Fall Into Service

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Learn more about serving and engaging with your community in a meaningful way.

The Fall Into Service initiative is designed to offer resources to our campus community and encourage a dynamic experience that also meets societal needs.

Events & Initiatives

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities in Los Angeles

Make sure everyone gets a meal during the holidays

The Los Angeles Mission has been holding a drive-thru canned food drive since June, welcoming any non-perishable food via contactless drop-off at either of its two Downtown locations Monday through Friday from 8am until 2pm. You can also drop off personal care items and toiletries (listed here) or have them shipped via the organization’s Amazon wishlist.

Support citizens transitioning out of homelessness

A DTLA institution for 40 years, the Downtown Women’s Center provides job training to homeless women, including in the field of product design where residents create items like cards, candles, and T-shirts. While the brick-and-mortar boutiques are currently closed, you can still support them by shopping online on the Made by DWC website. You can also check out what the center is in need of—everything from sleeping bags to shoes—and either schedule a drop off or help the nonprofit stock up via its Amazon wishlist.

The People Concern is one of LA’s largest social service agencies providing health care, substance abuse services, and permanent housing to those navigating a path out of homelessness. Despite a halt on in-person volunteering, the group has come up with plenty of creative ways for anyone to support both the Downtown and Santa Monica centers. Try filling up a grocery bag during your next shopping run and drop it off, order a catered meal to be delivered, provide them with specific sack lunch items, or donate rolls of quarters for laundry among other things. (You can check which facility needs which items here.) 

Unfortunately, LA’s homeless situation is seriously dire, but there are a slew of additional organizations working to alleviate the problem. You can find more groups to help via the Homeless Shelter Directory.

Chat with a Senior

For homebound seniors and chronically ill adults, having someone bring a meal to their home is a literal lifesaver. During the pandemic, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels has doubled the number of meals it provides for hundreds more seniors stuck at home. The group is currently seeking volunteers to work as runners, kitchen aides, drivers, and grocery assemblers.

Help Fight COVID-19

All those convenient, drive-thru COVID-19 Testing Centers can’t operate without both staff and volunteers. Don’t worry, you won’t be administering the test, but you’ll be doing things like pre-checking people in, handing out test kits, and guiding fellow Angelenos through the self-administered tests while working under the supervision of the LAFD. Obviously, those in high-risk categories shouldn’t go for this one, but otherwise, you can choose a date to volunteer here.

Join the Highland Park Neighborhood Council

Applications are due November 28

For more information, please visit: highlandparknc.com/about-us

GENERAL INFORMATION:

The Highland Park Neighborhood Council currently has two opportunities for students to participate in, a short term and a long term commitment.

The short term opportunity would be the ability for students to join one of the ad hoc committees/projects that they have going on.

The long term commitment which would last through June would be for the students to join a committee. Involvement is one meeting per month and any additional support with tasks or projects.

If you're interested, simply reach out to the chair of the committee you're interested in: highlandparknc.com/committees

Students can also attend committee meetings virtually, without formally joining, to gain an understanding what each one is all about.

Campus Compact Student Fellows Fundraiser

Our Community Engagement Student Fellows (CESF) provided hundreds of hours of service to thousands of Californians in their communities throughout this pandemic. They registered hundreds of students to vote and mentored and tutored students online – all while transitioning to online courses. 

To show our gratitude, we are attempting to raise $5,000 in scholarship funds to support 10 new students in the coming year through our CESF program. Please consider donating any amount that you are able. Your contribution goes directly to the student so that they can continue to make a difference in their communities. 

We invite you to watch this short video of Amaya Fox, a student at the University of San Francisco. You can hear directly from her about her experience and her impact on her campus and community. Click here for more information.

Service Resources

LA Works Virtual Volunteering

Support Los Angeles from the comfort of your own home. From the #MillionMaskChallengeLA to joining a call party for Wellness Checks, the following opportunities are fun and flexible ways to serve LA remotely. Click here for more information.

Virtual VolunteerMatch

Volunteer from anywhere with VolunteerMatch. Explore hundreds of virtual volunteer opportunities in cause areas like health and medicine, education, and community building—that you can do from a computer, from home, or anywhere. Click here for more information.

AmeriCorps Volunteer Opportunities

Use this SEARCH TOOL to find a volunteer opportunity in your area. Yup, it's as easy as that!

Points of Light Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

When you think about volunteers, the typical image of a team or community group planting a garden, revitalizing a local park or painting a lively mural at a school comes to mind. Yet all around the globe, at any given time, thousands (if not millions) of engaged citizens volunteer virtually — using their computers, the Internet, even their smart phones.

Virtual volunteers can complete short-term or long-term tasks, in whole or in part, typically off-site from the organization or person being assisted. If you’ve got access to a computer, thousands of different volunteer projects and roles are available to you—from your home, the library, a coffee shop, anywhere with an Internet connection.

