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Volunteers

NATIONAL
May 25, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
MOORE, Okla. - Hours after Monday's tornado plowed through town, volunteers who had helped with search-and-rescue operations began pouring into a makeshift shelter carrying boxes and bags of valuables - precious links to lives that had just been shredded by disaster: Hundreds of photographs, a smiling elderly couple, a mother holding a newborn. There was a letter from an apologetic husband to his wife, birthday cards, a will. And most wrenching of all, dozens of student photos from Plaza Towers Elementary School, where seven children died when their school crumbled on top of them.
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NATIONAL
May 22, 2013 | By Hailey Branson-Potts
MOORE, Okla.--The Moore Cemetery was full of life on Wednesday. Hundreds of volunteers, clutching shovels, rakes and trash bags, marched down SW 4th Street to go to work in this vast, normally flat grassland where the city has buried its dead since the late 1800s. The far south and west sides of the cemetery border what is now a disaster zone. As far as the eye can see, the ground is caked in trash and rubble left by Monday's monster tornado. Except there are keepsakes mixed in too -- a stray photograph, for example,  gleaming in the sun amid jagged bits of concrete, spears of battered wood, mud and crushed grass.
NATIONAL
May 22, 2013 | By David Zucchino, Hailey Branson-Potts and Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times
MOORE, Okla. - Under a sunny sky, residents of this Oklahoma City suburb began cleaning up debris from the monstrous tornado that inflicted death and destruction - bodies of animals, overturned cars, homes reduced to rubble - as more information emerged about the human victims. The twister killed 24 people, the state medical examiner said Wednesday, 10 of them children, including two infants. The dead ranged from a 4-month-old boy to a 70-year-old woman and included two 9-year-olds who were best friends.
SCIENCE
May 15, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
The Ocean Conservancy has run the numbers, and over the course of a single day in September 2012, more than 500,000 volunteers from across the globe collected 10 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways. The top three most common items collected were cigarettes and cigarette filters (2.1 million), food wrappers (1.1 million), and plastic beverage bottles (1 million). Yuck. But at least it won't end up in the oceans. Here in California, 35,000 people volunteered to help clean the beaches and waterways in our state and removed 304,529 pounds of garbage.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 11, 2013 | Sandy Banks
The teenager showed up in a panic on Thursday, cradling a wounded puppy in arms spattered with blood. A stray dog had attacked his 2-month-old pit bull on a walk near their South Los Angeles home. The city animal shelter nearby was the only place he knew to go. He ran over to Amanda Casarez, pleading for help. She took one look at the puppy's bloody gash and pulled out her cellphone. Within hours the pup was in surgery, the vet bill guaranteed by strangers from a pool of volunteers working with Downtown Dog Rescue, which sponsors an intervention program at the shelter.
NEWS
May 7, 2013 | By Terry Gardner
The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco is offering its guests, locals and other San Francisco visitors an opportunity to help preserve some of Golden Gate National Park 's most treasured areas with its Give Back Getaways program. Volunteers can donate a few hours to help preserve the Gardens at Alcatraz or restore the nursery at the Presidio by clearing invasive weeds, pruning, planting, etc. Guests receive free transportation from the Ritz-Carlton to the appropriate park and can enjoy the park after their shift ends.  The program launched in March but attendance has been light.  If more volunteers appear in May, the hotel hopes to extend Give Back Getaways in the summer and fall.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 5, 2013 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
JULIAN, Calif. - To the outside world, this mountain hamlet in northeast San Diego County is best known for apple pie, snow during the holiday season and bed-and-breakfasts that cater to romantic flatlanders. For many of its 1,500 residents, however, the essence of their community is represented not by the delights that await tourists but by the dedication and heroism of the volunteer fire department that has guarded their homes and businesses for four decades. In Southern California's never-ending fight against backcountry, wind-driven brush fires, Julian is on the front lines.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2013 | By Carlos Lozano
From the Bay Area to San Diego, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout California are expected to participate in the nation's largest community service initiative as Big Sunday Weekend , a three-day event, kicks off on Friday. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Big Sunday's mission is to build community through hundreds of community service projects, including food and blood drives, delivery of meals to seniors and the planting of vegetable gardens on school campuses, organizers said.
NATIONAL
April 19, 2013 | By John M. Glionna, Cindy Carcamo and Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
WEST, Texas - Residents here know the code of sirens, the language of a small-town Texas fire department. As the big fire trucks lumber along, one blast means they're heading to a small blaze; two means a fire drill or meeting. Then things get serious: Three blasts signify major structural damage; four that a person is trapped inside a vehicle, and nine blasts warn of a tornado. This week, the volunteers in the 29-member department suited up and raced to the scene of danger once again.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 14, 2013 | By Jori Finkel, Los Angeles Times
As Urs Fischer stood inside the Geffen Contemporary last month preparing for his big MOCA survey, the museum's much-discussed financial troubles did not seem to be weighing on him. "I don't care about any of that; I care about art," said the beefy 39-year-old artist in jeans and a long-sleeve black T-shirt, with assorted tattoos snaking up his arms. And he noted that his show has not been shortchanged because of any budget crunch. "Putting on a sculpture show always takes a lot of effort, but we didn't have to compromise much.
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