April 2012 is Harvard’s Global Month of Service: “Harvard Serves” Volunteer Opportunities!

Last year, Southern California alumni shared their time, energy and skills to volunteer with 26 local organizations, topping all other cities’ participation. Come join the fun this year!

This April, Harvard alumni, friends and family are again invited to participate in Harvard’s third annual Global Month of Service. Last year 150 local alumni volunteered, and this year, in honor of Harvard’s 375th Anniversary, we hope to double that number.

Our energetic local alumni have organized projects in 26 non-profit organizations throughout our region, offering a plethora of opportunities to volunteer during the month of April and beyond.  Whatever your skill, and wherever your neighborhood, we’ve got a volunteer activity for you. Don't miss this chance to give back to your local community, while working alongside fellow alumni.

Please refer to the following list for an overview of participating organizations. To sign up for a volunteer opportunity, scroll down to the organization with which you'd like to volunteer, and click the "register" link to go to the registration page. Once you register, the event alumni coordinator will be in touch with further details.

For questions, contact Liz Ryan, LA Community Service Coordinator, at lryan.ryanworks@gmail.com, or 310-822-6042.

Come have fun doing good!

Scroll down further to see volunteer opportunities by any of the following wonderful organizations: 

Aid Still Required
Anaheim Ballet
Autism Partnership Family Foundation
Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica
Cabrillo High School Mentorship Program
Camp del Corazon
Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters, Los Angeles County
Collective Voices
Community Lawyers
Global Education, Peru
Harvard Tutors in the Schools
Haven Hills
Homeless Health Care, Los Angeles
Inside Out Community Arts
Lange Foundation
Los Angeles Leadership Academy
Los Angeles Maritime Institute TopSail Youth Program
Mayor’s Day of Service
Minds Matter of Los Angeles
MUSES, California Science Center Foundation
The Muzeo of Anaheim
RK Squared
Santa Cecilia Orchestra
School on Wheels

826LA: West (Venice) and East (Echo Park) register West or register East

When:  After-school tutoring, M-Th, 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Contact: Warren Shaeffer, 617-899-1013 or warren.shaeffer@gmail.com
Drop-in tutoring, after-school workshops, in-school tutoring, support students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills. Hours and dates, depend on activity.

Aid Still Required  register

Contact: Gerilyn Berg, 310-399-2178 or ger1028@aol.com
The organization works to renew attention to issues after they have left the headlines and creates/supports projects in the field to engender self-sufficiency in areas including Haiti, Indonesia (since the 2004 Tsunami), Darfur, and New Orleans.  Need help with writing proposals and community outreach.

Anaheim Ballet   register

When:  Volunteer’s choice of Sunday, 1 PM - 4 PM, maximum  5 volunteers
Where:  280 E. Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92805
Contact: Andy Plisko, 714-225-7496 or  ajpliskomd@yahoo.com
Anaheim Ballet’s mission is to enlighten and entertain audiences with classical rooted programming in a modern format. It is a non-profit organization that will produces the American International Dance Festival on August 10, 11, 12 this year and features world renown ballerinas/dancers. Volunteers are needed to advise on the Marketing and Business plan for the annual Anaheim International Dance Festival.  This is a world class event but it hasn’t sold out during the first two years.  We could also use advice on our Grant Applications.

Autism Partnership Family Foundation    register

When:  April 26 and 27, 7:15 - 9:15 AM
Where:  Old Ranch Country Club, 3901 Lampson Avenue, Seal Beach, CA 90740
Contact: Michael Eastman, 562-230-1117 or michaeleastman2010@gmail.com
APFF is sponsoring a complimentary workshop for parents, teachers and professionals on “teaching Social Skills That Change Lives”.  Expecting 12,000 participants.  Need assistance at registration table: sign in participants, distribute workshop materials and name tags, and answer questions.

Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica    register

When:  Saturday, April 28th, special Family Carnival; Ongoing support:  School days, 2 PM - 7 PM, extended hours for teens.
Where:  1220 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401
Contact: Carolyne Guss, 917-538-1898, clguss@gmail.com
We offer endless opportunities for volunteer groups to get involved and interact with our youth. Corporate groups can participate in one-day beautification projects such as painting, gardening, organizing and cleaning. Volunteer groups can also participate in existing Clubhouse activities such as getting involved in homework help, engaging in arts & crafts projects, and leading fun activities including carnivals and field day events. We also encourage corporate groups of volunteers to speak to our teens about their careers and the paths that led them to where they are today.

On Saturday, April 28th, Harvard alumni will have the opportunity to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica in its efforts to provide fun learning experiences for L.A.-area youth by helping to organize and participate in a Family Fun Day Carnival for the children of the club and their families.  Please contact Carolyne Guss for more details.

Cabrillo High School Mentorship Program    register

When:  Last Thursday of each month, 3 PM - 4 PM.
Where:  Cabrillo High School, 2001 Santa Fe Avenue  Long Beach, CA 90810
Contact: Ethel Laczko, 626-429-3138 or etheledu@yahoo.com
Volunteers will speak to students about their high school experiences in the hope that students will want to apply to college. Looking for Harvard, Yale, Caltech and MIT alumni.

Camp del Corazon    register 4/21 or register 4/27

When:  Saturday, April 21, two 3-hr shifts available (4-7 PM, 8)-11 PM. Friday, April 27, 2012, 9 AM - 5 PM or 4-10 PM.
Where:  please read text below
Contact: Christina Hsu, 310-210-6439, christina.hsu@post.harvard.edu
Camp Del Corazon is a summer camp located on Catalina Island, California, for children that have been diagnosed with heart disease and are under the care of pediatric cardiologists. We need volunteers to assist with either the annual gala fundraiser on April 21 in Hollywood (Universal Studios) or the annual golf tournament on April 27 in Temecula (Journey at Pechanga).  Volunteers are also needed for the camp’s summer programs; there are three five-day sessions in August.

Cardborigami    register 4/14 or register 4/21 or register 4/28

When:  Saturdays, 4/14, 4/21 and/or 4/28.  2 PM -4 PM
Where:  5509 Klump Avenue, Ste 7, North Hollywood, CA  91601
Contact: Nancy Hammerman, (818) 259-0588 or nancy@nhammerman.com
Cardborigami is a unique temporary shelter made of cardboard, distributed through an award-winning young non-profit organization that is at the advanced concept stage and has already garnered interest worldwide.  Help is needed in several areas: 1) Manufacturing…anyone with experience/contacts in paper, cardboard, waterproof and fire retardant materials 2) Strategic Partnerships: contacts in Disaster Relief organizations and homeless organizations, contacts in “outdoor gear” organizations with community foundations such as REI or Patagonia; 2.) advice on budgeting and grant applications.

Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters, Los Angeles County register

When:  Saturday April 21, 10 AM - 2 PM
Where:  LA LIVE, Downtown LA
Contact: Mark Kelsey, 310.390-1000, x241 or mk@kelsey.com
Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters (CBBBS) was founded in Los Angeles in 1925 as donor and volunteer supported organization dedicated to serving youth and today exists for one purpose: to help youth of all beliefs and backgrounds throughout Los Angeles County reach their potential through one-to-one, relationship based mentoring.  Our vision is to create a lasting, positive impact on youth.  

Celebrate Mentor Month at the GRAMMY Museum located at LA LIVE (Downtown LA).  Harvard Alumni volunteers will be matched one-to-one to a Little (youth mentee) currently on the mentoring programs’ waiting list.  As a pair they’ll participate in interactive exhibits learning about legendary musicians and history.  

On average there is a 9 months wait for a child to be assigned a Big Brother or Big Sister mentor.  Currently we have over 300 children waiting for a mentor, mostly boys who will wait more than a year.

