AIDS Walk Los Angeles #GoodTimes

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5 Cool Ways to Give Back

Giving back does not always require money… you can volunteer your time, skills and give your love.

1. Join the #HastagLunchbag movement (see video below), make lunches for the homeless/hungry peeps in your community.

*I will be joining the #HashtagLunchbag movement next Saturday, Feb. 22nd with my Echoes of Hope volunteer group. Join us! Details are posted on Echoes of Hope’s Facebook page. Donations are welcome. Feel free to ask me any questions.

2. Walk, play and take selfies with pups looking for homes.

 No Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) Animal Adoption Center is super clean, organized, and the staff is great.

photo 3. Decorate the visitor waiting area of a hospital and host a craft table for kids during the holidays.

Ask a local store for craft and decoration donations or gather a few friends that will pitch in.

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4. Join a group walking/running for a cause or volunteer to help with event registration.

The Los Angeles Brain Tumor Walk is free to register, unlike most walk/runs. However, donations are accepted. Events like these count on volunteers to help with registration and setup, look for “volunteer” links on their websites.

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The Great Urban Race is not free to register, but volunteers are needed at registration and scavenger hunt locations.

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5. Help prepare care packages for the troops.

Operation Gratitude sends out 150,000+ care packages to military veterans, first responders, wounded warriors, care givers and  U.S. service members deployed overseas. All supplies are provided, just show up ready to work.

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Vision Fulfilled! Revlon Run, done.

I love running. Sike! That’s a lie.

It’s been almost a year since I participated in my first race, the MB10K. I still struggle with running, but I notice improvement (when I’m consistent).

Why do I run?

1. The thought of needing a scooter chair scares me.

2. I would have died in The Hunger Games.

3. I have great friends that challenge me.

Since the MB10K, I’ve also completed The Color Run and Revlon Run. Guess what? I pasted the Revlon Run on my vision board over a year ago, before I did my first run. I read an article and decided I wanted to support the cause. Funny enough, my vision board sat behind my dresser (out of sight), so I kind of forgot about it.

When one of the ‘Be A Light’ circuit board members suggested that we participate, as one of our community outreach activities, I was down. It’s always great to see women supporting women. Oh! And I fulfilled one of my visions.

Aside from supporting a great cause, the run is cool because it finishes inside the LA Memorial Coliseum, to the sounds of adrenaline pumping drums. In my head, I finished an Olympic race.

Thanks for reading! xoxo

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Operation Gratitude

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Operation Gratitude sends 100,000+ care packages each year to U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, their children left behind, veterans, first responders, wounded warriors and their care givers.  Packages are individually addressed and filled with snacks,letters of appreciation, personal and entertainment items.

Packages are  assembled at the Army National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, California for safety and security. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude has shipped more than 915,000 packages.

In February, Be A Light volunteers spent the morning assisting Operation Gratitude with “Prep” and “Assembly Day” tasks.

Prep” work includes sorting donated items, folding shirts, screening letters, and otherwise preparing the products for Assembly Days. In addition, if time allows,  instructions and materials are provided  for making Paracord Survival Bracelets.

Assembly Day” work includes production of the care packages, labeling, taping, letter reading and writing, running packages, re-stocking the lines and breaking down cartons.

Check us out in action below.

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Reading To Kids

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The circuit board was at it again on Saturday. We volunteered to read to students at Alta Loma Elementary School.

This was my fourth or fifth time volunteering with Reading to Kids and the experience is always interesting. You never know what a child will say, they don’t have filters and it’s often entertaining. It’s also fulfilling to see them get excited about reading and receiving a book in such a technological era.

To learn more visit Reading to Kids. And feel free to ask me any questions regarding my experiences.

Christmas Caroling at Culver Village

The holiday chaos is over, so I am getting back on track. Bare with me as I play catch up. There are a few events that took place waaaay back in 2012  but I want to share them with you.

Below are pictures from Echoes of Hope’s ‘Be A Light’ project in December. We sung Christmas Carols to the seniors at Culver Village in Culver City, CA. The residents enjoyed it. Our group won the unofficial “Most Festive” award.

The last picture is the Circuit Board tying bows on candy canes and preparing for the project a few days before.

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Hosting “Meals of Love” at Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House

If you follow my personal Twitter and/or Instagram accounts you know that i’m on the Circuit Board of Echoes of Hope’s “Be A Light” program. The program provides Echoes of Hope youth and volunteers with opportunities to actively give back throughout the community. The Circuit Board is responsible for spearheading the Be A Light projects.

Sunday, Nov. 18, we hosted “Meals of Love” at Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House (LARMH), through its Happy Meals program. By preparing and serving dinner to families, who spend all day at the hospital, we allowed parents much needed time to relax and enjoy a meal—without dishes to clean.

After serving families (about 75 individuals) an Italian feast and fresh baked cookies for dessert, we played a few rounds of Bingo using M&Ms and gummy bears as board markers.

This project was a great way to kick off the Be A Light program. The residents and staff were awesome. We enjoyed it so much that we plan to visit in 2013. After cleaning the kitchen we took a tour of the house and learned a few fun facts.

Did you know that LARMH residents come from all over the world? The house is pretty dope. There is a game room filled with just about every gaming system. The library is filled with books, comfy seats and children are allowed to take any book of choice back home with them. And for the moms and pops there is a parents ONLY room.

Below are a few shots from our visit.