitute (Part I, Jan. 23): I wonder why he does not volunteer to help the sick, homeless and destitute people on the streets in our own cities? I think it's a publicity stunt and I hope he doesn't run here again. SYBIL KALDENBERG Long Beach
April 6, 2014 | Angel Jennings
The Los Angeles River that runs through Andrea Iniguez's Boyle Heights neighborhood looks exactly as it does in the movies, with just a trickle of water, graffiti spray-painted on the concrete walls and no wildlife. But Saturday, the 15-year-old experienced a part of the river that conservationists have been fighting for years to bring back: a majestic channel with ducklings wading in the water, greenery sprouting from the center and water rushing over rocks. "I saw this river and I didn't even know it was the L.A. River," said Andrea, a freshman at Boyle Heights High School.
April 5, 2014 | SANDY BANKS
Wendy Newton's first impulse was to just say no: She wasn't going to volunteer her life-coaching services to women on skid row. She has two young children and a "person-centered branding" business with demanding clients. She didn't want to waste hours in rush-hour traffic, crawling from Beverly Hills to downtown Los Angeles every week. But then she remembered how good it felt when she worked with inner-city teens years before. So she agreed to try skid row. "I thought, 'These are grown women.
March 27, 2014 | By Dianne de Guzman
The L.A. Marathon was a few weeks ago, but this photo is a beautiful reminder of the teams of volunteers that help make the marathon happen -- and provide much-needed refreshments to the runners along the route. Claudia Eastman regularly cheers on those who are running and brought along her camera to shoot some photos. She caught this photo of a volunteer handing out water, also catching some of the action as the runners frame both sides of the photo. "Each year I walk the block and a half and watch the first hour and a half of the race," wrote Eastman, in an email.
March 9, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
The cloudy morning was brightening, the pavement turning hot. The L.A. Marathon had been on for about four hours, and at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Drive in Beverly Hills - roughly the 16-mile mark - dozens of volunteers edged the course, eagerly bopping along with outstretched arms, handing water to passing runners.  A pair of Boy Scouts tossed water onto grateful race participants. A runner leaned her head back and spread her arms, letting the water hit her. A beaming Jordyn Jackson, 13, handed out cups to loping marathoners.
February 22, 2014 | Steve Lopez
Anthony Navarro worked with solemn purpose and a box of tools, stripping the old discarded bicycle of its gear shifts, brakes and chain. He cut his finger, wiped a drop of blood on his pants and kept going. "It helps me with my anger when I'm doing it," said Navarro. "It brings me some kind of inner peace. " On Thanksgiving Day 2011, Navarro's 6-year-old son, Anthony, was riding his bicycle in front of the family's Oxnard home when he was struck by a pickup truck. "The moment I saw him, I knew he was gone," said Navarro, who reeled under the weight of sudden, unbearable loss.
February 11, 2014 | By Nita Lelyveld
You could try to do it with speeches. You could try to do it with laws. Or you could go grass-roots with glue sticks, markers and red hearts. How do you bring the people of a big city together? Big Sunday prefers the making-friends-while-making-valentines approach. The nonprofit, which aims to build community through service, is best known for one big weekend a year when thousands of volunteers fan out to hundreds of projects. But how to keep all those people feeling part of something bigger than themselves all year long?
August 19, 1999
What a grand example of how academics can miss the obvious by arguing over minutiae ("Should We Bring Back the Draft?" Commentary, Aug. 16). The authors are purported to be economists and military manpower experts. Despite their detailed arguments about why the draft won't work or why it will cost too much, here are some simple facts: The draft served us well for many years, both in war and in peace; if enough people aren't volunteering to fulfill the requirements of our armed forces, the draft will solve the problem.
December 18, 1988
Your article left me dumbfounded and speechless. I have lived in the West San Fernando Valley for 33 years. My husband and I raised two daughters who attended local schools. I have never felt this sense of lost community that you wrote about. My family and I have always been involved in community concerns. In recent years my husband and I have been especially involved in environmental issues working mostly through the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club. Since our interest in the environment, we have more friends now than we've ever had. Since working through Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization, we know more of our neighbors than we have ever known.
February 8, 2014 | By Esmeralda Bermudez
The sun was shining and the ice cream was melting so Rene Cerritos didn't waste any time. "Chocolate! Chocolate ice cream just for you!" the 18-year-old hollered. "Who wants some?" On Saturday, the high school senior joined 300 students from 36 high schools in a district-wide volunteer day aimed at helping the homeless. Children were bused in to help at six shelters, from Pacoima to Bell to downtown Los Angeles. They served meals, sorted clothes, called donors, picked up trash and painted a mural.
January 18, 2014 | By David Wharton
With organizers reporting that 30% of tickets remain unsold for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putin has told volunteers they might be allowed to fill the empty seats. "Why should places go empty?" Putin was quoted as saying by R-Sport. "It's better that they're filled, and occupied by people who love sport. " Blocks of empty seats could prove embarrassing to Russian officials who hope these Games will boost their country's reputation. Putin delivered his invitation during a visit to the mountain venues at Krasnaya Polyana.
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