Friday, October 7, 2011

Seicho Foundation event in Downtown Los Angeles

Elizabeth Larson & Enrique Otarola in Hollywood
A few months ago, I met El “Elizabeth Larson” the principal at the Seicho Foundation Inc in Los Angeles. I was so inspired by her spirit and enthusiasm.

El told me about her work at Seicho, which empowers underserved groups throughout different ways of art work, such as painting, photograph, arts, crafts, sewing, singing, performing, etc.

This meeting happened while I worked at a major nonprofit organization in downtown Los Angeles with hundreds and hundreds of employees. Although I always worked at the accounting department (and it could be considered the most technical by some), I never thought to have immersed myself to the most technical part of the nonprofit organization such grant writing, management and marketing.
El made it sound so easy, so simple, and so straight forward that I just felt compiled to just have immersed myself into the nonprofit world and to uncover all about it, which I did for the next 5 months.

I was delighted by her energy, and I was moved to contribute to her efforts and to be part of it.
A few weeks ago, I went to downtown Los Angeles to see a Seicho foundation event. This place was filled with images taken by homeless youth everywhere I looked. I looked thoughtfully at the pictures and I could just wonder “how this moment was captured?”, I could just wonder the circumstances at the time this pictures were taken, the feelings and the worries, the dangers of the streets of a city like Los Angeles, etc. I could just think to myself, living in a city where each individual just mind their own business, and shelter ourselves at home, at work or just commuting back and forth, without any regard of how the others are doing.

I not only was able to meet some interesting people at this event, but I also was able to talk to a few of the individuals that took the pictures. And I was able to establish a connection that allowed me to share some experiences, thoughts and hopes for the future.

Melanie Badalato & Enrique Otarola in Downtown LA

Melanie Badalato is one of them, she is the event coordinator. Melanie collaborates with multiple organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, My friends place, Seicho Foundation,  etc. she is the one who put together this event. I am really impressed by her energy and can do personality.

Having myself immersed in the nonprofit world for the past two years, it is impressive to me, witnessing all the organizations and the people that are behind them, their efforts, their programs, and how they managed to fund their missions.

There are multiple nonprofit organizations out there, if you want to contribute. The internet makes it so easy nowadays. There are websites that donate a percentage of their sales to the nonprofit of your interest. Most nonprofits have websites that take donations 24/7.
Melanie, Valery and El
I heard not that long ago, that there are animal shelters that “pays you” a small monthly stipend ($200.00) to take care of cats and/or dogs while you find them a loving house. I also saw in the news the other night about this lady that takes “fancy pet pictures” to help increase the adoptions. She succeeded and now 100% of these animals are adopted every month, no one was left behind.

I also met a few people from “My friends place”, which is another nonprofit organization, this one is located in the city of Hollywood, right on Hollywood boulevard, by the Hollywood freeway (101). Their mission statement says it all “A safe haven for homeless youth”. They provide a wide range of free services for their publics (individuals that meet the criteria) that go from legal clinic, employment skill building, all the way to health education.
I really admire the work of all the people that are behind the walls of these nonprofits, I just don’t know how they do it? I would love to help this world to be a better place for the next generation, but a single effort is not enough, we need to unite efforts and maybe we could make a difference. Nonprofits are structured in a way that simplifies the people efforts. We can always contribute with some donations, checks or by volunteering.
If you want to learn more about Seicho Foundation efforts please follow the link bellow