California California Volunteers Invests in Volunteer Infrastructure to Address Community Challenges
Grant Funding Awarded to CORE and L.A. Works for Volunteer Mobilization
SAN FERNANDO – At a mobile COVID-19 vaccine and testing site in San Fernando, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor announced CORE (Community Organized Relief Efforts) and L.A. Works have been awarded over $200,000 and $135,000, respectively, to expand their volunteer infrastructure to address community challenges.
“We are committed to ensure volunteer opportunities are accessible to all Californians,” said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. “Governor Newsom’s investment in service allows us to partner with organizations in engaging thousands of volunteers to tackle our greatest challenges.”
As part of California Volunteers’ statewide effort to expand volunteer infrastructure with first-time ongoing funding support, California Volunteers will grant $850,000 annually to support volunteer recruitment and engagement to support #CaliforniansForAll, Governor Gavin Newsom’s call to service. The funding, known as the #CaliforniansForAll Innovation Grant: Enhancing Local Volunteer Cadre for COVID-19 Recovery has been awarded to organizations who applied and demonstrated the ability to create and implement a strategy to bring together a cadre of individuals who commit to volunteering. Volunteers will assist their community and neighborhoods across a myriad of issues such as food insecurity, education, climate change and disasters. California Volunteers also recently announced it awarded a grant of more than $130,000 to TurnOut.
CORE, the crisis relief nonprofit organization co-founded by Sean Penn and Ann Lee that has been a leader on the frontlines of COVID-19, launched a new mobile site program in Los Angeles to provide testing, vaccinations, resource coordination and health screening, earlier this week. In partnership with Carbon Health and funded by #CaliforniansForAll Innovation Grant, CORE is piloting this new fixed mobile site program for the next nine months to expand its COVID relief efforts across Los Angeles, independent of its concurrent operations with the city. In addition to expanding the organization’s operations and team of local staff and volunteers, the grant enables CORE to provide proactive disaster services and programs addressing key challenges such as climate change, education, health care, and food insecurity.
“As the pandemic continues to impact this Los Angeles community with new variants and rising cases, CORE is fully committed to protecting Angelenos by expanding testing capabilities, ensuring equitable access to vaccines and providing resource coordination services,” said CORE Co-Founder and CEO Ann Lee. “We are incredibly grateful to be a recipient of this grant and for the support and funding from our partners at California Volunteers, allowing us to continue to serve our neighbors.”
Volunteerism makes a vast difference in the lives of those served as well as those who volunteer. This funding will assist CORE and L.A. Works organizations with the ability to strengthen individual volunteer experiences while also building strong communities centered around service.
L.A. Works was founded 30 years ago, during another tumultuous time in Los Angeles, with the idea that if volunteers worked together on local needs through hands-on service, they would feel empowered to address the broader racial and economic divides of the city. As the pandemic and its disproportionate effects on communities of color have exposed these same inequities once again, L.A. Works is investing its significant volunteer power to combat four of the critical issues that have surfaced: health and wellness, the academic achievement gap, homelessness, and environmental justice. Funded by the #CaliforniansForAll Innovation Grant, L.A. Works has ramped up efforts to recruit, mobilize, and manage a diverse cadre of volunteers to increase access to vaccination through canvassing, phone calls, pop-up clinics, and mobile clinics across the city.
“Now more than ever, we are seeing Angelenos stepping up as volunteers and raising their voices as advocates to bring about change. As the pandemic continues to the detriment of our community, the unsung heroes are the volunteers who are on the front line to combat it and support those who have been impacted,” said Deborah Brutchey, Executive Director of L.A. Works. “We are honored to receive this grant. With the support of California Volunteers to build our capacity, we look forward to continuing our partnership with organizations like CORE as we all work together to recover from this disaster and move the needle on the underlying systemic issues that have compounded COVID’s impact.”
Led by California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor empowers Californians to take action to improve their communities. #CaliforniansForAll is a California Volunteers service initiative launched in response to COVID-19 to establish a volunteer corps to support the state’s response to emergencies and disasters.