L.A. Works Awards CASA of LA with Service Enterprise Certification

L.A. Works and Points of Light are pleased to announce that CASA of Los Angeles, who serves youth in the foster system, has been awarded Service Enterprise Certification for their outstanding volunteer program. Currently, CASA mobilizes more than 400 volunteers who work to reverse the effects of abuse and neglect.

casaWe spoke with Dan Hanley, Development and Communications Director, to learn more about CASA’s incredible work.

L.A. Works (L.A.W.): What are the different roles that volunteers play at CASA of Los Angeles and how do they help your organization achieve its mission?

CASA of Los Angeles (CASA/LA): CASA is an organization whose sole mission is to train volunteers to be advocates for neglected and abused children in the LA County foster care system. We have other volunteers who support outreach, volunteer services and development, but the 500+ CASAs we have are the reason we exist as an agency. Each CASA is there to advocate for a child who without a CASA might not have their voice heard or their situation put in a brighter spotlight.

L.A.W.: How do you see your Service Enterprise certification benefiting your organization?

CASA/LA: We are ecstatic to have this certification because it helps get our name out into the community and it supports our efforts to outreach to even more volunteers. When people find out that we are certified it shows that we mean business when it comes to supporting a thriving network of volunteers.

L.A.W.: Do you have any advice to give to organizations who are interested in participating in the Service Enterprise Initiative or are on the road to certification?

CASA/LA: To have a clear understanding of what the certification means for their organization and to make sure that any employee transition in the organization does not affect the process of certification.

Congratulations to CASA of Los Angeles for their achievements in volunteer engagement! We’re excited to see what the future has in store for this great organization.


Welcoming The Works: Golden Road’s Custom IPA for L.A. Works

Golden Road Brewing has welcomed The Works IPA to the brewery’s Custom IPA Series, TheWorks_Social1a seasonally rotating collection of hop­forward beers. For each Custom IPA, Golden Road teams up with a local non­profit dedicated to the betterment of Los Angeles. For this limited ­edition fall release, a portion of proceeds will directly benefit L.A. Works, Southern California’s largest volunteer network.

“I met Bob Johnson, Chairman of the Board for L.A. Works, years ago and was inspired by his natural leadership skills and his passion for Los Angeles,” said Tony Yanow, co­founder of Golden Road Brewing. “He has been leading people and changing lives for 25 years by connecting like­minded individuals with the chance to create positive change in their communities. The opportunity to support him and the people in his organization was an obvious choice for our fall Custom IPA release.”

Following in the footsteps of 2020 IPA and Heal the Bay IPA, Golden Road’s latest philanthropic IPA is a tribute to the thousands of people who make Los Angeles great. “When dreaming up the hop blend for The Works IPA, we practiced the same spirit of teamwork L.A. Works brings to improving Los Angeles,” said Meg Gill, co­founder of Golden Road Brewing. “By integrating lesser TheWorks_Social2 ­known hop varietals with Equinox and tons of Mosaic, each sip is a celebration of individual flavor profiles working together for a taste that is 100% Los Angeles.”

Since 1991, L.A. Works has worked tirelessly to increase volunteer participation in community service projects while educating and encouraging people to engage in the broader social issues affecting the greater Los Angeles community.

“L.A. Works and Golden Road Brewery is a match made in hops heaven; both organizations believe in inspiring greater civic engagement,” said Bob L. Johnson, Board Chairman and Co-Founder of L.A. Works. “When people enjoy a can of The Works IPA, my hope is they’ll think about how to pass on some of that happiness to their neighbors in need.”

“Angelenos are busy people – we work and play hard,” said Deborah Brutchey, Executive Director of L.A. Works. “Getting the L.A. Works message to people during their downtime will give them the chance to find out how easy it is to make service a meaningful part of their lives, whether they have 30 minutes or 30 days to share.”

The Works IPA will be tapped at the Pub at Golden Road on September 3, and is available on draught and in cans at local retailers like Trader Joes and Whole Foods throughout the market in early September.

Featured Project: Beauty and Charm: To Lift Women’s Spirits

Beauty to Lift Women’s Spirits

 – Good Shepherd Centre for Homeless Women & Children
Written by L.A. Works Volunteer Reporter Wendy Green

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Project Leader: Jessica Bavel

Who is Jessica Bavel?

I suppose I’m just a regular girl. 

This is always a difficult question to ask yourself who you are. 