Collective Voices Foundation   register

When:  Throughout April, by consultation with volunteers
Contact: Amanda Keidan, 310 392 9514 or Amanda.keidan@gmail.com
We describe the work of our foundation as resource choreographers that match professionals and community partners to education sites to create collaborative learning experiences for youth across a wide range of projects. We ask for volunteers who are willing to join our organization as Harvard "community partners" in the month of April (and possibly beyond), and we will do a special month long "matchmaking" campaign across school sites in the Los Angeles area to embed the volunteers in classrooms based on the expertise of the volunteers (tutoring, speaking about careers/issues, hands-on practicums, special projects, etc).  If we can find out in March the kind of backgrounds the Harvard volunteers have, we can pitch the possibilities to our educator network

Community Lawyers Inc.   register

When:  Saturday, April 28, 10 AM - 3 PM or later
Where:  1216 East Compton Blvd, Compton, CA 90221
Contact: Eva Plaza, at 213-503-7916 and 310-478-6611 or Evisland@aol.com
The organization advocates for and provides free legal services to Compton and the surrounding communities.  We meet the needs of individuals who do not have resources to hire a private attorney. We need volunteers to help us reorganize a more “open” environment to accommodate more clients, and perhaps take of sell old computers for us.  Please wear jeans of leisure wear and be prepared to help us move desks, books, and files.

Global Education, Peru   register

When:  Dates per consultation of volunteers and coordinator
Contact: Ethel Seminario-Laczko at 626-429-3138 or etheledu@yahoo.com
Write fundraising proposals, develop website, develop curricula, solicit book donations to establish children's libraries, California incorporation.

Harvard Tutors in the Schools   register

When:  One hour or more/week during school year.  Time of day TBD.
Where:  32nd St. USC Magnet School,  840 32nd St., Los Angeles
Contact: Priscilla Heim at 310-472-4478 or priheim@verizon.net
Alumni are invited to tutor children K - 12 in all subjects. A knowledge of your subject and an understanding of children is helpful.

Haven Hills  register

When:  Because of the nature of the services Haven Hills provides to domestic violence victims, confidentiality and safety are crucial aspects of the work.  There is no one particular date that we require for service opportunity.  Rather, it can be ongoing for the month of April (or even longer).
Contact: Ivy Panlilio at 818-887-7481 x12 (work) or  213-880-9925 (cell) or ipanlilio@havenhills.org
It would be great if volunteers can donate or collect donations from their family/friends for the clients of Haven Hills.  Haven Hills primarily serves individuals and families who are low-income or poverty-level who reside at our crisis shelter and transitional shelter.  The majority of our clients rely on public benefits.  Providing clients with supplementary food and household items such as canned foods, dried foods, other non-perishable foods, baby food, diapers, toiletries, etc. is a tremendous way to assist families to get through the month on what they receive in public benefits. Call for information on non-confidential administrative building located in Canoga Park.

Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles   register

When:  Thursday, April 26th, from 10 AM - 2 PM
Contact: Michael Lehrer at 323-664-4747 or Michael@lehrerarchitects.com
Homeless Health Care Los Angeles (HHCLA) is a non-profit community-based organization founded in 1985. The organization’s mission is to improve the health of homeless people through direct services, education and advocacy. HHCLA operates several sites in the Downtown area of Los Angeles.  More than 10,000 homeless individuals receive services during the course of the year.

Volunteer commitment is up to one day. Volunteers will be working at our Skid Row needle exchange –harm reduction site distributing food and hygiene items to homeless participants, and will assist in the daily art yoga/social activities planned for the day.

Volunteers will participate in a morning of learning, sharing and art therapy with Downtown’s homeless community at Homeless Health Care Los Angeles’ Healing Arts and Wellness Center. They will fill baskets with hygiene essentials, participate in an art therapy activity and learn about the Healing Arts and Wellness Center.

Inside Out Community Arts   register

When:  Saturday, April 14,11 AM - 4 PM, maximum 12 volunteers
Where:  Inside Out Community Arts,  2210 Venice Boulevard, Venice CA 90291
Contact: Alison Forbes, 310-397-8820, aforbes@insideoutca.org
Through visual arts, performing arts and media workshops, Inside Out Community Arts promotes healthy interaction among diverse at-risk and underserved Los Angeles middle-school and high school youth. Led by specially trained teams of professional artists and high school age mentors, Inside Out bridges cultural, geographic, socioeconomic and differently-abled boundaries to support youth in creating and presenting topical theater, art and media. Our goal is to empower youth with the tools, confidence and inspiration to make a positive difference in their communities and the world ... from the inside out.

