1500 volunteers @Dorsey for MLK Day!

For MLK Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 16, L.A. Works organized more than 1,500 corporate and community volunteers to beautify Dorsey HS, a Title 1 LAUSD school that has suffered from maintenance and facilities staff budget cuts. One of the facilities staff member shared with us:

 “You all did in a day what I’ve been trying to do in 4 years.”

Our volunteer power collectively supported improving the learning environment for the next generation of change makers.

We were honored to have Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, former five-time Laker Champion and current Laker television analyst Derek Fisher, Ret. Judge Candace Cooper (Dorsey alumna), Board member and actor Roger Guenveur Smith, and L.A. Works co-founder Bob L. Johnson kick-off the day of service.

To give you an idea of what was completed on the day of service…

88 plants were planted campus-wide
10 cubic yards of mulch was distributed

Light Construction-
6 pieces of baseball equipment storage
4 seedling tables
4 simple benches
4 planter benches
5 large square planter

Mural painting-
14 wall murals

62 fleece blankets
200 nutrition packets

Campus-wide clean up-
2 trailers of e-waste was collected
More than 250 bags collected from weeding, trash pick up, classroom cleaning
Wall repainting campus-wide

These events are expensive to organize. We would like to recognize and give one more thanks to our top sponsors because we couldn’t organize these events without their support: Target, Kaiser, Accenture, Macy’s, In a Perfect World Foundation, the Laker Youth Foundation, The Jonathan Club, and Councilmember Herb Wesson.

Want to join in?! We have hundreds of projects each month for you to try out and find an organization, issue area, location, and/or experience that is the best fit for you. Check out more projects on our website: www.laworks.com.

Now Hiring: Logistics Manager

lawd14_004Logistics Manager

About L.A. Works: L.A. Works is a 501(c)3 nonprofit volunteer action center that creates, manages, and implements hands-on community service projects throughout the greater Los Angeles area. With 25 years of success, L.A. Works addresses three principal needs: to increase volunteer participation in the community; to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations to achieve their missions through access to volunteer labor and other resources; and to educate and encourage people to engage in the broader social issues affecting the greater Los Angeles community.  L.A. Works has more than 30,000 registered volunteers who have contributed over 1,000,000 volunteer hours of service to thousands of nonprofits in the Los Angeles community.

Position Overview: In collaboration with the Director of Corporate Engagement, the Logistics Manager will provide support, training and leadership for new and returning Special Event Coordinators (SECs) as well as assist with general corporate program operations. The Logistics Manager position will also include the duties of a SEC as outlined below, including project management of large-scale corporate and Day of Service volunteer events. This is a perfect role for someone looking to grow his or her leadership and management experience. The ideal candidate will have strong communications skills, be a self-starter who can multi-task, have experience in event production, and experience working with and managing volunteers and/or teams of people. L.A. Works is an equal opportunity employer committed to workplace diversity.

Responsibilities for Logistics Manager Role:
Under direction from the Director of Corporate Engagement, the Logistics Manager will manage and support a team of 3-10 SECs who are part-time consultants responsible for managing hands-on day of service projects for L.A. Works’ corporate clients. The Logistics Manager will also lead warehouse and inventory management in support of overall corporate program and Day of Service operations. Logistics Manager will:

  • Participate in hiring and assignment process for new SECs based on 2016-2017 departmental timeline;
  • Assist with initial and ongoing SEC training and development;
  • Provide ongoing supervision and support to SECs while on project assignment;
  • Act as liaison between Director of Corporate Engagement and SECs;
  • Train corporate volunteers as project leaders for event;
  • Supervise Warehouse Associate to lead operations for small warehouse of light construction equipment and volunteer event supplies. Maintain inventory, organization and safety standards.
  • Procure event supplies and ensure tools and supplies are properly distributed to/from project sites, make deliveries as needed.
  • Supervise Warehouse Associate to maintain tight inventory of supplies for pre/post-corporate events and provide direction for event production.
  • Foster and maintain in-kind donor relationships to strengthen event supply inventory.

Responsibilities also include:
Leadership and planning of hands-on day of service projects and non-traditional relationships with corporate partners, including:

  • Work with school, nonprofit, or agency assigned by Dir. of Corporate Engagement to develop a volunteer event for a team of corporate volunteers that fits within event budget;
  • Ensure that bulk/specialty supplies, water and snacks are ordered, loaded, delivered and pre-sorted ahead of time;
  • Process payments to contractors, vendors, SECs and day-of event support;
  • Coordinate with Dir. of Corporate Engagement to invite civic leaders, press, celebrities, etc. as needed;
  • Permits and school processes (insurance, approvals, etc.) handled as appropriate;
  • Ensure documentation of day’s activities, including: Pre- and Post- event photos as well as action photos of volunteers working, High quality photos of murals, and Final report with #s who served, hours of service, site, contact info, $ spent versus $ budgeted, etc. to be submitted to Dir. of Corp. Engagement; and
  • Survey corporate volunteers with post-event evaluation and capture contact info if they want to get involved in other L.A. Works projects (facility, managed, or referrals).

Key Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum of four years progressively responsible management experience;
  • Experience training and supervising employees or long-term volunteers a plus;
  • Knowledge of the nonprofit sector; in-depth understanding of volunteer management and engagement practices;
  • A track record of delivering results while juggling competing priorities under intense time pressure;
  • Comfortable delivering presentations and guiding a room of participants;
  • Proactive, self-directed, and results-oriented personality with the ability to work both independently and as a member of a team;
  • Excellent networking, customer service and relationship building skills;
  • Ability to successfully adapt to varying communication styles
  • Ability to be creative and resourceful to develop new, unique programs and initiatives;
  • Great organizational skills and detail-oriented nature; and
  • Open to and excited by the opportunity to inform our strategic thinking and work within an entrepreneurial environment.

Additional requirements:

  • Ability to lift up to 30 pounds;
  • Valid driver’s license;
  • Access to personal car for occasional travel throughout Los Angeles County;
  • Some evening and weekend commitments; and
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite.

Reporting: This position reports to the Director of Corporate Engagement.

Time expectations and salary: This is a full-time position. Salary is negotiable and will be stipulated in offer letter. The percentage of hours devoted to specific responsibilities subject to corporate event timeline.

To apply: Submit a coverletter, resume, and salary history in a single PDF document to HR1@laworks.com

1500 volunteers made MLK Day of Service 2015 a huge success

More than 1500 school, community and corporate volunteers made this mlkday2015_jamesworthy2 year’s MLK Jr. Day of Service a very special “Day On, Not a Day Off”. Volunteers honored the life and legacy of Dr. King as they spent the day giving back to the local community.

After the band and cheerleaders from the school performed, special guest Former Los Angeles Laker James Worthy, City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, L.A. Works co-founder Bob Johnson and Joan Sullivan CEO of the Partnership for LA Schools spoke alongside the principals Dr. Gomez and Mrs. Washington and teachers from Santee Education Complex and Frida Kahlo High School in South Los Angeles to get the morning started. We were thrilled to have L.A. Works board member (and esteemed actor) Roger G. Smith emceeing the kick-off.

mlkday2015_volsfridaBefore the day was through, more than 275 gallons of paint was added to the walls, 17 cubic yards of mulch spread across two campuses, and 10 garden boxes were irrigated and put back into action.

L.A. Works is so thankful to our hosts at Santee and Frida Kahlo for inviting us into their schools. And we could not have done the work without the support from major sponsors like: Northrop Grumman, Target, Macy’s, Kaiser Permanente, American Honda and the Jonathan Club.

We even made the news!

national: http://time.com/money/3668231/volunteer-martin-luther-king-jr-day-of-service/
local: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/josh-rubensteins-weather-forecast-jan-19/vp-AA8mi80

Get Down or Get Out: An Interview with Zumba Instructor, Melissa Zugell


Q: Tell us about your experience at L.A. Works Day 2013.

A: Working with L.A. Works for the “Day of Service” was a very meaningful experience where I could share my passion for health and fitness with everyone that took part in the wonderful event. Gathering everyone together to dance, and kick starting the day was an exhilarating experience I won’t soon forget!

