Thursday, August 20, 2009

Walk the Talk: Service Project on Sunday, August 30th

Atwater Village resident Cole M. walks and rolls in last year's Shane's Inspiration 10k

Please join us for the
Shane’s Inspiration 10k Walk n’ Roll in Griffith Park
Sunday August 30th 7:45a – 12n
Shane’s Inspiration Playground
4800 Crystal Springs Drive
Follow the signs to the Merry-Go-Round and park in Lot #3.
*** Meet fellow HVC’ers at the main registration desk at 7:45am ***

It’s time to walk our talk — literally — with our August service project. The HVC will be walking and rolling (on foot, in wheelchairs, walkers, strollers) to help raise money for the important mission of Shane’s Inspiration. This is a very family-friendly event, so please bring the kids!!

Shane’s Inspiration builds universally accessible playgrounds so that kids with disabilities can play side-by-side with typically-abled kids. Their mission is to create playgrounds and educational programs that integrate children of all abilities socially, physically and emotionally, fostering acceptance, friendship and understanding. If any kids you know have ever played on their playgrounds, you’ll know it’s a mission worth supporting!

It’s easy to participate:

1. Fill out the FREE online registration form and be sure to put down that your team is HYPERION VOLUNTEER CORPS. Here’s the link:

2. Collect sponsorships 2 easy ways:
  • use the attached form and bring it with you the morning of the walk n’roll WITH THE PLEDGED MONEY (checks payable to Shane’s Inspiration)
  • OR, get secure online pledges & payment by signing up at

3. Read the attached Team Member info for what to bring, wear, etc.

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to e-mail or call me.
I’ll have my cell phone on me the day of the event in case you can’t find us.

Looking forward to seeing you there and thanks for all you do!

Keep shining a light,

Judy Korin
Hyperion Volunteer Corps Project Leader
hyperionvolunteers (at) gmail (dot) com

Friday, August 7, 2009

HVC Outreach Event a Success!

To see the rest of the photos from this great event please click here.

From our Project Leader, Karla,

The Atwater Village "Summer Nights on the Blvd." event went extremely well. It was a beautiful community building event. There are two more nights like this planned by our Chamber of Commerce, for the third Thursday of August and September. Maybe we will have a booth on those nights as well (to be discussed at our next meeting). Susie, Tara, Melissa and I setup a booth with information about the Hyperion Volunteer Corps. It was our first very public venue, where we attempted to gain new membership and increase awareness for our mission and involvement in our future service events. Thanks to Judy, who wasn't able to attend, but somehow was miraculously able to get posters, T-shirts, water bottle labels, and one-sheet flyers all printed with our new logo that she created. Thanks so much Judy!

We not only focused on promoting our HVC, we received 33 new interested names of individuals who are interested in becoming a part of the HVC. Welcome! We also handed out information concerning Obama's Healthcare Reform Plan. We collected 44 signatures of support. I have written to Senator Diane Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Adam Schiff, to encourage them to support Obama and vote for his three point plan. Reduce rising healthcare costs, allow all patients a choice in their own coverage and their own doctor, and quality care for all, by the end of this year. We desperately need quality healthcare for all Americans!

Regardless, of our small numbers, the Hyperion Volunteer Corps mission and passion for change is mighty and ever growing. Thanks to all of you and our families who encourage and inspire us to be the change that we seek.

If not now, when?
If not me, then who?

Karla Crespi-Funderburk

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Please put these on your calendar — we hope you can join us!

Sunday August 30th 8am-noon
Shane’s Inspiration Walk & Roll 5k/10k in Griffith Park
HVC will have a team walking, running, rolling in this great event too raise funds for Shane’s Inspiration, an amazing local non-profit that builds universally accessible playgrounds so disabled kids can play side-by-side with typically-abled kids. Their mission is to foster understanding, friendship and compassion through play and educational programs. It promises to be a great event.
Family Friendly!!!

Saturday September 19th 8:45am-noon
LA Regional Food Bank
Packing food for distribution. Plan on sweating and working hard for a great cause. If you've never done this kind of volunteer work before, you're in for an eye-opener and a very fulfilling experience.
Anyone over age 14 is welcome

We meet the second Saturday of every month from 8-9am to plan our service and action projects. Please join us at Homegirl Cafe, 130 W Bruno St (near Chinatown) for a delightful breakfast at an amazing place to plan how we can continue to be the change. Next planning breakfasts:
Saturday, August 8, 8-9am
Saturday, September 12, 8-9am

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This Just In: 1.42 Tons of Trash Removed at Sunnynook!