Volunteers are needed to help build, paint and prepare flats that will become sets for the students' final performance.

Lange Foundation   register

When:  April 21, 2012, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Where:  2106 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles 90025
Contact: Alex De La Riva-Konecni, 617.710.3977 or  alex.delariva.konecni@gmail.com
Lange Foundation is dedicated to saving impounded companion animals, and preparing them for a journey to a new, safe, loving world. Volunteers are crucial to our organization. The Lange Foundation relies on the time, energy, and dedication of our volunteers!   We are looking for people who can walk dogs, socialize with the cats, and assist with the day to day cleaning, feeding and maintenance of the kennel. We also need folks who are willing to donate their time and expertise to assist in other non-animal or kennel specific work.  In addition to walking dogs or playing with the cats, our volunteers help with the mailings, donate their time at our adoption events, help with outreach to the community, write articles for local press, photograph events, create flyers and posters, organize supplies. Duties will include Dog interaction (walking, playing with, etc) + cleaning of kennel.

Los Angeles Leadership Academy   register

When:  Saturday, April 21, 9:30 AM - 4 PM
Where:  2670 Griffin Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90031
Contact: Roger Lowenstein, 213-381-8484 or rlowenstein@laleadership.org
L.A. Leadership is a public charter school in Lincoln Heights, serving some of the poorest families in California. The school has Kindergarten and first grade, and grades 6-12. Volunteers are needed to help paint and touch up, and work in the school garden. We will have parents and some students volunteering as well, so that it will be a real community effort. We will provide lunch.

Los Angeles Maritime Institute Topsail Youth Program   register

When:  April 21: Mandatory orientation meeting. April 28: First sail training day.  Maximum 10 volunteers.
Where:  Berth 73, Suite 2, San Pedro, CA 90731. Tel: (310) 833-6055
Contact: Chris Richard, 310-929-7223 or chris@chrisrichard.org
We provide character-building sail-training adventures for youth aboard tall ships. Most of the young people we serve have little experience of nature; some come from environments that place them at risk of gang membership. The experience of going aloft is at the heart of our mission. Working in the rigging 40 to 90 feet over the deck concentrates the mind and the spirit. Participants learn to trust themselves. They learn about courage, judgment and teamwork, about humankind's place in the natural world. Volunteers should come to the program prepared to make a lasting commitment. You should be good at working with teenagers and be comfortable about boats. Small boat sailing experience is largely irrelevant and can even be an obstacle to learning, since ships aren't like small boats at all. We'll teach you.

Mayor’s Day of Service    register

When:  Saturday, March 31st, 8 AM - 2 PM, or in chunks
Where:  Sylmar High School, 13050 Borden Ave Sylmar CA 91342
Contact: Jennie Carey, 602-721-3820, jcarey@laep.org
Sylmar High School and the Sylmar Neighborhood Partnership invite you to be part of our biggest project yet: The Mayor’s Day of Service! The Good Food Fair: A Taste of the San Fernando Valley will unite schools (public, private, alternative, and charter), student organizations, clubs, sports teams, businesses, and agencies around being a physically healthy, emotionally stable, educationally strong, financially supported, and resource rich community. On this day of service the community will share resources and enjoy fun activities for youth and families around how to reduce hunger, improve public health, increase equal access to healthy food in our communities, educate, and encourage environmental responsibility. Volunteers are needed to help with operations and to organize activities.


