Volunteer Appreciation Week

April 20, 2020
Ryan Imondi

It’s National Volunteer Appreciation Week and we are reflecting on our loyal volunteers and the impact they make at CII. In 2019, more than 4,300 volunteers contributed 20,000 hours of service to support children and families in Los Angeles. Those hours are valued at $450,000!*

While our volunteer activities are on hold during COVID-19, many CII volunteers have participated in #Give19, the social media campaign we launched to raise money to get essential supplies – like food, soap and diapers – to families impacted by this crisis.

Here are some volunteer highlights from the past year:

Age of Learning

One Saturday in June, more than 50 volunteers from Age of Learning, creators of ABCmouse, transformed the outdoor playground at our Western Head Start Center into a vibrant and interactive space to encourage play and learning. In addition to creating a large mural, the team put up new signs and donated games and sports equipment. When the children came to school Monday morning, their amazed faces said it all. CII Board of Trustee Sunil Gunderia is Chief Strategy Officer at Age of Learning and helped make the volunteer event possible.


More than 100 volunteers from 20 design and architecture firms sponsor CII’s annual Gears4Kids event. Haworth, the furniture and office space manufacturer, buys bikes for kids in CII’s programs and taps into their network of Los Angeles-based design firms to contribute lights, bells, water bottle holders and locks. The volunteers help kids assemble and accessorize their bikes, and LAPD is on hand to teach bike safety.

UCLA Student and Alumni Volunteers

CII receives support from different student groups throughout the year, including UCLA students and alumni. In September, for Hispanic Heritage Month, the UCLA Latino Alumni Association beautified one of CII’s preschools in Watts by adding a fresh coat of paint to the exterior. Later in the year, another UCLA student group contributed supplies and gifts at Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School, where CII provides comprehensive supports to students and their families.

Capital Group

Once again, Capital Group employees spent a day in November assembling Thanksgiving Harvest Bags for children and families served by CII. They filled bags with stuffing mix, mashed potatoes and grocery gift cards.

Freya Zhou and Friends

With over a thousand children and parents in attendance, the Winter Family Festival would not be possible without the support of nearly 100 volunteers. Age of Learning, Loyola Marymount University, HCVT and CII support group Les Amies helped families celebrate the holidays with games, arts and crafts, gifts and lunch.

One volunteer who has consistently supported Winter Family Festival is Freya Zhou. The recent college graduate uses her birthday wish each year to enlist friends to help out at Winter Family Festival. This year, Zhou expanded her involvement by joining the event planning committee.

Junior League of Los Angeles (JLLA)

As a long-time sponsor of the Father-Daughter Tea, JLLA brought 30 volunteers to the event, which celebrates the unique bond between dads and their daughters. JLLA holds literacy events throughout the year featuring reading circles, arts and crafts and dance groups, and a Halloween-themed event in October.

*The estimated value of a volunteer hour is $29.95. The estimate is based on the average hourly earnings (plus 12 percent, to account for fringe benefits) of all production and non-supervisory workers