Q: Discuss your background and passion for dance, health, and fitness.

A: Coming from a dance background, I’ve been dancing since I can remember.  Learning everything from Jazz to Slovenian Folk dance (my heritage), has led me to my truest passion for dance and fitness. Through my combined passion for dance and fitness, I’ve been able to innovate effective techniques that elevate the total experience in my fitness classes.  I believe there is nothing more wonderful than helping and watching people achieve what they thought was impossible – all while having FUN doing it! I use my energy to alleviate the “work” of working out, and infuse my heart and soul into the movements. I aim to inspire the amateur, challenge the expert, and unite all through an energetic cardio dance workout meant for everyone!

Q: Did you learn anything from our volunteers, the event itself and/or our organization?

A: I learned that L.A. Works provides wonderful team-building opportunities to impact the communities of Los Angeles, with positive and strategic community service experiences for its volunteers. They [L.A. Works] help boost the morale in team building experiences, and make volunteering fun, easy, and meaningful. I was thrilled to share Zumba Fitness at L.A. Works Day because I was able to volunteer my love of dance and fitness with an amazing group of hardworking, passionate volunteers that danced and had fun with us.  I can’t wait to do it again!

Fine Art Solutions Contributes to L.A. Works

L.A. Works Day of Service 2013 marked the debut of our brand new state-of-the-art performance stage, which was generously constructed for us, free of charge, by Fine Art Solutions, a local art framing and handling company. The beautifully crafted, three-part wooden stage served as a great setting for the day’s performances, which featured the talents of Team WC featuring Nexus, Christine Devine, the Laker Girls, the Delgado Brothers, and our very talented Zumba instructor, Melissa Zugell.


Founded in Cypress Park by Mr. Ramon Valdez, Fine Art Solutions has been an integral part of the Los Angeles community for nearly 25 years, collaborating closely with artists, museums, and galleries from all over the world. As a company that places customer satisfaction as its number one priority, Fine Art Solutions employs expert craftsmen that specialize in the finishing process to solve difficult creative challenges and exceed client expectations. Some of their services include, but are not limited to: custom framing, fabrication, metal & woodworking, lamination, matting, crating, art handling & transportation, as well as on-site installation.

L.A. Works is extremely grateful for this generous contribution made by Fine Art Solutions, as we plan on using the stage for future events to come, and we wholeheartedly recommend the company to all of our volunteers who may be in need of their services. Be sure to visit FineArtSolutions.net for more information!

1,000 Volunteers Kick-Off Annual Service Festival in Downtown L.A.

What do the Los Angeles Dodgers, The Laker Girls, Ciclavia, Pinks, DJ Dave, Yoga Works,  and Fox 11 news anchor Cristine Devine have in common? All were part of the 22nd annual L.A. Works Day Service Festival.  Corporate teams, young professionals, students young and old, neighborhood residents, and community leaders all celebrated the power of service by volunteering their time and labor to improve schools and important nonprofit agencies that serve Los Angeles.

Once again, our relatively new event, the Service Crawl proved to be a big hit.  It’s like a beer crawl … but without the beer. The Service Crawl is a service competition between teams that compete to finish a series of important service projects at different nonprofit agencies.  This year team We Come Running set a new standard. Members Kym and Alli won the grand prize. The purpose of the Service Crawl is to introduce young professionals to the vast array of social service agencies and cultural venues in downtown Los Angeles.  Venues included:  the Downtown Women’s Shelter, the Emergency Operations Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Robey Theater, La Plaza de Cultura, LAPD building, and others,

While some volunteers participate in the Service Crawl, hundreds of others transformed the grounds of Gratts Learning Academy, a LAUSD Title I Elementary School in Downtown Los Angeles. Volunteers joined teachers, students, parents, administrators, and community members in a large-scale campus beautification project (landscaping, painting, building a community garden, etc.) as part of L.A. Works’ ongoing mission to provide enriched learning environments for students in the Los Angeles public school system.

Check out pictures here!

