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Season's Givings: TreePeople restores nature with the help of volunteers

SG_Treepeople

Amy Lieu/KPCC

Stephanie Nelson tells KPCC about her experience as a volunteer for TreePeople, an environmental non-profit organization.

This post is part of KPCC's "Season's Givings" series, chronicling volunteer experiences  and opportunities during the holiday season. View a full listing of charitable organizations seeking help this season and let us know your holiday volunteer story!


Los Angeles is often thought of as an urban jungle, but environmental nonprofit TreePeople sees the potential for greener spaces. Their mission is to reach out to local communities in order to restore wildlife in damaged or underused areas of Southern California. 

Their teams plant, restore and care for trees and plants in Angeles National Forest, the Santa Monica Mountains — even on individual school campuses.

Last year, TreePeople planted more than 14,000 trees. Since 1970, the organization has planted over 2 million trees, according to TreePeople. 

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Season's Givings: Sherman Oaks nonprofit 'The Help Group' provides support for children with special needs

Season's Givings: The Help Group

Amy Lieu/KPCC

Andrea Lockhart is a volunteer with The Help Group's after-school improv program. She shares her experience with KPCC.

This post is part of KPCC's "Season's Givings" series, chronicling volunteer experiences  and opportunities during the holiday season. View a full listing of charitable organizations seeking help this season and let us know your holiday volunteer story!


Based in Sherman Oaks, The Help Group  operates nine day schools on seven campuses in the Los Angeles area to provide services for children with special needs related to autism, Asperger's Disorder, learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays and emotional problems.

“Typically, kids with autism have a difficult time with social skills. Through the improv games, we help kind of develop those," says Andrea Lockhart, a volunteer for The Help Group’s after-school program.

The improv workshop is only one of the after-school activities offered by The Help Group's Kids Like Me program. Designed to encourage kids with autism and other developmental challenges to laugh, play and interact with one another, the programs are located on The Help Group's Sherman Oaks and Culver City campuses and are open to the public. Other classes offered after school include social skills groups, Yoga Train, ballet, chess, basketball and karate.

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Season's Givings: Pasadena Humane Society seeks helpers to work with animals, outreach

Season's Givings, Pasadena Humane Society Marilyn Hoyt

Amy Lieu/KPCC

Marilyn Hoyt, a volunteer at the Pasadena Humane Society, tells KPCC about what it's like working with dogs and what keeps her coming back.

This post is part of KPCC's "Season's Givings" series, chronicling volunteer experiences  and opportunities during the holiday season. View a full listing of volunteer opportunities and let us know your holiday volunteer story!


Each year the Pasadena Humane Society provides shelter and care for a number of abandoned or homeless animals. In 2011, the organization took in nearly 12,000 animals found in La Canada Flintridge, San Marino, Sierra Madre, Arcadia, Glendale, Pasadena and South Pasadena.

And each year, the PHS reunites over 1,600 lost pets with their owners. One of those owners includes KPCC’s own Patt Morrison, who found her lost dog, Edgar, at the local shelter.

Volunteers are an essential part of  the humane society.  Currently, the organization relies on more than 400 volunteers to help keep the pets active, assist in adoption outreach, work with the organization's veterinarians, and help out with clerical work.

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