Click here for a robust resource list categorized by activity, impact area or beneficiaries.

Oxy Partners

Center for Community Based Learning (CCBL) 

The mission of the Center for Community Based Learning (CCBL) is to institutionalize curriculum-based civic engagement.

CCBL’s civic engagement approach, based on community organizing practices, aims to enrich students' learning and commitment to social responsibility. CCBL brings together students, faculty, and community partners as co-thinkers and collaborators in addressing social justice issues.

Since its creation in 2001, CCBL has developed resources and provided leadership to institutionalize community based learning at Occidental College. The goal of community based learning is to enhance student learning and faculty engagement by connecting academic study and civic education through reciprocal, mutually beneficial relationships with the greater community. CCBL also collaborates with other offices on campus, as well as state, national, and international networks.

The Community Based Learning and Research (CBLR) faculty committee focuses on enhancing curriculum-connected community engagement and community based research.

Click here for more about the CCBL and CBLR.

Oxy Arts

Oxy Arts is a vital public space bringing together the campus community, the Northeast Los Angeles community, and local and regional artists in socially conscious dialogue and engagement. They seek to share, connect and hold space for ideas and curiosity. You are welcome here.

Oxy Arts programs across mediums—film, visual art, performance, writing and music. It also serves as a gateway to Oxy’s five academic arts majors and minors: Art & Art History, Interdisciplinary Writing, Media Arts & Culture, Music, and Theater.

Click here for more about Oxy Arts.

Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLICE)

SLICE brings together programs focused on leadership, activities and community engagement in one office to foster a robust student experience on and off campus. It provides students with a variety of opportunities to put Occidental’s values into action.

Whether you are interested in starting a club, being involved in student government or engaging with a local community organization, SLICE can help guide and support your passions. Our community partners can help you apply your theoretical knowledge of social justice and become an agent for change. SLICE also supports Oxy students with scholarships, fellowships and other special funding.

There are many ways for you to get involved that can have a real impact on your own life, the life of your fellow students as well as the community. We’re here with the tools and resources you need to make your Oxy experience the best it can be.

Community Partners

Past Events & Initiatives

Holiday Toy Drives in SoCal

Each year since 1947, the “Marine Toys for Tots Program has been delivering a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters.” This special program provides holiday gifts to less fortunate children throughout our country. Families can participate by donating money and/or gifts (new, unwrapped toys). The website has information regarding communities being served and where you can find drop-off locations.

Each year, southern California firefighters and ABC 7 have joined forces to make the holiday season a happier one for less fortunate children in our communities. “Over the past two and a half decades, the Spark of Love Toy Drive has successfully collected more than nine million toys!” This year because of COVID-19, donating will look different. Families can participate by donating funds and/or donate a toy through the Spark of Love gift registry available online.

How To Give On GivingTuesday

This year, we're featuring giving opportunities with the LA Food Bank where on #GivingTuesday your gift counts TWICE as much!

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented levels of demand for food assistance in Los Angeles County. You can help provide meals for those struggling with hunger in our community by making your generous gift today. GIVE NOW and your gift will be matched by generous donors.

Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give. 

Identify your gifts, pick a cause that gets you fired up, and give back - not just for GivingTuesday on December 1, 2020, but every day. Learn more at givingtuesday.org

Thanksgiving Volunteer Opportunities

In order to deliver 1,000 meals this Thanksgiving (that would double last year’s number), Project Angel Food, a nonprofit that focuses on feeding critically ill, homebound community members, is looking for 200 volunteers to make just five deliveries each on Thanksgiving Day. Sign up online to choose a preferred shift, then show up at the organization’s Hollywood location where the meals you’ll be delivering will be brought to you car (and where you might spot a celebrity greeter or two). And then you’ll be off to make a huge difference in the lives of many who might be alone this holiday.

Westside Thanksgiving, a large-scale dinner for those in need that’s been taking place for more than three decades, is canceled this year but its organizers will instead be distributing meal cards to the people it normally feeds. Every $10 donation provides a meal card to someone who needs it and you can donate online.

Since Union Station Homeless Services isn’t able to put on its annual Dinner in the Park this year, the organization will be hosting multiple private Thanksgiving dinners for residents at its private facilities as well offering its clients with access to kitchens meal boxes and prepared meals to-go on the two Wednesdays before Thanksgiving. That means, as usual, they need hundreds of frozen turkeys, specific holiday-related non-perishable food items (like boxes of mac and cheese and stuffing, for example), and other supplies donated ahead of time. You can check their wishlists and either drop off items in person at their Pasadena location on weekdays until Thanksgiving or send non-perishable items through Amazon.

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is an annual program where people come together across the country to draw attention to the problems of hunger and homelessness. Participating groups spend the week holding a series of educational, service, fundraising, and advocacy events.