I suppose I’m a lot of things. I try be a good sister, a good daughter, a good aunt. 

I grew up in LA. I’m one of four I have 2 brothers one sister. 

My mother is Puerto Rican and my father is black, I’m very fortunate to get the best of those 

worlds. I love to hang out with my family we have so much fun. We might throw on some 

salsa music my mum will get and start dancing its just easy and good fun, I just love my 


Tell me about your journey as a volunteer.
I’ve been in a position where growing up was difficult and no matter what happened I 

remained determined- only because I had someone there. I had influences that impacted 

me either directly or non directly, it’s just the thought of having someone there. I really 

would like to be that person, a person who helps others. Its the reason I signed up with L.A. 

Works its actually why I started volunteering. 

I do a lot of volunteering such as working at Food Banks, Downtown Woman’s Center and 

elderly homes but my focus has always been with woman. I suppose its because I am a 

woman and I can relate to them on a larger scale.

Tell me the project you lead called Beauty and Charm: To Lift Women’s Spirits. 

I just love this project. The project runs once a month, volunteers come together to offer 

facials, manicures, pedicures, make up application and you don’t have to be a beautician 

its just about women enjoying each other company- eating , talking, laughing, its really 

good fun.

Do you have a volunteer story to share?
Yes I do. One day I had a lot of volunteers turn up, the clients were so spoiled they had so 

many women pampering them. I noticed one of the clients who had signed up, hadn’t 

shown. I inquired and was told she was in her room and was feeling pretty low, she didn’t 

feel like joining in. With a bit of coercing she came down and sat in a chair within a few 

minutes there was a group of women all over her. We had so many volunteers that day, that 

she had a person on each foot and hand, someone giving her a facial, someone making 

her a coffee.They were all laughing and having a great time. At the end of the day she 

came up to me and told me how much the experience meant to her. She had never 

experienced people to be so kind, she had never been pampered like that in her whole life. 

Stories like that are what this project is all about.

How do you feel volunteering impacts the community?
Establishing a connection with another human being is important, its fundamental, we 

relate to each other, we connect we one another- that should be embraced more. 

Unfortunately in our society there is a complacency, an interdependency, people are only 

worried about themselves. When you connect with someone its wonderful, dare I say even 

magical. Some people say magic doesn’t exist but when I connect with woman Ive never 

met before and there’s a connection, it’s really powerful, its magical.

What do you believe makes a good project leader?
A project leader needs to have sincerity. The ability to lead and inspire people. To have 

passion for what your doing which then creates a common goal. If a volunteer can see how 

much work and effort you put in as a project leader, hopefully that inspires them and in turn 

they too can make a difference.

Volunteer Jade Howard Copy of Jade 5

What are 5 words would sum you up?
Happy, Bubbly, Loving, Sassy and Compassionate.

Tell me a little about your heritage.
I’m African American. I’m a mix of black, French and American Indian. I live in California, an actual LA native.

Tell me about your volunteer experience
Well today I’m volunteering at a project called Beauty and Charm Lifting Women’s Spirits. It was really touching and lots of
fun. I haven’t volunteered in so long and I wanted to start the New Year volunteering at least once a month. I found L.A. Works and I liked the fact they had something for everybody. It caters to all personalities, interests or an intention that you would like to accomplish from volunteering. I found Beauty and Charm which is totally up my alley. Women bonding over manicures and facials-how much fun does that sound.

Volunteering is really important to me. My dad passed away when I was 12. Part of the grieving process is to find ways to heal, to cope, to have acceptance. One of the ways I did that, was when I was in my freshman year at University, I volunteered with Relay For Life.  In my junior year we didn’t have Relay for Life at my University (we didn’t meet the quota) so I started a team at another University. We had one month to raise $1000, we ended up raising $2000 which is exceptional for Hampton Virginia. From that the Atlantic region contacted me and wanted to reopen Relay for Life at Hampton, which I headed. I then started Colleges Against Cancer. My intention was to try and raise money to help fund research so no other person, had to lose a person to cancer like I did. I had so much fun with those projects, I just wanted to get back into volunteering when I got back.

What do you gain from volunteering?
Well that’s interesting. I don’t really volunteer to gain a personal gratification I just like putting smiles on peoples faces, so I suppose if I’m able to do that then thats what I gain. I don’t need to know someones personal story. I just like being together, laughing hanging out. I really like meeting new people. I actually thought I would be coming with a bunch of friends but they couldn’t make it, so I came alone and I ended up making new friends.

