Community Voices
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Guests showing their support at the 2024 Angels Among Us Gala. (photo: Holy Trinity School & Preschool Facebook page)

Recently, I was asked to speak at a Holy Trinity School fundraising event that was honoring the Lane family as “angels among us” for their astounding support of the school as generational volunteers for well over 30 years, as well as the engagement of 10 of their children and grandchildren attending the school, and of course, their commitment to our greater San Pedro community with their leadership in our Boys & Girls Club organization and the San Pedro Youth Coalition, among other community involvements. 

It was a great evening to reflect on grassroots positive efforts and the daily impact that individuals and families make. So many amazing folks are facilitating tremendous acts of kindness to support the many impactful nonprofits in our community. The following is a shout-out to their important efforts.

DONORS: Individual and business donors are the lifeblood of most nonprofits, especially those that do not charge (high) fees nor have the majority of their operating budgets funded by the government. These generous individual and business donors could use their money in many other ways to benefit themselves and their families. Instead, through their compassion and generosity, they make sure a financially challenged child can attend an after-school program, a worker can receive care at a community clinic, a food insecure family can have fruit and vegetables on their table, a battered woman can find shelter, or a neighbor can receive dental care when otherwise they would have none. 

Donors are crucial to our many nonprofits doing great work in our community — without committed donors, many of us would have to close our doors or severely pare back our services and impact. I thank them for their generous support of our community.

VOLUNTEERS: While having a skilled and compassionate paid staff when operating a nonprofit is imperative, volunteers often can help make our impact move from “good” to “great.” There are many ways to volunteer — assisting in a wide range of direct programs, helping in administrative offices, supporting a community or fundraising event, being a mentor, helping in the kitchen, or welcoming and providing information when clients arrive. 

Volunteers often fill the holes a budget cannot provide or add the additional support and care our clients need. Thank God for volunteers — they don’t keep our doors open, but they regularly make smiles happen within our walls.

ADVOCATES: Especially during this time of so much negativity we are exposed to daily, individuals with positive words about our nonprofits and their impact are of great value. In a time where you can “grade” almost anything — from your food order to your stay at a hotel to your experience getting your car washed or teeth cleaned — sharing a favorable opinion of a nonprofit you support truly helps their efforts. If you know of one or more nonprofits doing great work, please tell a friend.

BOARD MEMBERS:  I saved this particular group of individuals for last because 1.) They have a tremendous impact on the mission and vision of our nonprofits, and 2.) Engaged board members are donors, volunteers, and advocates for the organization they serve. They volunteer their valuable time to attend board and committee meetings and numerous organization events; they donate their “treasure” to support those individuals and families being supported by their nonprofit; and maybe in the most impactful way, they advocate to their family, friends, colleagues, and even their clients to support the great work of their organization. Fully engaged board members are too often under-recognized even though their efforts are genuinely appreciated and impactful. Thank you, board members — you hold us accountable, support our collective efforts, and become the best advocates any nonprofit can have.

They truly are “angels among us.”  I humbly thank everyone who helps improve the lives of those who need us most and, by doing so, help make our San Pedro community a great place to live. On behalf of all: Thank you, angels, and God bless. spt

photo of san pedro today author Mike Lansing

Mike Lansing

Mike Lansing is the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor.