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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Pathways To Volunteering

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Humanities, Philanthropy, Voluntarism Promotion, Youth Community Service Clubs

Mission: Pathways To Volunteering is an entry point to volunteering. The approach is simple we connect first time volunteers to handpicked opportunities to give back. This experience is rewarding for both the volunteer and the person in need and/or organization we are serving. Of course, everyone is welcome to volunteer. PTV isn’t just for first time volunteers. It’s a place for anyone who wants to get involved and give back to the community. And we do put focus on finding opportunities for family friendly activities. We offer a variety of ways to for you and your family to get involved and lend a helping hand. Here are some of the nonprofits and/or organizations we’ve partnered with. · L.A. Freedom Walk · Hope for L.A. · Downtown Women’s Center · Big Sunday · One Incredible Family, Inc. · Wayfinders Family Services · Special Olympics · Alexandria House The causes PTV supports are women and children. Here are some of the programs we have created or are developing. · The Red Bag Special · Mission H20 · Feminine Hygiene Kit for homeless women · Shoebox Packing Party for girls in need. · Dinner for Mothers Pathways To Volunteering believes everyone matters; everyone deserves to live a life worth living. Together we can change a life and in the process make the world a better place for all humanity.

Results: We have served thousands of veterans meals, provided mentors to hundreds of orphans and foster children, served hundreds of meals to homeless women, through a clothing drive provided blankets for poverty stricken families in Kathmandu as well as feeding over 300 students a midday meal.

Target demographics: Women and Youth

Direct beneficiaries per year: 15 Agencies in the community

Geographic areas served: Southern California

Programs: making hygiene kits, nonperishable lunch bags, mentoring orphans, serving meals to Veterans, activities with blind / partial blind kids, ect.

Community Stories

35 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Sara S.6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After my father committed suicide last January I was left sad and lonely. I started volunteering with Craig at Pathways To Volunteering which I found via Meet Up. He is incredibly welcoming and compassionate. He makes sure that everyone is having a good time while volunteering and giving encouraging words in person and on his Face Book site.
Volunteering is very helpful to get us out of our shells and helping others. In this way not only do we have an activity when we are lonely or getting re-situated but by giving to others we are forgetting ourselves and being a part of the great commission set out by Jesus - to love our neighbors and be charitable. Thank you Craig.

AlanBaron888

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PTV is a great organization that serves as a gateway to volunteering. They have perfect starter volunteer opportunities for all ages. They make volunteering easy and fun. Its definitely a much needed organization especially for communities that need volunteer awareness. Through PTV, I was able to pinpoint the cause I'm particularly passionate about. Thanks PTV!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been searching for great volunteer events for awhile and finally I came across Pathways to Volunteering and boy was I lucky to have found Craig and his organization. Craig is an awesome leader/organizer. His events are simple and easy for anyone to participate unlike some of the other organizations where they require all kinds of forms/orientations before you can even start. The last event PTV held that I volunteered for was Operation Christmas Child Shoebox packing party. It was both rewarding and heartwarming to know that because of Craig and us, there will be 240 little girls 5-9 that will have a much sweeter Xmas this year because of the shoe box presents we packed and delivered. This event was well organized and a lot of people came out to help! Thank you so much Craig and I'm very looking forward to helping PTV out in future events!!! I would definitely recommend PTV to everyone especially families because these are great events to bring your kids and teach them about helping others and how to make a difference.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered and mentored through various organizations. Pathways to Volunteering is a small organization that truly cares and works hard to make a difference in the community. Craig organizes the events well and truly cares for not just the causes but also its volunteers as well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love to volunteer. It is a chance to give back to the community and to be of service to others.
Sometimes to give of self, of time, of meaning is more valuable than material things for those in need.

I have volunteered at the homeless shelter and food banks and find it very fulfilling and rewarding. Hopefully making a small commitment of my time can make a big difference for somebody else.

Life is not measured by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away; I think Emerson said that. Make a moment for someone else today!

EVipond

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pathways To Volunteering has been a wonderful experience! I found the group through meetup after recently moving to the LA area. I've enjoyed the variety of events that are available on a frequent basis. Craig provides a welcoming environment for everyone and creates lasting relationships with the organizations we work with. Thank you so much Pathways to Volunteering!

Joey T.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pathways To Volunteering has been a great way for me to get into volunteering after just moving to the LA area. Craig has been a joy to work with. The events are varied and always well organized by Craig. There's a great sense of warmth and compassion that permeates each event I'm invited to. I look forward to continuing my volunteering efforts with Pathways To Volunteering!

