Los Angeles is an amazingly diverse megalopolis including so many immigrant communities struggling to build roots in our city and our country. I have gotten involved with one such community…
Spring each year is my one big yearly effort to raise money for a critical community organization here in Los Angeles, North Valley Caring Services. They are and organization that provides free services to youth and their parents in a very poor, at-risk, mostly Hispanic neighborhood in the Panorama City area of Los Angeles, just three miles east of where my partner Sally and I live. For those of you who know the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, the neighborhood is located between the 405 freeway to the west and Sepulveda Blvd to the east and between Roscoe Blvd to the south and Nordhoff to the north. One of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the whole city!
North Valley Caring Services program for their neighborhood includes…
1. Family Literacy Program – Giving both young people and their parents the opportunity to improve the literacy skills they will need for family life, work and schools
2. Youth Program – Includes organized sports, schoolwork assistance, a library, and a place for neighborhood kids to hang out after school before parents come home from work
3. Childcare Training & Certification – Training adults in the neighborhood to be certified child care providers and provide care for the small children of other neighborhood family members so they can work outside the home.
4. Breakfast Program & Food Pantry – Providing free hot breakfasts for neighborhood residents and free donated groceries.
Please consider making a donation in honor of my upcoming 58th birthday. I have set up a PayPal site to collect donations from my friends and family. Click this link to access my PayPal account and make a donation, or if you are more “old school”, email me at email@example.com for information about sending a check. You can also find out more about the organization at their website.
I have been volunteering with the organization for the past seven or so years, focusing mainly on collecting food for their food pantry and assisting with their fundraisiing events. It has been a great and humbling experience for me to fully understand the extent of my own economic privilege and the narratives of some of the most recent immigrants to our country whose history has been built around other immigrants’ stories, including different components of my own families of origin who came to the states at various times from various places in Europe.