Hungry volunteers need to eat.  This year: CPK – Hollywood, Chick-Fil-A, and Pinks! did the honors.  During lunch volunteers were treated to live music  featuring  emerging hip hop artists  –Team WC featuring Nexus, as well as the Latin Blues styling’s of the Delgado Brothers.

Our Generous Corporate Sponsors Include:
Northrop Grumman
McDermott Will & Emery
Mayer Brown

* Our Generous In-Kind Sponsors Include:
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Clippers
BGreen Apparel
Roy’s Restaurant
Petersen Automotive Museum
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Eclectic Restaurant
Trader Joe’s #18 – South Pasadena
Café Dulce
The Last Bookstore
LA Fitness
Handsome Coffee
Sencha Naturals
The Steven Kent Winery


Please visit our website www.LAWorks.com to find your next volunteering opportunity! Search the calendar for an experience that fits your schedule or search the opportunity page for something that matches your interest or zip code!

I came to Los Angeles to be the change

Antonio Fernandez_editsA few years ago, when MLK Day was officially named a National Day of Service in the United States, Kaiser Permanente urged employees to use the day to volunteer in their communities. The company not only permitted its employees to go out and be of service; it often sponsored many of the events in the communities where its facilities are located.  It’s a comfort knowing that I work for a company that not only cares about the individual’s wellness, but also one that knows the importance of the impact individuals have on the community. For the past three years, I have signed up to volunteer on MLK Day. Last year was the first year I worked with L.A. Works- a non-profit volunteer organization that has been a trusted partner to Kaiser Permanente for several years, offering volunteer leadership services to its employees for big service events.

Kaiser Permanente runs its own internal employee volunteer site called KPCares. This site is a place where employees, as well as organizations that reach out to Kaiser and meet certain criteria, can post events in which volunteers are needed.  These events can be local, regional, national or international, and can be seen by employees based on these preferences. Coming from Northern California a short time ago, a place where I did a lot of community service, it was frustrating to learn that the region-wide effort to get the volunteer site off the ground in Southern California was only a couple of years old and still in its infant stages.

Last year when I was looking for a place to donate my time, I was having trouble finding an event. So I started scouring the Internet and that is when I found the L.A. Works Web site. This year, I noticed they listed a big MLK Day 2013 event in which they would revitalize a school in Glendale and were in need of many volunteers. I also observed that LAW welcomes oyuproject leader positions still needed to be filled, so I signed up for one, and within a couple of days I received an email from L.A. Works notifying me that there would be a project leader training for the event. L.A. Works makes it easy to find and sign up for events, and in addition they usually offer training for all the requested positions.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the training, but I showed up for my shift at the school bright and early at about 6:30 am on MLK Day. Having done quite a bit of volunteer work in the past, I was a little skeptical that things would run smoothly. One of the biggest problems with the large service day events where I have volunteered in the past has been disorganization. Often organizations are taxed because of the large amount of volunteers that show up and then are left scrambling to provide work, find tools or be able to actively manage the sheer amount of people without running into a multitude of problems. A lot of this has to do with funding, so let me note how important donations are to an organization. They cannot run on sheer manpower alone. There are so many moving parts that make every event possible, from having enough pencils to making sure there is water and people are taking breaks.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that L.A. Works really had their act together. I tracked down the project leader manager, Becca Bloom, who greeted me with a smile and let me know that breakfast and coffee were being provided. After I made a cup of Joe, I tracked her down again. It takes a lot to coordinate the fine dance that is a big volunteer event, and you will never find the head person standing in one place for more than a moment. Once I located her again, she told me my duty. While I was waiting for all the volunteers to show up I lent a hand doing anything I could– this included setting up tables, hanging banners and basically just going wherever I could lend a hand. The thing I like least about volunteering is not making the most of every moment that I am there.  I am sure most people have the same sentiment.