An e-mail from Alicia Katano at Friends of the LA River:

"You guys did an amazing job thank you so much for coming out and supporting our cleanup! We just got the weights back and sunnynook pulled 1.42 tons of trash…Way to go! We usually don’t advocate going into the islands because that is where birds nest but Netty told me you were all aware and careful and I am sure the egrets, herons, mallards, muscovies, etc. are thanking you for clearing out all of that plastic from their back yards!!! Melissa takes the cake with her waders and tenacity and I love your dolly/trash can idea! We are so going to copy you next year! "

Way to go HVCers and all the other amazing volunteers who came out for the event!

Want to get involved with the Hyperion Volunteer Corps and participate in monthly service projects around our community? 

Come to our next planning meeting on Saturday, May 30th 8am at the Homegirl Cafe 130 W. Bruno St., near Chinatown.

Monday, May 11, 2009

HVC Helps Clean up the LA River

Melissa in her waders, hauled out some huge trash. 
See the entire photo album by clicking here.

from Project Leader Judy:

It was filthy, hard work -- wet, dusty, disgusting at times -- but it was also an incredibly satisfying experience to get out into the river and make a small but worthwhile dent digging out and hauling out trash. Our crew worked underneath and just south of the Sunnynook footbridge, one of the only places on the river that still has a natural bottom. This section of the urban waterway is home to many ducks, geese and heron --and the lush green islands provide a contrast to the starkness of the graffiti tagged concrete banks and the roar of the 5 freeway that run along side them. 

The Friends of Atwater Village were the site captains where we cleaned up.  Netty, one of the founders of FAV and a longtime participant in the cleanup, said that this was the best turnout she has ever seen, and that more people got deeper into the river islands than ever before. She was really impressed by how well prepared we HVC'ers were, and how much dedication and passion we brought to the project. But we were just a handful of the thousands of people who showed up along the length of the river to make a difference. 

It was sobering to see the amount of plastic we hauled out of there. Let's all make a pledge to use as little plastic as possible in our lives. And if you want to do a little more than that, take action here.

I walk the river several mornings a week from Dover down to Fletcher, and I have to say that this morning the river not only looked a little cleaner, but also had that sparkle that comes from being well-loved. Thanks, everyone, for your hard work and dedication. It was a great day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

May 9th Service Project: LA River Clean Up

                                 The LA River Needs Your Help!!

From Project Leader, Judy:

The LA River Clean Up is just a week and a half away. This is a kid-friendly event. Invite your friends and neighbors too for a fun morning among the ducks, heron and other ‘wildlife’ along the river!

I need to get a final head count for those able to participate — we’ve promised at least 20 and only have 11 so far... I’d love to get way more than 20 out there! Please e-mail back letting me know if you can or cannot make it (judy [at] seesawstudios [dot] com. 

Saturday May 9th, 9a-12n
LA River Cleanup with FOLAR (Friends of the LA River) and FAV (Friends of Atwater Village)

Meet at the Sunnynook Footbridge in Atwater Village
(A few blocks north of Glendale Blvd and the Hyperion Bridge, on the Atwater side of the river. Enter the river walk at west end of Sunnynook, off of Valleybrink.)

  • heavy garden or work gloves 
  • sunscreen 
  • hat 
  • clothes to get dirty in 
  • trash pickers, fruit pickers, rakes, brooms, dustpans... Anything that might help you grab trash from the trees, brush, etc 
  • waders or rubber boots if you feel brave enough to venture into the water to do some cleanup in the islands of trees in the middle of the river 
  • a signed release of liability form (I'll have them at the event for you to sign)
We hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Please Join us for Upcoming Events 
(and bring a friend or two)

Earth Day Potluck & Letter Writing Action

Wednesday, April 22nd (Earth Day)
6:30pm – 9pm
Judy's home
please e-mail judy [at] seesawstudios [dot] com for address information and to RSVP

Bring a dish to share and a laptop computer if you’ve got one.
Judy will provide the printer, envelopes, stamps, etc.

We will be following the lead of a couple of great environmental action groups that have plenty of issues we can write about. Check them out ahead of time if you’d like:

Environment California

Natural Resources Defense Council

The Nature Conservancy

Upcoming Events: Mark Your Calendar

May 9th, 9a-12n
LA River Cleanup with FOLAR 
(details on where to meet in the Atwater/Los Feliz area to follow)
This is a family-friendly event!

Also in the Works

- following up with LA Family Housing on how we can stay involved with the Library and other projects there on a regular basis
- creating a parking-lot organic garden for/with Homegirl Café

Keep Shining a Light!


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thank You for making the LA Family Housing Library Renovation a Big Success!

Please enjoy the photo album by clicking here.

The report from our amazing project leader, Tara:

The LA Family Housing Library renovation project has been amazing. It started early on, when everyone reached out to friends and local businesses and we were overwhelmed with generous donations of new and nearly new books, games, art supplies, videos and dvds – more than we ever hoped for. THANK YOU to everyone who donated these items! (a special thank you to the folks at Storyopolis, a wonderful children’s book store in Sherman Oaks, who donated a bunch of new books – check them out, they are great)!

It was so easy to organize the event: I just sent out an email with everything we’d need for the day, from people-power to moving boxes to multi-colored tape, and everyone stepped up and pitched in, and we had everything we needed.

As you look at the before and after pictures, it is a little difficult to see how much we really changed the space. It is much more apparent when you are there in person. You cannot see, for example, how much fresher and cleaner it is and that over 60% of the old books have been removed and replenished by newer more relevant ones. It’s also difficult to see how the flow of the room works so nicely now, especially how the play area and the arts and crafts area work in a more organized and inviting fashion. And that the video area is well stocked with great kid-friendly videos, and the couch looks much more inviting and homey now.

On the volunteer day most people did not arrive on time -- because they were already there 15 minutes early! It was a great feeling to be working together with such a skillful, fun, energetic group of people. We started out by moving the newly donated and the old books, videos and toys outside. We then divided into groups – inside to clean, reorganize and fix broken things and outside to sort and label books.

I was outside and a little overwhelmed at first by the mountain of books to review! Margaret, Mary Ellen and I kept holding them up – should we keep it? Cecilia, LA Family Housing’s volunteer coordinator, kept us ruthless – out with the old, in with the new! Vivian and Kathleen were especially helpful since they both have kids and were a little bit more in-touch with what is the latest/greatest. Daniel, who took a day out of his weeklong LA vacation to help (he lives in Germany – thank you Daniel!) organized our sorting area and went through piles of books. Once we got over the fact that we had to ditch so many of our childhood favorites, we made short work of it.

Meanwhile, inside, Karla and Chad fixed everything that was broken from the foosball table to the flooring while Cyrena, Judy, and Melissa cleaned everything top to bottom. Margaret and Michelle figured out how to make the donated slip cover work on the couch (the sizes were off, but it all worked out). Michelle and Cyrena created an inviting, organized an arts and crafts area out of a rather chaotic mess. Melissa sorted and reshelved the videos and DVD while Chad sorted and reorganized the toys. Judy got all of us lunch, thanks Judy! All was ready for the books to return...

Meanwhile, outside, we were trying to figure out which catagories we really needed, since the temp ones I set up turned out to need refining. We had most trouble trying to distinguish between Picture Books and Early Readers – thank you Judy and Cyrena for figuring that out! We color-coded the sorted books with stickers and brought them back inside...

Once the books were re-shelved, we had labeled the shelves with multicolored camera tape thanks to Melissa’s tape roll with a million colors of tape. As a finishing touch, we hung Karla’s 3 handmade picture frames (thanks Karla!) which we used to feature artwork done by the children. See the pictures, they look beautiful.

Last but not least we hauled away all of the bags and boxes of discarded books, thanks to Chad and Judy doing for doing most of the heavy lifting, and donated them to the North Hollywood Public library where the librarian was thrilled to receive them.

Great project, great people, great day. I was really tired in a happy way. : ) Tara

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Kids Book Drive and Library Renovation for LA Family Housing: March 28th

LA Family Housing is an amazing organization that helps homeless families get back on their feet. The next HVC project is a renovation, organization and re-stock of their kids library room, located in a facility that provides transitional housing for homeless families for up to 2 years, while the parents get work, the kids get to school, healthcare and legal needs are addressed, and families save money for the move into their own apartments.

We are asking for books & movies appropriate for kids aged TEN AND UNDER. They must be:
  • in very good condition (something you'd give a friend)
  • age appropriate
  • non-religious
  • in English
  • contemporary (of interest to kids now)
If you have items you'd like to donate, please e-mail us: and we'll give you further instructions. All donations must be received by March 27th.

