By: Saba Doust
Heart in Hand LA is celebrating their first year anniversary! We are very proud of the accomplishments the organization has achieved thus far and look forward to what lies ahead!
Given that it is impossible to cover all the incredible work that has been done by each member of the organization in the past year, in this blog, we aim to highlight some of the remarkable work done by the organization’s committees to this date.
The Operations Committee has been exceptionally active during the pandemic and has created numerous opportunities for members to contribute to the mission of the organization both in person and remotely. This committee consists of a large number of agents and teams who make the entire process possible, including transportation, inventory, quality control, budgeting, and on-site donation to name a few. The committee held a minimum of 3 in-person events per quarter for students to come together and make hand-made masks as well as assemble hygiene kits for donation across Los Angeles. All social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines were followed at the events. The remote team had an incredible contribution with more than 100 masks made and donated. This committee altogether, has donated more than 300 masks and kits to this date with the help of our dedicated volunteers.
The Community Outreach Committee has been instrumental in expanding the reach of HHLA by connecting with various clinics, shelters, and organizations all across the State of California. The work of this committee has been closely tied with the Operations Committee. In addition, this committee spearheaded efforts to raise money for the organization to fund projects namely through their Hike for a Cause event, Palatine’s Day Movie Night, Closet-to-Thrift Store, and Instagram fundraisers. Their events and activities were always fun, inclusive, and beneficial for our members and the community. This committee also held a food drive and donated canned goods in LA as well as made holiday cards for different clinics. Promotion of the organization has been another great focus of this group which was demonstrated through outreach efforts such as their interview with Pastor Chuck Reed, as well as designing HHLA T-shirts, and creating digital content about the organization.
The Research Committee including its subcommittees Minorities Affairs, Mental Health, Social Work, and Vulnerable Student Affairs held a variety of events to educate members on important issues, provide resources, and advance the mission of the organization on a different front. De-stress and mental wellness-themed workshops were aimed at tending to the needs of our students during these difficult times. Informational workshops and training aimed to educate our members about the various activities the organization was partaking in as a whole while providing a multitude of resources for the members. This committee had a heavy focus on the issue of homelessness, a crisis currently making news in Los Angeles, and aimed their activities toward raising awareness and calling for action through projects and events such as the Community Fridge Project, writing blogs, hosting a podcast panel, compiling diverse resources, and providing information on volunteering opportunities at clinics.
It is important to note, none of the work done by HHLA would have been possible without the incredible support and commitment of our volunteers who poured their time and energy into all the projects and activities our dedicated team of board members organized. We sincerely thank everyone for their contribution and are grateful to have been able to serve our community alongside a tireless and passionate group of people in 2020 despite all the challenges.
Lastly, Heart in Hand LA is proud to announce they are now officially a registered organization at UCLA! This event marks a major accomplishment of the organization in 2021, which hopefully will be the first of many to come in future years. Go Bruins!