Volunteer Center of San Gabriel Valley; It takes more than just one day to make a difference

By Susan Motander
This Saturday is Make a Difference Day. For many years the Volunteer Center for San Gabriel Valley (VCSGV) has coordinated the projects for this day of community improvement projects especially in Monrovia and Duarte. This year is no different. There will be plenty of opportunities help make a difference with more than 30 projects planned. But this is only a part of what the center does.
The VCSGV has been in existence since in43. It is supported by donations, sponships and increasingly by revenue from its Court Referral program. This program receives a fee for supervising the court mandated community service required by various courts. The fee comes from the individuals performing the community service.
The Center also coordinates Meals on Wheels in this area. More than 1000 meals are delivered to senior shut-ins, the disabled and physically challenged persons each day of the week. The drivers for Meals on Wheels are volunteers themselves. According to Penny Arroyo, the center’s director, many of these drivers do more than just deliver the meals. “They are sometimes the only personal contact the clients have each day,” they said.
The center also works with other agencies in the area. They have a partnership with Pacific Clinics, the mental health service, to mentor adults and assist them in re-entering the workforce. This is their Hearts in Training program. There is also the National Day of Volunteerism for which the center has several partners including the Duarte and Monrovia Youth Teem Summits and the Monrovia Area Partnership.
This year the Center is embarking on a new program: Scholarships. The center will award three scholarships with applications being available on November 1from the centers offices. There is a $500 scholarship named for Louise Osbrink, a Monrovia resident, now in her 90s who has dedicated more than half her life giving her time and ideas to various volunteer efforts in this area. The other two scholarships are for $250 each. Each scholarship requires a written essay in addition to a basic application. The requirements for each scholarship essay are slightly different.
The VCSGV has three offices including one in East L.A., one at the Pasadena Courthouse and the third in the Monrovia Community Center, 119 West Palm, Monrovia. For more information on Make a Difference Day, the Scholarships or any other program of the center, see their website, VCSGV – Volunteer Center of San Gabriel Valley. Volunteers for Make a Difference Day this Saturday, may also contact Yenier Leyva by phone at (626)256-8187 or at yenier@vcsgv.org

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