The Veterans Building hosts all kinds of events in 13 venues, attracting folks of all stripes, interests, participation, purpose and affiliation to do their thing in Culver City. On Saturday, City Council member Jim Clarke’s plan was to fill the two largest venues with non-profit groups seeing volunteers and people interested in volunteering their time to a good cause.
It worked like a charm.
The list of groups was mind boggling and the supply of interested and hopeful volunteers unending. From groups who work with veterans in a myriad of ways to garden clubs and service groups, the sheer number and purpose was impressive. The Culver City Sister Cities Committee promoted their need for home hosts and exchanges as well as their Picnic in the Park Sept. 11. Amy Rosenstein from Ballona Creek Renaissance promoted cleanups and restorations as well as the successful 18-month lobbying to ban single use polystyrene take out containers from Culver City to protect the creek and the ocean. Deborah Weinrauch said the Friends of Culver City need volunteers to drive distressed or injured animals to rehab or rescue centers. Shoes for the Homeless, Inc. collects shoes for those without and could use gently used donations as well as hands to put them into sizes, piles of compatible styles and deliver them at their annual sorting event.
Heartfulness offers free instruction in meditation to volunteers to use at schools, clubs and work groups who could learn to meditate.
The impressive thing was the number of causes that have a group to address them, started by pioneers who saw the need and created the cure to meet them. When Brian’s Orchard Youth Alliance was offered the fruit from a Culver City teacher, they didn’t have a program for that, but they found the group Backpacks for Kids fills backpacks with food for students in the summer and school year. Bingo; volunteer teenagers from the Quick Pick Crew at Culver City High School pick, bag, weigh and load fruit for delivery to Backpacks once a week. Both groups use volunteers to make their non-profit work.
The main auditorium’s floor was a double helix of groups, and the Rotunda Room was packed and sometimes blocked by the traffic of good hearted folks browsing the double circle of booths from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Churches, schools, Scouts, Vets, dog walkers and animal savers, walkers of school children safely to school. Clubs for women and men, for young, old and both and interests from gardening to beads. A stack of all the pamphlets would be an inch or more high, giving details of each group, its mission statement and needs.
Certified Volunteer Administrator Jill Thomsen from the city made sure all 501c3 non-profits know there is a Culver City Volunteer Directory and how to get listed. Go to www.culvercity.org/volunteer to check them out.