On Saturday March 28th from 9a-4p we'll be renovating, organizing and re-stocking the library at the LA Family Housing facility, near the Burbank Airport. We need volunteers!! Even if you can only make it for an hour or two, all help is appreciated. Please e-mail us for more information:

Thanks for your efforts for a great cause!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

HVC Cooks for the Downtown Women's Center

We had a great evening cooking together for the incredible folks at the Downtown Women's Center. Enjoy some photos by clicking here.

Cooking the Meal, from Project Leader Karla:
Thanks so much for everyone's participation in the Friends of Downtown Women's Center cooking night. What a wonderful community-impacting organization! The DWC provides the homeless women in Downtown Los Angeles a place to call home. They provide breakfast, lunch and a late afternoon snack to about 100 women daily. The drop-in center also provides a safe place to take a nap, take a shower, watch a show, read a book, take art classes, change into clean clothes, use a computer, celebrate the holidays and one another's birthdays, interact with a supportive community, and many more services. In addition, there is a permanent housing facility that is home for 45 women. One thing that really impressed me was the on-site health clinic, which provides free medical care for the women once a month, and also free mammograms. According to our tour guide Michelle, last year they were able to catch 15 cases of breast cancer at the early stages, before it spread. 

I was very struck by the entire organization. It was exciting to learn that a new larger facility will be opening in a year's time. I'm very glad the HVC found this community and I think we all walked away wanting to cook another meal and stay involved.

A great big shout out to the chefs: Jennifer, Lisa, Tara, Judy, Melissa, Vivian F, Krista, Margaret and Karla. Thanks to our shoppers: Karla and Vince. Thanks to our meal servers who came back the next day and interacted with the women (see post below): Vivian J, Melissa and Alison. Thanks to all who contributed toward the cost of the meal. The total came to $143.30, and we received a total of $270, so because of everyone's generosity we have enough left over to prepare another meal!! Lots of clothes and cosmetics were also donated by our HVCers and friends -- thanks so much for all that too.

The upbeat energy of our HVC Group, and everyone's willingness to just jump in and get it done with eager cooperation was apparent from the start. We're on our way, creating the change we desire! I'm truly humbled and incredibly inspired! Sincerely, Karla

Serving the Meal the Next Day, from Alison:
We really had a great experience at the DWC. Vivian and I were there at 10:30 (they didn't expect us 'til noon) so Vanessa, the volunteer coordinator, arranged for us to have a tour of the residential facility with one of the residents, named Maria, who was really amazing with all the facts about the place. Truly inspiring, and they are moving to new 'digs' within the next couple of years - a couple of blocks away, in a beautiful old building which is being renovated for them. Maria was full of stories about volunteers bringing programs to the residents, and told a bit about her own background.

The meal we served was FABULOUS - congrats to the cooks! This is a really powerful place. The staff are so sharp, and very caring. There is great dignity here. Every woman that went through the line, I wondered what her story was; all ages, all colors, of women. To everyone who put this volunteer opportunity together -- THANK YOU.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Feb 8th Meeting Report and Action Plan

A very productive meeting held at The Coffee Table, Silverlake attended by Vivian J, Vivian F, Chad, Karla, Tara, Judy, Vince, Jacob, Melissa, Joe. Thanks to everyone for great participation and enthusiasm! 

February 25-26
Project Leader: Karla
Tasks: Cook & Serve a meal for the clients at the Center, bring donations from our clothing drive

We need everyone in the group who is able to give Karla $20 toward buying the food, and to participate in the clothing drive (please click here to see their wish list). We also need a few more people to cook the evening of 2/25, and a few to serve the meal during the day 2/26. An e-mail will be sent to all HVC members with more details and Karla's contact info.

If you'd like to get on our mailing list, please send an e-mail to me (Judy) at the following address (typing it out so we don't get spam): hyperionvolunteers [at] gmail dot com.

