by Sammy Caiola
Native Community Days continues today and here is some info on how to get involved with today's non-profit beneficiaries!
Wednesday August 7th
Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs: UCLA UniCamp
This university-affiliated non-profit is actually a beautiful outdoor summer camp where children from underserved neighborhoods can enjoy nature and learn leadership skills. The 1,000 low-income students who attend each summer are mentored by 350 UCLA student leaders. The program involves recreational activities and general confidence-boosting, team-building fun. You have to be a UCLA student to actually be a mentor, but you can help out with their fundraisers or deliver much-needed supplies like construction paper and candle wax. Read about it here.
San Diego: Sean O’Shea Foundation
Yoga, nutrition and positive thinking are the biggest themes at this non-profit, which is dedicated to improving the mental and physical wellness of youth ages 8-18. They run an educational yoga and nutrition program that they bring everywhere from public schools to juvenile facilities. They teach yoga at hospitals and at pregnant teen centers, working to build positive self-image and encourage a life of balance and fulfillment. Sound like your style? Help them with event planning and grant writing or, if qualified, teach a workshop of your own. Check it out.
Chicago: Working In The Schools
Love to read? Help WITS in its mission to increase literacy throughout Chicago with one-on-one tutoring and mentoring. Bond with an at-risk youth while helping him or her with reading skills. They serve 2500 students throughout 27 elementary schools, and their volunteer base includes college students and retirees alike. Apply to be a part of it here.
Portland: Oregon Wild
This statewide non-profit works toward the conversation of roadless land—something, as I’m sure you all agree—this country needs a little more of. By writing and fighting for legislation that protects natural land, they’ve already saved more than 1.7 million acres of wilderness. If you want to help preserve your state’s natural beauty, you can join or lead a free hike, which raises awareness about what’s being threatened. You can also help out around the office or at fundraising events. Read more here.
Boulder: Teens, Inc.
In a 7,000-square foot center in Nederland, a teen could be exercising, cooking a meal or playing an instrument, all thanks to the hard work of Teens, Inc, a non-profit who has run a free and successful youth center since 2000. The center is open 24/5 to kids ages 11-21 and provides a safe recreational space as well as mentoring and tutoring opportunities. Since its establishment, the local juvenile crime rate has decreased, as have the drop-out numbers at Nederland High School. Help these youth become stronger leaders and smarter adults by teaching a workshop or just spending an afternoon getting to know participants. Learn how here.
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