What would we be surprised to learn about Jade Howard?
My father was a legendary Jazz recording artist but unfortunately I cannot play an instrument, sing or dance.

Copy of DSC_0071_2Volunteer: Rosanna O’Guynn

Ive seen you at so many volunteer groups tell me when you started?
I’ve been volunteering in LA for a few years. I was searching the internet for things to do and volunteering came up. I was interested in what that was and meant, so here I am.

You volunteer a lot, I’m guessing on a weekly basis, tell me why your so passionate.
Well it sounds silly but as I said I was just looking for something to do and the word volunteer came up. I searched some more and thats when I found L.A. Works. L.A. Works had a calendar that made it very easy . I thought that is a great thing to do and gave it a go. I do it every week so I can be involved with the community, I want to participate. I did try other places but L.A. Works just made it so simple and easy.

What do you gain from volunteering?
People saying thank you. People commenting they feel inspired and motivated by us coming by.

Do you have any volunteer stories?
Not individual stories but people are always so grateful. People are so appreciative and I’m appreciative for the opportunity, it creates a great vibe.

What makes a good volunteer?
It’s an ongoing process I don’t think its one factor that makes someone good at it. You learn every time you volunteer.

Did something inspire you to be so active within the volunteering community?
No not really I just wanted something to do. I wanted to be involved and L.A. Works was there and made it easy to volunteer.

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Encore Performance of RODNEY KING

Rodney King x-LATsThe L.A. Works board of directors invites our L.A. Works community to a special matinee performance of Roger Guenveur Smith’s critically acclaimed RODNEY KING.

L.A. Works, the largest volunteer action center in Los Angeles was founded in 1991, the same year the late Rodney King was thrust into international prominence.

2 PM


Limited Seating    *    Reception To Follow


http://www.latimes.com//arts/culture/la-et-cm-roger-guenveur-smith-searches-for-real-rodney-king- 20131002,0,5802261.story#axzz2kfh42z6Y   

The Power of Music

ImageAt this year’s L.A. Works Day, we will have a special performance from hip hop artist, Nexus. He started writing lyrics at the age of eight as a way to channel his emotions and let the world know what he was experiencing as a child in the foster care system.  As a child, Nexus (Jamal) was featured on Wednesday’s Child, a television segment on Fox 11 News with anchor Christine Devine. It focuses on finding permanent, loving families for foster children. Two years later he was placed in a caring adoptive home that was supportive of his musical inclination. As a hip-hop artist he now performs at LA area clubs under the artist name Nasty Nexus. He was asked to return to the Wednesday’s Child team to do a theme song (“faith in TRUTH”) for an annual reunion. On that project, and under the name TEAM WC, Nexus has performed at an Oscar Party, at a WNBA game and foster care benefits. TEAM WC music such as “Foxy Lil Lady” can be found on iTunes. TEAM WC will appear at the “Taste of Soul” in October.

Meet our newest intern: Stephanie Ulloa


Stephanie is a Los Angeles native. This coming fall she will be a senior at Bryn Mawr College located near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is pursuing a major in Anthropology and a minor in Political Science. She is on the rowing team and is also an ambassador of IES Abroad and the recently launched network and charitable brand called iFlip4.

 Stephanie wants to be part of L.A. Works because we encourage individuals to make a difference in the community and she has a passion for volunteerism. Throughout the years she has volunteered in a variety of places, such as the Los Angeles Natural History Museum and also taught English to children during her study abroad term in Granada, Spain. Through these experiences, she witnessed how dedicating a few hours of her day to serving the community can really make an impact. As a Recruitment and Marketing Intern, she hopes to take advantage of various online social networks that will help her in reaching out to the community. One of her goals is to personally invite neighborhood establishments to participate in our events and establish relationships with them. Her outreach will specifically focus on increasing participation for this year’s Service Crawl.
 Upon graduating she intends to join the Peace Corps, travel around South America, and definitely continue working in the nonprofit sector. A few fun facts about Stephanie is that this past fall she visited Morocco and rode a camel down the coast! She LOVES going to TV tapings and has so far sat in on The Big Bang Theory, Conan, and The Late Late Night Show with Craig Ferguson. She has also gone to tapings of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report in New York City. Although she’s been to quite a few, her dream is to get tickets to see Ellen! 

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.