L.A. Works: A Critical Partner for JFSLA Volunteering
In the last year, more than 235 volunteers were introduced to JFSLA through L.A. Works, a volunteer organization that mobilizes Angelenos to support nonprofits that are addressing critical community issues. The L.A. Works’ website lists various volunteer opportunities located throughout Los Angeles, including opportunities at JFSLA’s SOVA Community & Food Resource Program (JFS SOVA). That point of contact is critical for attracting more volunteers to JFS SOVA. “When a person signs up, I receive a notification that a volunteer is interested in a shift at JFS SOVA. Then I reach out to the volunteer to thank them for their interest, introduce them to the staff they will be working with, and send them additional information to prepare them for volunteering,” said Joyce Williams, JFSLA Director of Volunteers and Training. “We have had L.A. Works volunteers who sign up for shifts frequently at the JFS SOVA pantries or who refer friends or others to us.”
In the last month alone, 22 volunteers connected to opportunities at JFS SOVA through the L.A. Works website. L.A. Works became a crucial partner for JFSLA during the first years of the pandemic, helping JFSLA and other nonprofits who were experiencing a need for volunteers.
“JFSLA has been so lucky to have so many long-term volunteers throughout the years, but once the pandemic hit, many of our volunteers were not able to volunteer during this time,” said Joyce. “L.A. Works helped us recruit volunteers when we really needed them. We couldn’t have kept going without our volunteer organization partners such as L.A. Works.”
In addition, L.A. Works helps JFSLA build partnerships with other organizations to provide clients with additional services and resources. In January, L.A. Works will be providing JFS SOVA clients with Disaster Preparedness resources. Clients will receive Disaster Ready cards, educational pamphlets, and disaster preparedness go-bags.
“One organization can’t do it all,” said Brittany Harper, Director of JFS SOVA. “I’m grateful for our volunteers and organizations that partner with us, because it would be impossible to run a food pantry without them. They’re vital and I hope they know it.”
L.A. Works collaborated with JFSLA earlier this year to organize a visit from the Second Gentlemen of the United States, Douglas Emhoff, who met with volunteers and helped pack groceries at the JFS SOVA food pantry in Van Nuys.
To learn more about JFSLA’s Food Insecurity services, including the JFS SOVA Community Resource Program and the Senior Nutrition Program, please visit jfsla.org/food-hunger. To learn more about JFSLA volunteer opportunities, please visit jfsla.org/volunteer.