Get Involved - Give Thanks, Time and the Odd Samolean

Want to get involved? This week you'll have plenty of opportunities to give your thanks, time and a few hard-earned samoleans.

One of the more under-covered aspects of the recent fires was the county-wide outpouring of help and supplies they produced along with all that smoke, Southern Californians coming to their displaced neighbors aid. LAist writes that the most recent in 2008's string of crises only underscores the need to keep large numbers of trained volunteers at the ready.

Today, Mayor Villaraigosa is encouraging residents to join the City of Los Angeles Crisis Response Team (CRT), a group of volunteer residents that go on scene of emergencies to provide crisis intervention and to give referrals for victims and families who have been traumatized by, a death, a serious injury, a violent crime or other traumatic incident.

But you just don't sign up and go out to fires and train crashes--it takes training and commitment. An eight week training session with classes twice a week will begin in January at a location in Westchester on the Westside. Volunteers must be 21 years old and in good physical condition.

The program is especially in need of volunteers with bilingual capability in Spanish or Korean. For those interested, they should contact Jeffrey Zimerman, Crisis Response Team Manager at 213-978-0697 or by e-mail: LACRT@lacity.org.

You can read more about the Los Angeles Crisis Response Team here, which is not be confused with the Los Angeles Community Emergency Response Team!

With MOCA apparently in deep financial trouble, what better time to than now to volunteer at Los Angeles' premiere endangered cultural venue? Got an extra three-hundred-and-twenty-or-so bucks to spare? (And during these tough times? Look at you!) For $165 membership (plus another 155 bucks) you can join the MOCA Contemporaries, who "provide financial support for the museum through a variety of fundraising programs, and cultivate future leadership for MOCA by nurturing the next generation of art collectors and community leaders."

Of course, next week is Thanksgiving, so "Get Involved" would be complete this week without opportunities to help feed the less fortunate among our neighbors. Food on Foot operates a weekly meal program every Sunday in Hollywood, and they are still looking for Thanksgiving Day volunteers. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is also looking for volunteers leading to the holidays.

Have a good one!

The image associated with this post was taken from the photostream of Flickr user Rep. Keith Ellison. It was used under Creative Commons license.

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