Want to help address hunger and homelessness in your community? Whether you want to participate as an organizer, a volunteer, a donor, or an attendee, there are lots of ways to get involved with your local Awareness Week. To take action, CLICK HERE.

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness.

Melissa Chadburn - ISLA Fall 2020 Writers Series

Tuesday, November 10, 2020
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm PT

Workshop size limited, Registration required: Click here to register on Eventbrite

CNF: Container Shopping.: Structures and Essaying Our Lives

Melissa Chadburn’s work has appeared in The LA Times, NYT Book Review, NYRB, Longreads, and dozens other places. Her essay on food insecurity was selected for Best American Food Writing 2019. She is the recipient of the Mildred Fox Hanson Award for Women in Creative Writing. She is an Atul Gawande mentee with the Solutions Journalism Network. Her debut novel, A Tiny Upward Shove, is forthcoming with Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. She is a PhD candidate at USC’s Creative Writing Program. She loves your whole outfit right now

The Fall 2020 ISLA Writers Series is curated by Professor Desiree Zamorano for the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles

The ISLA writers series is supported by the Howard and Roberta Ahmanson and the Arts & Urban Experience Initiative, generously funded Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of Los Angeles

Oxy Arts: Community Organizing Workshop Series

A core element of Oxy Arts' partnership with the In Plain Sight coalition is to consider how artists and art spaces can be advocates for social change, on a local and global level. As part of Oxy Arts'fall programming, we are offering a series of workshops led by community organizers on topics related to our exhibition and critical to supporting the well-being of our communities—abolishing prisons, ICE and police, and creating community care through mutual aid networks. All workshops meet on Tuesdays, at 5pm PST. 

Click here for event descriptions and login information.

 

Naomi Hirahara - ISLA Fall 2020 Writers Series

Thursday, October 22, 2020
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM PT

Workshop size limited, Registration required: Click here to register on Eventbrite

Often flattened or satirized, Los Angeles comprises vibrant and hidden neighborhoods only known to its residents. Spend two hours considering your home and Los Angeles through either memory, your environmental surroundings or your imagination. Southern California social historian, journalist and mystery writer Naomi Hirahara will provide a few examples on how she has captured the greater Los Angeles in her writings while encouraging participants to mine and document their own experiences. If you are planning to write anything history-based, do a little research before our session.

Naomi Hirahara is an Edgar Award-winning author of multiple traditional mystery series and noir short stories. Her Mas Arai mysteries, which have been published in Japanese, Korean and French, feature a Los Angeles gardener and Hiroshima survivor who solves crimes. The seventh and final Mas Arai mystery, HIROSHIMA BOY, will be launched in Japan in 2021. Her first historical mystery standalone, CLARK AND DIVISION, set in 1944 Chicago, will also be released by Soho Crime next summer. A former reporter and editor with The Rafu Shimpo newspaper, she has written several historical nonfiction books related to Southern California and Japanese America. They include Life after Manzanar; Terminal Island: Lost Communities of Los Angeles Harbor; Green Makers: Japanese American Gardeners in Southern California; A Scent of Flowers: The History of the Southern California Flower Market; and An American Son: The Story of George Aratani, Founder of Mikasa and Kenwood. She and her husband reside in Pasadena, California. For more information, go to her website, www.naomihirahara.com.

The Fall 2020 ISLA Writers Series is curated by Professor Desiree Zamorano for the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles

The ISLA writers series is supported by the Howard and Roberta Ahmanson and the Arts & Urban Experience Initiative, generously funded Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of Los Angeles

 Center for Community Based Learning (CCBL) Open House

CCBL brings together students, faculty, and community partners as co-thinkers and collaborators in addressing social justice issues.

Since its creation in 2001, CCBL has developed resources and provided leadership to institutionalize community based learning at Occidental College. The goal of community based learning is to enhance student learning and faculty engagement by connecting academic study and critically engaged scholarship through reciprocal, mutually beneficial relationships with the greater community. Click here for the Spring 2021 Community-Based Learning/Research Course List.

Community Partnerships include, but aren't limited to:

United American Indian Involvement 
Los Angeles Community Action Network: LACAN
Southern California Library
Avenue 50 Studio

Apply to be an Election Poll Worker

An election worker is an essential component to every polling place location on Election Day. There are two different types of election workers: Inspectors and Clerks. While Inspectors serve as supervisors for the polling locations, Clerks assist with a variety of conventional tasks. Both are paid a stipend for their time. Polling place locations typically staff four to six election workers on Election Day.

To become an election worker in Los Angeles County, you must be:

  • 18 years of age or older (unless participating in the Student Election Worker Program)
  • A resident of California
  • A United States citizen registered to vote or a legal permanent resident (green card holder)
  • Election Workers must be available between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. to set up the polls, provide assistance to voters and conduct poll closing procedures.

APPLY HERE