Hearts for the Holidays

While we are in the giving season, the Messenger would like to suggest adding  year-round gifts to your list by making sustainable donations. If you select ten of your favorite charities or nonprofit organizations, dedicate, say, $100 a month and donate $10 to each of them.

We recommend a few below and will add more to our final issue of the year on December 15.



National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (searchdogfoundation.org) Founded in 1996, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-governmental organization that recently completed its National Training Center in Santa Paula, CA. Its mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by rescuing, recruiting and training dogs to partner them with firefighters and first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. This is where “the rescued become the rescuers.”


Search Dogs 24/7 (searchdogs247.org) — As an all-volunteer organization, 100% of funds raised goes toward supporting actual search-and-rescue deployments and training expenses for our highly trained team members and their canine partners. As a 501(c)(3), all donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. We appreciate your generosity and support.” Donate as you shop via Amazon Smile (https://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-1323166) and Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases; or via Paypal, (tax deductible).


Last Bad Day—Last Bad Day is a small Non-Profit Dog Rescue in Topanga Canyon that shops shelters in the L.A. area for adoptable dogs and place them in foster homes until they are ready for their forever homes. LBD also shelter shops for people free of charge. We don’t have facilities and find foster homes through networking. There are no fees just donations. Contact Sarah Sutton at sheltershoppers@gmail.com; (310) 463-0311;.LastBadDay.com.


Topanga Animal Rescue (http://www.topangaanimalrescue.com)—Topanga Animal Rescue is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to providing immediate medical field triage and transportation for wounded and abandoned animals in the Santa Monica Mountains and the San Fernando Valley area. Donate online or by mail to Topanga Animal Rescue

P.O. Box 1012, Topanga, CA 90290. Donations of food, discounts, materials for the all-volunteer crew are also welcome.


American Indian Scholarship Fund of Southern California (AISF)—is raising funds with a beautiful “Tongva Daily Planner” for 2018 ($25), based on the 10 Tongva seasons, created by Tongva astronomer, Glenn Miller, Jr. (See related article, page 7) The calendar begins with “The Time of Cold & Hunting” (Dec.21, 2017-Feb. 15, 2018) and ends with “The Time of Nuts and Acorns” (Nov. 8-Dec. 20). “A wonderful opportunity is at hand!  If you order through Amazon Smiles and list AISFSC, our students benefit. If you order your “Tongva Daily Planner” from the website, www.aisfsc.org/almanac, our students benefit!  If you shop Ralphs and hook your rewards card to AISFSC, our students benefit,” says long-time Topangan and Hoopa Indian Kat High.

Invisible Children of L.A.—There are more than 8,000 homeless children in L.A. County. This documentary film, produced and co-directed by local filmmaker and homeless advocate Maryana Palmer, is seeking funds to complete the film. Invisible Children of L.A. explores the daily lives, hopes and dreams of young homeless children, showing how they cope and survive in a variety of settings from emergency shelters, run-down motels, to the parks and alleyways of L.A. Woven throughout their stories are interviews with frontline homeless advocates including Senator Kevin De Leon. Joining Palmer are award-winning filmmaker and cinematographer Tim Branning, who co-directs; Academy Award-winner and 20-year veteran film editor, Tina Imahara; and Mimi Kennedy, actress (“Mom”) and homeless advocate, narrates. Invisible Children of L.A. is sponsored by Film Independent.

Donate:  filmindependent.org/programs/fiscal-sponsorship/invisible-children-la/


Move the World—is a Topanga non-profit dance performance group for ages 9-21, lead by 25-year Topanga resident and choreographer, Cecilie Stuart. MTW performs and activates for the issues of Youth Homelessness, Ocean Preservation, LGBTQ Rights, and Plastic Pollution solutions and more. Blending art with social change, Move the World conceives, produces and performs original dance works that illuminate and ignite action for today’s critical global issues. We inspire Topanga youth toward genuine activism and global vision. We have asked many local businesses to “stop offering drinking straws”, and limit single-use plastics where possible. Hugo’s Tacos and Topanga Table have said yes!  After 5 years in Topanga, we hope our hundreds of families have inspired YOU to change too, leaving you with lasting inspiration. Please volunteer and donate today to keep up dancing. Visit us at movetheworldnow.com.

Info@movetheworldnow.com. Thank you for your support!


Floating Doctors (http://floatingdoctors.com)— Floating Doctors Mission is to reduce the present and future burden of disease in the developing world, and to promote improvements in health care delivery worldwide. This non-profit volunteer organization, founded by Topanga Ben LaBrot, with help from his sister, Sky, accomplishes their mission by sending medical teams into some of the poorest and most inaccessible parts of the world. Visit the website to donate or to learn about volunteering.


Topanga Women’s Circle (http://topangawomenscircle.org)—TWC is an organization of volunteer women who help the neediest of families by furnishing their new housing with the little necessities we take for granted. By providing new and like-new items, we help create an environment of comfort, warmth and dignity. They work with two community housing organizations: Westwood Transitional Village and Venice Community Housing. TWC purchases and receives donations of new bedding, bathroom towels, rugs, personal and cleaning products, kitchen supplies, non-perishable food items, infant and toddler clothing and age-appropriate books and toys, and gently used lamps, rugs and tchotchkes that help turn a bare-bones space into a home.


Urban Compass (http://www.urbancompass.org/) The non-profit group Urban Compass provides after school enrichment programs for at-risk youth in Los Angeles.  Each year, UC helps families of the children they serve at holiday time. Currently, gifts are being sought for “Family 25.” Salvador, fourth grade, a soccer fanatic who loves looking out for baby sister Herlinda (2) and his younger brothers: Jesus is a spunky second grader who loves basketball and paper planes, and Daniel, who loves being outdoors. The boys’ family also needs linens, towels and blankets. Gifts, ideally wrapped and ready to go. Contact ​Tricia​ ​Nur,​ ​(310)​ ​435-0639,​ ​tricianur@yahoo.com for more information. Urban Compass also gratefully accepts tax deductible donations to help fund their programs.


Pacific Lodge Youth Services (PLYS)Aa division of Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services (OYHFS), PLYS is the largest provider of residential services exclusively for probation youth in California. Pacific Lodge is licensed to provide 24-hour residential care for 51 boys and operates as a community-based mental health provider. It is located at 4900 Serrania Avenue (at Dumetz), Woodland Hills, CA 91364. Donations, sponsorships and volunteers are always welcome. For more information and to donate: plys.org; info@plys.org; (818) 657-3128.


Ethio Sky (www.ethiosky.com)Founded by Topangan Lori Precious in 2016, this or profit philanthropy works with women artisans in Ethiopia to bring their beautifully made and designed products to a wider market, providing them income that will lift them out of poverty. Women helping women rise. Visit the website to learn more  or to shop for hand-crafted scarves, jewelry, bags and homegoods.


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