Minds Matter of Los Angeles   register

When: Volunteer’s choice of Saturdays, during the school year
Where: 19360 Rinaldi Street #705, Porter Ranch, CA 91326
Contact: Leanne Huebner at (310) 721-6228 or lpyott@yahoo.com
Our mission is to transform the lives of academically achieving high school students from low-income families by broadening their dreams and preparing them for college success.  We provide a rigorous program of tutoring, mentoring, SAT prep and scholarships to leading academic college summer programs.  Over our 20-year history, 100% of our graduates have been accepted to four year colleges.  Our LA chapter is 100% volunteer run. We have a variety of opportunities for volunteers depending on time, talent and interests; our biggest need are for mentors as we pair our students up with two mentors each.


The MUSES, California Science Center    register

When:  Monday, April 30,  8 AM - 6 PM, in 3-4 hour shifts. and Tuesday, May 1, 6:30 AM - 7 PM, in 3-4 hour shifts.
Where:  California Science Center, California Science Center Foundation, 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90037
Contact: Kevin Wegener, 210-269-9483 or kwegener@mba2008.hbs.edu
We promote and support programs for youth at the California Science Center focusing on three areas: Community Youth Programs, the California Science Fair, and Hands-On Science Camp.  Through the combined programs, THE MUSES reach over 1500 students each year.

At the annual California State Science Fair at the California Science Center in Exposition Park.  This Academic Fair has over 900 Junior and Senior high school students throughout California who have qualified in their county competitions in their explorations in Aerodynamics, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Electronics, Mathematics, Physics, and Zoology.   Volunteers are needed assisting with student and judging registrations, information and directions, project transport, display monitoring, and variety of other activities, as needed.

The Muzeo of Anaheim   register

When:   based on volunteer availability
Where:  Muzeo of Anaheim, 241 S. Muzeo Anaheim, CA 92805
Contact: Andy Plisko, 714-225-7496  or ajpliskomd@yahoo.com
The Muzeo is a new 25,000 s.f. complex in the heart of Anaheim that hosts 3 national and international traveling art exhibits each year.  Volunteers are needed to advise on our marketing plan, with some marketing expertise/knowledge in the arts and in non-profit organizations optimal.


RK Squared    register

When:   based on volunteer availability
Where:  200 E. Alessandro Blvd, #65, Riverside,   CA   95804
Contact: Ramona Davenport Rogers, 805-588-2555 or ramonarogers@prucalcc.com
Founded in 1996, the organization has collected and distributed thousands of new and gently used books among underprivileged children in Isla Vista, Lompoc and Santa Barbara County. In April, books are needed for donation to a SoCal shelter to establish a library, give the children some books of their own, and encourage staff to institute a story time to promote literacy.  Also seeking a volunteer to coordinate ongoing interface between the shelter and collections.

Currently collecting books for the children/teens to take with them when they transition out of the shelter we are working with, as well as more for the libraries.

Santa Cecilia Orchestra   register

When: Sunday, April 29, 3 PM - 5:30 PM
Where: 2759 West Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90041
Contact: Leanne Huebner, 323-259-3011, lpyott@yahoo.com
We are a symphony orchestra with a mission to take classical music to underserved communities of color with a specific focus on Latino communities in Los Angeles.  We provide an extensive education program to 20,000 children a year in 16 schools. We need at least four volunteer with musical backgrounds to assist at tables for pre-concert program, four to help usher, and two to assist at mailing list table.  We do need a FEW volunteers with basic musical skills for assisting children on how to use and play instruments: strings (violin, viola or cello); woodwind (flute or clarinet); percussion; and brass (trumpet or trombone). When you sign up, please indicate if you have any musical experience and on which type (strings, brass, woodwind, percussion).

School on Wheels   register

When: Saturday, April 14, 9:30 AM - approx. 12 PM
Where: 600 E. 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Contact: Evan Vittor, 646-696-1982 or vittor@gmail.com
The mission of School on Wheels is to enhance educational opportunities for homeless children from kindergarten through twelfth grade.  Our goal is to shrink the gaps in their education and provide them with the highest level of education possible.  Our program serves as a consistent support system to homeless students at a time of great stress and fear.  We bring the message to our students that they are cared about and important.  For our Career Day/College Seminar we need volunteers to discuss their careers and the importance of higher education.