(click calendar link in the right sidebar of the blog for more details)
  • March 8 5p: next HVC meeting at Coffee Table, Silverlake
  • March 28 or 29: next service project (family friendly) at LA Family Housing. Project Leader Tara, plus Karla and Vivian J will do a 'location scout' to determine the best project for us since they need so much help, and will report back to us with details at 3/8 meeting.
  • end-of-April Service project will be with Homeboy Industries. Project Leader Melissa will give us details at 3/8 meeting (possibly creating an herb/vegetable garden for the cafe).
  • May 8: Hyperion Bridge Clean-Up and Light-Up project. Project Leader: Joe.
  • May 9 service project (family friendly): participate in Folar LA River Clean-Up
  • June 27 service project (family friendly): volunteer at Shane's Inspiration play date at their Griffith Park playground. Project Leader: Judy.
(please report updates/progress to Judy, and she will update the blog)
  • everyone: $20 and clothing drive donations to Karla before 2/25, a few more volunteers needed for cooking & serving (enlist your friends)
  • everyone: any input on mission statement wording e-mail to Karla or Judy
  • Tara: organizing March service project
  • Tara/Karla/Vivian J: LA Family Housing location scout 3/8
  • Melissa: more details on April service project at Homeboy Industries/Homegirl Cafe, pricing for t-shirts thru Homeboy Industries
  • Judy: looking into Trash-Out donations, designing logo, organizing June service project, getting out the word to other neighborhood bloggers about our blog, expanding blog access to other HVCers
  • Vivian F/Judy: talk to Folar about our bridge project in May
  • Joe: talk to Jullian regarding any city support (ie, trashbags & trashbag pickup) for 5/8 bridge cleanup
  • Karla: looking into service opportunities at Childrens Hospital
Thanks for all your hard work and dedication! -- Judy

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monthly HVC Meeting: Sunday Feb 8th, 5pm

Join us at The Coffee Table in Silverlake for our monthly planning meeting. 
Please order a drink or some food and join us on the back patio. 
The agenda includes:
  • Intro & Report from Jan 31 Service Project (Judy)
  • February Service Project Details & Sign-Up (Karla)
  • March (Tara) & April (Melissa) Service Project Updates
  • Future Service Project Brainstorm & Assignments (Judy)
  • Hyperion Bridge Update (Joe)
  • HVC Mission Statement / Logo / Blog (Karla/Judy)
  • Further Issue Brainstorming (Judy)
A note: I'm going to try to attend one of the Obama-sponsored Economic Recovery house meetings that weekend too. Find out more and sign up to attend one at the Obama/Organizing for America website.

See you on the 8th! -- Judy

Saturday, January 31, 2009

HVC Helps Set Record at LA Regional Food Bank!

Our first service project was great fun and a huge success. Along with a spirited group of UCLA student volunteers, we helped pack a record 1,257 food boxes for seniors and others in need. 

The LA Regional Food Bank serves nearly 800,000 people throughout LA County. Most of these people are the working poor who simply don't have enough money left at the end of the month to buy food after paying rent, utilities and other unavoidable monthly expenses -- many of them single moms with kids. The volunteer coordinator stressed that in these hard economic times there is huge demand for the food banks and significantly less supply coming in. It's an impressive operation with huge warehouses full of food, located just south of downtown LA, about 15 minutes from our east-side neighborhoods. They need help every day of the year, not just at the holidays when food drives are popular.

Arrival time was 8:45am. The first hour or so is spent waiting and getting organized and oriented. But once they put you to work, you WORK. Some of our HVC crew was on the front of the assembly line putting bags and 2 boxes of cornflakes into plastic crates. The others were on the line putting cans of grape juice and beef stew in the bags. A total of 11 HVC'ers came, and Jacob recruited a new member who happened to be there and be from our neighborhood, so we were 12 strong! We sweated and smiled together, all for an extremely worthy cause. 

Note to selves for next time: eat a hearty breakfast before hand, bring a bottle of water, dress in peel-able layers and bring work gloves if you don't want your hands to get really dirty.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Join Us at LA Regional Food Bank this Saturday Jan 31st

This Saturday, January 31st, from 8:45a until noon the Hyperion Volunteer Corps will participate in our first service project, packing meals at the LA Regional Food Bank. Minimum Age: 14. No open-toe or open-heel shoes. 1734 East 41st, Los Angeles, CA 90058.

Hope to see you there.

Welcome to the Hyperion Volunteer Corps

In mid-December of 2008, President-Elect Obama called for those who had been involved in his campaign to have house meetings and help determine the future of the grassroots movement. Four thousand meetings were held around the Country. Inspired by the campaign and victory, I had one of those meetings at my home in Atwater Village (on the east side of Los Angeles), and was delighted to meet 11 fellow kindred spirits from surrounding neighborhoods. 

Most of us admitted we had never been politically active before and we all happily confessed a newly discovered feeling of patriotism. At our first two meetings we committed ourselves to create an expansive, flexible group of engaged citizens who will participate in service projects around our community at least once a month. We will also organize for legislative action on the issues we care deeply about: universal healthcare, the environment and a green economy, education. 

Check on this blog regularly for updates about our monthly meetings on the second Sunday of each month at 5-6:30pm at different locations around our neighborhoods. And then join us for our monthly service projects: working with a different non-profit or school in the community during the last week of each month.