Time to bring this series to an end. To save you a lot of scrolling here’s a list of Charities, Non-profits, and other organizations that we here at Blogging. LA believe in enough to spend time helping them or donating directly to them. Each post has ways that you can help them out if you so desire.
If you have one that you feel passionate about drop me a note at frazgo(at)mail(dot)com and I will post it for you.
There are many ways to give – donating money or time or expertise. Donating blood or platelets (or plasma or red blood cells) is an extra special way to give, to literally give of yourself. During the holidays maybe you might consider taking an hour from all the shopping and wrapping and sit quietly while you donate blood. Or better yet, take two to three hours, lay back, watch a movie in a comfy lounge chair and donate platelets. Or consider a new year’s resolution to donate. Your donation saves lives.
A Cancer Patient can require up to 2 units of platelets per week. (And donated platelets only last about 4-5 days once donated, blood can be stored longer.)
An Automobile Accident Victim can use up to:
50 units of red blood cells
2 units of platelets
10 units of plasma
A Liver Transplant Recipient uses on average:
25 units of red blood cells
5 units of platelets
40 units of plasma
A Stem Cell Transplant Recipient can use up to:
10 units of red blood cells
10 units of platelets with ongoing outpatient transfusion needs
A Heart Surgery Patient uses on average:
7 units of red blood cells
2 units of platelets
4 units of plasma
I hope none of you ever find yourself in any of those situations, but if you do, or it happens to a loved one, knowing there is enough life saving blood and blood products out there will give some relief.
Not everyone can donate (for various reasons) so please call and see if you are eligible, then make an appointment. There are many places to donate around Los Angeles, ULCA’s Center just happens to be nearest to me.
Oh and here’s the part where you get something out of it – other than the joy and satisfaction of contributing a part of yourself – at UCLA (and maybe at other places) they give you thank you gifts of movie tickets or gift cards (jamba juice, starbucks, etc). How nice is that? Plus the yummy juice and cookies waiting for you in the resting area when you are done donating.
Make 2011 a year in which you donate blood or other blood products!
Esperanza Community Housing serves the families that live in and around the Figueroa corridor. The organization’s original focus was on housing, and they’ve built and maintained sustainable and affordable housing for folks with low incomes. But they’ve expanded their mandate to include all kinds of things that go beyond just housing and show a real dedication to developing a self-sustaining, vital community. They provide health-related education and services in English and Spanish, they run arts and science workshops for kids and families. They have an extensive education program, and train community leaders to become “health promoters,” giving them the knowledge and resources to work for health and social justice issues on a grassroots level.
Esperanza Community Housing also operates Mercado La Paloma, an amazing marketplace and community space located at 3655 South Grand Avenue. The Mercado is full of small, independently owned, community-based businesses, all of which were founded with the assistance of Esperanza Community Housing, who provided business training and startup resources, with the intent of creating jobs and business ownership opportunities in the community. The shops in the Mercado include small restaurants and shops, selling everything from arts and crafts to computer supplies. I found out about it when I met some friends for dinner at Mo-Chica, which is an amazing Peruvian restaurant located in the Mercado. (You should go, and try the AMAZING ceviche!!) Mercado La Paloma also houses art exhibits, hosts classes on topics ranging from health and nutrition to computer how-to, has a kids’ reading nook, and plays host to events like film screenings and festivals. All in all, it’s an amazing, welcoming gathering space that provides much-needed community resources.
Want to help Esperanza Community Housing continue to provide affordable housing and resources? They welcome tax-dedutible donations on their website. And you can also support the small businesses in the Mercado by doing some of your Christmas shopping there! A good time to visit might be tomorrow, December 17th, between 5:00 and 9:00pm, when the Mercado will be hosting a holiday celebration, with live music, dancing, and art workshops.
Esperanza Community Housing and Mercado La Paloma are located at 3655 South Grand Ave. Directions are available here.