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PhiLAnthropist: Giving Back to LA

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At the Skid Row Neighborhood Watch Walk | Photo by Ed Fuentes/View from a Loft, used with permission

Submitted and authored by Emily Lerman

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JOIN THE SKID ROW NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH WALK: July marked the three-year anniversary of this monthly walk focused on bringing attention and awareness to Skid Row. While the decrease in the number of people sleeping on the streets in Skid Row provides evidence of both improvement in the area and the impact the walks have had, a large and un-met need "to find adequate services for those who need and want them" still remains. On the first Wednesday of each month, the Central City East Association brings together city officials, teachers, social workers, filmmakers, downtown residents and other individuals from throughout LA in an effort to make the city streets safe again and show their commitment to improving the neighborhood. The next walk is Wednesday, August 6th at 6pm and begins at the Midnight Mission on the corner of 6th Street and San Pedro downtown. Information thanks to Ed Fuentes at blogdowntown.

CLEAN UP VENICE BEACH: Join the West LA/Malibu chapter of Surfrider this Saturday as they clean up the Venice Breakwater beach. Clean up starts at 9:00am and lasts until 11:00am; parking is only $1 in the lot on beach at the end N. Venice Blvd if you tell the attendant you are there for the clean-up. Bags and gloves will be provided for those who need them. Saturday, August 2nd. Contact for more information.

KNOW ANY HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL FANS? PACK SHOPPING BAGS AND HELP "FIGHT CHILDHOOD HUNGER": Over the course of a few months, the LA Regional Food Bank experienced an 80% increase in demand for free groceries. Rising gas prices, a looming food crisis (.pdf) and job losses in the banking, entertainment and financial industries has hit Southern California especially hard, particularly in the San Fernando Valley. Middle- and upper-class families are starting to feel the impact and this has lead to a surge in the need for emergency food assistance. Unfortunately, this comes at a time when donations to food banks are at all-time lows. On Tuesday, August 5th kids and families can join Monique Coleman of High School Musical fame in a food drive to pack shopping bags to distribute to children at the LA Regional Food Bank. The first 500 kids get an exclusive lunch bag designed by Monique Coleman. Tuesday, August 5th, 10:30am-11:30am; Courtyard at Hollywood and Highland Complex. Contact Michelle Stevenson for more information. And of course, the Food Bank always needs and appreciates donations (online l food products ) and offers many volunteer opportunities.

Photo by Eric Richardson of Blogdowntown

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