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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.
I try to spread the word about volunteer opportunities and raise awareness about non-profits/charities that do good work.
This event is from Veterans Independence Day Celebration (VIDC).
"Launched in 2012 as an effort to acknowledge and thank our military veterans’ VIDC was conceived as a signature, volunteer event to raise awareness and community involvement in assisting and caring for the men and women that have served our country."
On July 4th, a free lunch is served to veterans and their families, and patients at the Long Beach VA Medical Center.
Volunteers are needed to help with tasks such as set-up, food prep, meal service, park operations, entertainment, clean up, etc.
A start time of 8:00 am and end time of 2:00 pm is posted, but this event is actually flexible.
They offer different roles/shifts, so you can choose when and how long to help for (1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, etc.). You can also choose when to start, such as 6:00 am, 7:00 am, 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, etc.
...and when you want to leave. I posted an end time of 2:00 pm, but you can leave earlier.
They provide all the food, drinks, dessert, etc., so volunteers don't need to bring anything. Since it's an outdoor event, maybe bring sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses.
Their website doesn't specify an age-requirement. I could be wrong, but from what I remember in previous years, some kids helped with passing out food, drinks, pies, etc..., so if any parents want to bring their child(ren) to volunteer, that should be possible.
To help, sign up at
For "Type of Sign-up" - check "All Other Volunteers"
Fill out the relevant info.
On the bottom section for "Meet-Up," you can ignore it and leave it blank. It's for other meetup groups...not this one.
Redundant Reiteration: Signing up here on Meetup is insufficient. Signing up with them is necessary.
Signing up with them helps them avoid having "too many" volunteers and they can update you in case anything changes.
After registering with them, they can provide more info/details (when to arrive, where to park, what to help with, where to meet, etc.).
Here are their suggestions -
Again, please remember to register directly with them.
The VA is pretty big with multiple entrances.
The lunch event is located near the north side of the VA.
One recommended parking lot is accessible from Bellflower Blvd.
If driving on 7th St, turn on Bellflower Blvd (heading north), and turn on Sam Johnson Rd.
Go east on Sam Johnson Rd toward Carob Rd.
Park anywhere near there. You might see a firetruck with a large USA flag.
After parking, walk south on Carob Rd.
Walk toward the tallest building to Patriot Park.
This picture might help illustrate -
Look for a table/tent for volunteers to check in, receive a t-shirt, and be assigned a role.
Note: This event might have many other volunteers, but they try to get everyone involved. If it's full/busy, thank you for being patient and understanding.
Some of you might be busy with your volunteer role, but if you get a break, many veterans are friendly and open to talking with volunteers. Please feel free to walk around and offer them water/soda, ice cream, pie, more food...and sit down and chat with them. Some might look rough, tough, and intimidating...but many are very social, gentle, cordial, and approachable. Plus, some of them have funny stories to share. :)
Every time I've gone, at least one veteran initiated a conversation with me and told me a funny story or asked an interesting question. If any of you go, hopefully you have a chance to sit down and listen to some of them. Thank you.