IMG_5837While I worked, it was great to network and meet people from all the great organizations that partner with L.A. Works. I have to say, I especially enjoy when I see the red shirt with the big white target sign. I will vouch for Kaiser Permanente volunteers. I have never worked with such passionate and dedicated people as the employees that sign
up from Kaiser Permanente to volunteer, but man, Target volunteers not only come ready to work, they come in droves. I swear the last two MLK Days I have volunteered with L.A. Works, there have been several hundred Target volunteers and man they know how to put in an honest day’s work. A great thing about L.A. Works is that it provides opportunities, and helps relieve corporations of the stress of coordinating such events by doing all the work for them. These big companies give amazing amounts of donations back to the community in the form of employee volunteer hours.

Like clockwork, people started to show up in droves. Families, individuals and people of registrationall ethnic backgrounds lined up and patiently waited their turns to register. The beauty of volunteerism is that it knows no color lines. The people who show up just come with a heart of love and the willingness to donate their time to make someone else’s life easier.

I was assigned to be a line monitor and put in charge of making sure each individual had a liability form filled out. I believe that day over 500 volunteers showed up to help out. It took a good hour to get everyone checked in, and the only complication during that time was that we ran out of liability forms, but the school principal ran in and printed out a few more, and we were back in business. The coordination effort by L.A. Works and its partners to get everyone accounted for was seamless. I was really impressed.

While waiting for everyone to check in, people stood around and sipped hot coffee and ate fruit and bagels. When the line depleted, everyone gathered around the deejay for duty assignments and general announcements. When those were completed, the deejay fired up the music and everyone went to work.

What a sight it is to see a total transformation of an entire school grounds. Groups were landscaping, painting, sorting out old school books, and doing so many other things. Rarely did I see anyone standing around unless they were looking for something else to do or taking a break. The beautiful thing about the whole day was that it was about 80 degrees in the middle of January. It couldn’t have been a more amazing day. I am sure L.A. Works didn’t have anything to do with the weather, which is one of my favorite things about Los Angeles, but you never know.

IMG_8417For most of the day I worked hauling bark to provide as ground cover for the newly landscaped areas around campus. It was warm, and pushing a wheelbarrow up a hill and across the old campus was a chore, but as with any volunteer events, temporary hard labor is always worth the reward of seeing the finished product. I stayed with a group from a local dojo (Name here) until the very end. That is another awesome benefit of volunteer events: You meet so many like-minded, giving and passionate individuals.

The success of MLK Day convinced me to research L.A. Works a little more and find other, more long-term opportunities with them. I was sold on how smoothly this big event ran and wanted to look into how I could become a piece of the puzzle in the bigger picture that is L.A. Works. Over the last few months, I have joined the organization and I am currently in the process of helping them with marketing, social media, and finding donors for door prizes for the L.A. Works Service Crawl event on July 20th, 2013. I hope to someday start my own non-profit and if and when I do, I hope to model it after the blueprint that L.A. Works has set forth on how an organization like this can run efficiently, solely off the blood, sweat and tears of thousands of volunteers who show up every year to make Los Angeles a better place to live.

Thank you L.A. Works for all the time and effort you put into making Los Angeles one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Thank you also for the opportunity to fit into your little family and do the one thing that I love more than anything, volunteering.

This post was written by L.A. Works’ Volunteer Project Leader, Antonio Fernandez. Visit Antonio’s blog to read more about his take on volunteering, art, poetry and life in general! 

1500 Volunteers Transform Washington Irving MS for MLK Day

L.A. Works makes volunteering easy and accessible for all Angelenos to make a significant impact in their community!
Zumba to warm up for MLK Day

Zumba to warm up for MLK Day

On Inauguration Day, more than 1500 volunteers celebrated the life of a man who helped make the historic events of the day a possibility. This MLK Jr. Day of Service, corporate and community volunteers transformed the Washington Irving Middle School into its new identity as the Washington Irving Middle School Advanced Math, Science and Music Magnet. Principal Kirk Roskam was delighted. He shared: “The school has been completely transformed. Many of the projects that L.A. Works is doing with the United Way, with the volunteers, and the corporate sponsors are not things that we would be able to do in five years. There just isn’t the money, the resources, or the time.” Were you there? Tag yourself in the facebook photos (or post your own) and if you missed the day here’s a story that was in a local paper about the event.