Let’s go on a community service ride. The following organizations are leading the way for a better L.A.! If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity, special event, a way to make new friends, or even an internship, look no further than these six L.A. community organizations serving the city’s less fortunate. These top community organizations are in the news and making a difference right here where you live.
- The Thai Community Development Center enables economically disadvantaged members of the Thai community and new Thai immigrants to become self-sufficient and culturally proficient. At its inception, the Thai CDC began offering “legal and emergency relief services, crisis counseling and intervention, advocacy, cultural orientation, and language assistance.” Thai CDC services fit into four categories: health and human services, legal services, senior services, and youth services. The organization offers self-sufficiency classes, business and economic services, legal redress, restitution, policy advocacy, human rights advocacy, ending human trafficking, parental services, and more. A large number of Thai-Americans live in L.A.’s Thai Town and the CDC is the only full-service non-profit to serve this community. Multiple opportunities exist with Thai CDC if you are interested in volunteering.
- CicLAvia is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that supports active transportation and “good health through car-free streets.” Their website states, “CicLAvia engages with people to transform our relationship with our communities and with each other.” The organization works to open streets to alternative transportation (such as bicycles) and pedestrian traffic only. They have changed local government policies regarding foot traffic and have claimed 240 miles of roadway for alternative transport and pedestrian traffic only in neighborhoods all across L.A. The organization has already been responsible for removing 20% of ultra-fine particulates from the air! Check out their upcoming events to get involved.
- T.R.U.S.T. L.A. is a community organization that supports long-time residents of neighborhoods south of downtown who have been pushed out of their communities by increasing rent and property values. Gentrification has become an issue in many urban centers, including Los Angeles. The effort of corporations has been to create a fun environment for Angelinos to live, work, and play, creating high-rent apartments, stores, and restaurants for young, high-income Angelinos. Many Angelinos however already worked, played, and lived in that neighborhood for many years, sometimes housing the same family in the same home for generations. Long time residents are forced out of their homes by high prices. T.R.U.S.T. L.A. is a steward for community land and helps low-income residents build and maintain their own neighborhoods. Fill out the form on their “Get Involved” page for volunteer opportunities or apply for 3 different available internships.
- KIWA, or Korean Immigrant Worker Alliance, was created in 1992 to prevent worker exploitation of Korean and Latino workers in Koreatown. The organization also fights to ensure that workers and business owners are reimbursed for losses from civil unrest. In Koreatown businesses like supermarkets, carwashes, and garment factories represent over 50% of jobs. Keeping these businesses open and operating is good for the community, as is protecting the workers there. A major concern of KIWA is wage theft. Wage theft is when an employer pays employees less than they’re legally allowed to. L.A. loses $1.4 billion a year to wage left. KIWA fights to protect workers and businesses from unfair treatment and pay. Volunteer or seek an internship with KIWA here.
- SALEF, or the Salvadorean American Leadership and Educational Fund, was created to encourage Salvadorean civic participation, engagement, and representation, as well as other Latino communities, in the U.S. to promote economic development and democracy in El Salvador and advocate for its economic, political, and educational growth. SALEF offers migrant legal services and gives back to communities, features scholarship programs, and requires recipients to donate hours of volunteer work. Past events have included day trips and volunteering in Tijuana. Get involved and work for the Salvadorean community there and here in the U.S.
- People For Mobility Justice (PMJ) “works primarily in the ancestral territories of the Tongva, Tataviam, and Chumash peoples, the region today known as Los Angeles.” They aim to uphold cross-movement solidarity, actively resist oppression, and work towards mobility justice. Transportation needs vary by community, race, and class but all should have equal freedom and resources to get to where they need to get. Through various partnerships, PMJ is inspiring growth and building power! Click to learn more or to subscribe to the PMJ newsletter.
We love to see organizations like these come together to make a difference in our community! It’s important to us too at BlueLA powered by Blink Mobility that electric vehicles and EV charging infrastructures be accessible to all. Which is why we offer a community membership for only $1 a month. Everyone deserves to drive an electric vehicle without the cost and hassle of car ownership! BlueLA powered by Blink Mobility car sharing provides members with fully electric vehicles for their everyday needs, making the need for your own car the old way of getting around. Become a member today and plug in to your community!