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Recommended for anyone new to this group or volunteering for the first time:
Would anyone want to attend this event and help host?
Hosting isn't hard.
It involves being a point of contact in case others sign up and want to meet & volunteer together.
If your plans/availability change, and you can't attend anymore, that's fine, just let us know and maybe someone else can step up to host, but if not, it's okay and we can cancel this meetup.
Note: To help me save time, this is automatically posted on a recurring basis, but Meetup changed something. Meetup used to give organizers an option to repeat an event on the "last" day of each month, but they removed that feature for some reason, so the closest thing is the "fourth" Saturday of every month.
However, this event is on the "last" Saturday of each month, so if a month has 5 Saturdays, it'll be on the 5th Saturday (not 4th).
I'll try to check each month, but if I forget, please check the calendar to make sure it's the last Saturday of the month. Thank you.
I try to spread the word about volunteer opportunities and raise awareness about non-profits/charities that do good work.
This event is from John Shinavier and his non-profit, Under the Bridges and on the Streets.
"We are dedicated to serving the homeless where they live – on the streets, under bridges and in camps."
"Our main purpose is to provide food and clothing to those in need with an awareness of the heart."
"We are a direct service organization of volunteers who believe in the dignity of the individual and strive to enhance the lives of those we serve as well as those who serve."
Their videos show what the event is like:
They meet on the last Saturday of every month at 9:00 am in the backyard of a home in a residential neighborhood.
(I recommend arriving around 8:45 am to have extra time for finding parking).
They make ham & cheese sandwiches and put them in paper bags with other goodies.
btw, this is unpredictable. It's possible some months they get many volunteers (e.g. a large group), so if by chance they get crowded, thank you for your patience and understanding with whatever happens.
Again, I recommend arriving early (around 8:45 am), so that you're more likely to have a spot at the table to help with the sandwiches/lunches.
After completing the lunches, they distribute in downtown LA, Venice, and elsewhere.
Passing out the lunches is voluntary. Totally optional. Some people just help in the morning with the food/sandwiches.
Not all who help with the sandwiches go out to distribute because only a few people/drivers are needed.
They sometimes fill up vehicles and don't have much room for passengers and the lunches/water, so if anyone really wants to go out to distribute, contact John in advance or in the morning when you arrive to ask if there's room for you to join the distribution.
My guess is they might have some returning/experienced volunteers who regularly go out to distribute, but John is friendly and welcoming of new volunteers, so maybe he can try to squeeze new volunteers in.
When distributing, they drive around and look for people at sidewalks, parks, the boardwalk at Venice, bridges/underpasses, etc.
If anyone doesn't feel safe/comfortable, they are understanding and volunteers can stay inside the vehicle.
To help, review
I usually avoid posting an address of someone's home, but since John posted it publicly on his website, my guess is it's okay.
They meet in the backyard of this home. The front door may be locked, so walk down the driveway to the backyard.
If parking on 28th St is hard to find, try Arlington Ave (it's a short walk).
Their website and social media sites might not always be up-to-date.
So if the date doesn't appear on their site
then email or call John, to confirm if this is happening. (According to John, they do this every last Saturday of every month, rain or shine, even on a holiday).
John is friendly and welcoming of new volunteers. He won't remember me, but if I somehow made it onto his website, maybe you can too. :)