Giving Tuesday Is Approaching: Consider Ways to Volunteer or Give

Vanessa Pellegrini stands in front of presents that were  passed out to the kids attending the holiday luncheon last year at Vittorios. Donations are sought for 2019.

December 3 is called Giving Tuesday and was created in 2012 with the simple idea to encourage people to do good, and thereby help transform communities (particularly as we move into the “giving” season).

Former Pacific Palisades Citizen of the Year Marie Steckmest, whose volunteer work includes running the gardening program at Marquez Elementary, offers some suggestions.

Palisades Toy Drive, a long-running annual toy drive, will go from December 2 to 16, and is seeking new toys for all ages, including items for teenagers. Suggestions for kids ages 10+ include bracelets, necklaces, sports equipment, soccer ball and puzzles.

Items may be dropped off at CVS, The Cypress Center, Palisades-Malibu YMCA, Vittorio’s and Regal Cleaners.

The toys will be given to children associated with One Voice and with Happy Trails for Kids.

Happy Trails for Kids (visit:, was founded by Palisadian Pepper Edmiston. In 1976, her two-year-old son David Abrams was stricken by childhood leukemia. He survived cancer, but the treatments left him retarded and epileptic. Wanting her son to experience sleepaway camp, but not finding one that would accept him, Edmiston started one. The program has evolved, and the focus is on boys and girls in foster care with and without disabilities.

One Voice, which began in 1982 as an offshoot of a college sociology class, supports the premise that each person can make a difference through action. In addition to a scholars program that helps kids in the inner-city gain acceptance to name colleges, the nonprofit also hosts a holiday program in which even the youngest volunteer can pack food for a holiday food program. (Visit:

Fire Station 69 has an annual toy drive and welcomes gifts dropped off at the station at Carey Street and Sunset Boulevard.

Support Claire’s Closet at the Palisades Methodist Church by donating items for the homeless. Sign up online:



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