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"Touching Hearts and Opening Minds"

Letter From the President/CEO

As we enter a busy spring season, you may have noticed a shift towards in-person events and volunteerism in the post-pandemic era. There has been a call to action at the county and state levels to engage more youth in various service corps programs. I believe the Volunteer Center is in a great position to help lead these efforts and generate ideas to engage the next generation of volunteers. We are happy to announce there will be a summer cohort of our Impact Makers Program, creating opportunities for teenagers to serve the community while gaining lifelong skills in empathy and resilience.

You can also learn more about the statewide initiatives and paid internship opportunities for youth ages 16 - 25 here.

As you will see in the report below, Operation Teddy Bear for the 23/24 school year is now complete. We are thrilled to report that over 500 volunteers of all ages came together to pack school bags filled with educational resources like books and steam kits - reaching 4,000 first graders in 48 schools throughout the South Bay.

Thank you to our volunteers and sponsors because none of our programs would exist without your ongoing generosity and support. Together, we can envision a world where children have the nutrition and resources they need to effectively learn and thrive. 


Josh Gezahegn

Heart to Heart Gala Tickets On Sale Now!

Tickets to our fourth Annual Heart to Heart fundraising event are on sale now and cost $250 per person, which includes cocktails, dinner, special recognitions, silent and live auctions, and games of chance.

The fundraiser will be held Saturday, April 27 at Cabrillo Yacht Club in San Pedro from 6-10 p.m. The event is themed Seaside Soirée. Guests are invited to don "informally fabulous" outfits for an evening of relaxed fun.

Thank you to our Captain sponsors:

  • Torrance Refining Company
  • The Port of Long Beach
  • The Affinity Group

We are grateful to Sares Regis, Continental Development Corporation, Jean Adelsman, Dianne and Hans Bozler, Janet Baszille, Lea Ann King, and Congressman Ted Lieu & Torrance School Board Member Betty C. Lieu for their early generous donations to make this event possible.

Please help us spread the word, and we hope to see you there!

Purchase Tickets

Operation Teddy Bear 23/24 Final Report

Impact Makers - Summer 2024 Cohort

Impact Makers is a unique program to help youth gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. In an 8 week summer cohort, participants learn about the issues facing our local community and the support resources that are in place to help address them. 

Students receive a service learning certificate to supplement their college applications and resumes!

Program Requirements

  • Must be a California resident, living in the South Bay, Harbor, or Long Beach areas
  • Must be a high school student, ages 13+
  • Must be available to attend all group sessions and service-learning commitments

Learn More: volcenter.org/Impactmakers

Summer cohort will begin June 26, 2024

Online Application

Congratulations Visions of Unity

The 24th-year Visions of Unity Arts & Literature Contest was held at Torrance Memorial Medical Center and was a wonderful demonstration of the creativity, diversity, and resiliency of Torrance High School students.

Spearheaded by our board member Lea Ann King - The contest was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, whose birthday comes on or near the contest’s deadline every year. Now in its 24th year, the contest continues to engage youth, their families, community leaders, education providers, sponsors, and donors in the power of artistic expression.

A special thank you to TUSD Director of Communications and our former CEO Sara Myers for the wonderful pictures and her ongoing support.

Congratulations to the 2024 Visions of Unity Contest winners and participants.

Welcome New Board Member Sacha Ohara

Born and raised in Torrance, Sacha serves as Senior Vice-President and Retail Banking Manager at Malaga Bank. Sacha began her career as a high school English teacher in Torrance and Palos Verdes and continues to have a passion for supporting education equity and art programs in our community. Sacha was also a professional ballet dancer, dancing with the local ballet company for 45 years, and continues to participate in their performances. 

"The best part of my job is being able to help and serve the community where I grew up and where I continue to live and raise my daughter. I am so excited to become a part of the Volunteer Center to help the organization continue to transform and meet the needs of the community."

Welcome Sacha, we are delighted to have you on Board!

Herbalife Family Foundation Celebrates 30 Years!

Happy 30th Anniversary! The Volunteer Center celebrates the global efforts of Herbalife Family Foundation which provides essential nutrition and disaster relief to children around the globe.

We are honored to have partnered with HNF/HFF since 2019 and want to recognize the tremendous impact of their contributions over the last five years. Through grant funds ($150,000 over five years), in-kind materials, and employee volunteer support, HFF has provided vital resources to our Food For Kids program.

Additionally, the mobilization of volunteers and HNF’s marketing efforts have expanded

our network to spread more empathy, kindness, and essential services throughout the South Bay community. We could not have done it without you! Thank you!

Together, We're Feeding Our Community!

Thank You for answering our recent call for increased food donations. We are thankful to all of the groups and individuals below for filling our pantry and helping us finish out the school year strong.

Donations can be dropped off any time between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For after-hour donations, please schedule a time with Jon Phelps at jon@volcenter.org.

Affinity Group - 94 meals

Anonymous - 560 meals

Austin & Alex - Calle Mayor Middle School - 149 meals

Cardoza Family - 40 meals

Carson Lions Club - 183 meals

Denise Beggs - 284 meals

Dianne Bozler - 18 meals

Diane Trimble - 23 meals

Easter Seals - 206 meals

Girl Scouts Troop 543 - 361 meals

Heather Goyan - 185 meals

Ibrahim Boudiaf - 128 meals

Jean Adelsman & Friends - 38 meals

Joe & Kathy Gray - 174 meals

John Crayton - 41 meals

Judy Golden - 55 meals

Lea Ann King - 121 meals

Lili Trujillo Puckett - 37 meals

Malaga Bank - 788 meals

Pamela Popovich - 40 meals

Phelps Family - 218 meals

Sandpipers - 285 meals

South Bay Food Initiative - 529 meals

Temple Menorah - 1,636 meals

Torrance Woman's Club - 762 meals

Walter & Silia Sofko - 102 meals

Total Meals Donated - 7,057 

Thank You to Our Loyal Hearts Donors:

The following supporters make an automatic donation every month to support our programs


in honor of all the children and families

Jean Adelsman

Barbazette Family Trust

Pauline Beecroft

Denise & Vince Beggs

Dianne & Hans Bozler

in loving memory of our nephew

Colin Tyler Arbuckle

Anne & Ray Destabelle

in honor of Dianne and Hans Bozler

Sue Herbers

The Holt Family

Jane & Jim Isomoto

Mildred Jones

Susan Kettel

in honor of Richard Kettel

Ellen and Bob Kircher

Sherry Kramer

in honor of Lilyanna Kramer

Trish Krusee

in honor of Adam Heath

Cari Lesser

Sue Munson

Pamela Popovich

Liz Reinhardt

Susan Rubio

Fern Ruiz

Steve Yeager & Samuel Sampson

Thank You to Our Major Corporate and Foundation Grantors:

(Gifts Made in Support of July 2023 - March 2024 Programs)

For 60 years, the Volunteer Center has been a vital and trusted partner mobilizing support for those in need throughout the South Bay, Harbor, and Long Beach communities. Our approach and programs have evolved as times have changed, but our focus on deeply rooted relationships and a spirit of cooperation has never wavered. We are still here today because of partners like you who volunteer with your time, in-kind, and monetary donations.

To learn more about our programs and impact, visit volcenter.org

The Volunteer Center South Bay/Harbor/Long Beach
310-212-5009 | 1230 Cravens Avenue Torrance, CA 90501 | www.volcenter.org
EIN: 95-2301600