Cindy C.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got started with Pathways to Volunteering through a meet up event that Craig listed. It was to help sort books for Big Sunday. I brought along my friend who is also an avid volunteer and both of us had a lot of fun! Craig was very organized and welcoming, and the event had a lot of volunteers who were excited and happy to be there. Throughout the entire event, I had fun sorting, labeling and packaging up books with fellow volunteers. Craig also checked in on us to make sure we stayed hydrated and were resting if we were tired. He mentioned about a few upcoming events and I look forward in participating those in the near future!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came upon Pathways to Volunteering on Meetup as I was looking for activities to do with my daughter to enhance our connection. Our first volunteer event with Craig and Pathways to Volunteering was in December 2016 at the Veteran Holiday Celebration, and since then I have always been looking forward to do volunteer work with the group. I also sign up for events on my own, but I have never had as much fun as when I volunteer with Craig and the group. He makes sure all the necessary elements are in place (parking, dress code, etc...) so that the experience is as smooth and enjoyable as possible. No matter where the event is, I know that I won't feel out of place when Craig is there. So far I have loved all the events I participated in, such as cooking lunch for the women's center in DTLA or dinner service at the Midnight Mission (both of which we didn't have to go through any orientation, thanks to Craig), my favorites were with Big Sunday. At the 5th Annual Valentine-Making, Games and Community Dinner in February 2017, after we finished packing and wrapping the valentine gift boxes, we had this big bingo game, in which my daughter and I won many prizes. We had so much fun. So it wasn't a surprise when she and I, as part of Pathways to Volunteering group and with Craig, had a great Mother's Day this past Sunday when we went on a cruise with Big Sunday at Port O'Call. We enjoyed ourselves playing Tic-tac-toe, hangman, and Unos while making friends with other people on the boat. We got to see seals on the rocks and dolphins swimming in the ocean. I am grateful to Big Sunday for organizing the aforementioned events, but I am personally thankful to Craig for signing us up, for being the point person throughout the process, and for always being the familiar face in the crowd.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent this past Saturday morning with Pathways painting the walls of 42nd St Elementary School. It was such a smooth event - Craig was exceptional is informing me of the organization, the vision, and the event that day. He plugged me into a task, which I got started immediately. I met some awesome people while painting - it was good vibes all around. I'm glad I checked out Pathways - I'll be looking out for more opportunities.

Thanks!

1 Joe224

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came across Pathways to volunteering through Meetup. I have recently moved to Los Angeles and have been meaning to volunteer for awhile now but only recently have I had the time to actually put my intentions into practice. I participated in the Painting Murals Project at an elementary school and helped to brighten up it's walls. I would recommend volunteering with Pathways to Volunteering if you genuinely have the passion to help and give your time and talents. Today's experience reminded me that I used to have an artistic side of myself in my childhood days. I enjoyed myself today collaborating with other giving individuals and hope to do it again in the near future.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have always loved volunteering and got involved with Pathways to Volunteering through my sister. I love the variety of events we attended from Easter Basket Making and Day of the Child to being a coach at the Junior Blind Olympics. At each event, we were able to prepare gifts, or spend the day with a child from a different group of people with specific needs. The most rewarding part of volunteering with Pathways to Volunteering, was the fact that I was able to meet so many people with at least one thing in common- the passion to help people.

My favorite event was the Junior Blind Olympics where I was able to get to know the coaches and athletes on my team. Before the event, I was nervous about being a coach because I had never had to coach of lead anything before. But being able to explain events to partially blind athletes and encouraging them to try their hardest had the most unbelievable reward. The happiness really showed on their faces. These athletes came from near and far to get the experience of a lifetime. I was able to share my vision with these athletes and encourage them to step out of their comfort zone and participate in the sporting events that had been set up. It was an amazing feeling knowing that I was a part of their new adventures.

I love volunteering because it is a constant reminder to appreciate what I have, how blessed I am to be able to help, and to always try my hardest in everything I do. I would definitely recommend Pathways to Volunteering to others because just like the athletes had to step out of their comfort zone, I had the chance to do that myself and get to meet great people at the same time.

1 sam_t

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came across Craig’s LA Mission event on Meetup some years ago before Pathways was even a formal organization-back when it was still at its grassroots stage. It was the very first volunteering event I found after many failed attempts of seeking out volunteer opportunities. I really enjoyed participating in community service clubs as a student but after graduating, I had an incredibly difficult time finding ways to volunteer as an individual. I would call endless shelters and churches during the holidays and was surprised to actually get turned down with responses such as “we have enough volunteers already.” With the facilitation of Craig and his events, I was able to volunteer again-an experience that I always found incredibly rewarding but just simply didn’t know where to look. It was truly admirable to see how dedicated Craig was toward serving the community; he is passionate about helping those in need and it is especially apparent through his interactions with others. In fact, his dedication to the community is almost infectious. He’s also a great advocate for volunteers participating at his events and always puts in the extra effort to make sure everyone is safe, happy, and works hard to provide a large variety of community service opportunities from working with disadvantaged youth, homeless shelters, veterans etc. so that many different populations are served. My experiences working with Pathways have only been positive and I would highly recommend this organization to everyone. Thanks to Pathways, I was able to interact with those less fortunate and gain invaluable experiences along the way. Pathways is such an important asset to both the underserved and volunteers in the community and I look forward to their continued growth and well-deserved success!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started looking online at meetup groups and was interested in finding volunteer work. I came across the Pathways to Volunteering and decided to try it out. This was over a year ago and I really enjoy working with the people in this group. Craig Shinmon is a wonderful group leader with a huge heart for helping those in need. He finds wonderful opportunities for the group to get involved in.
A couple of activities I was involved in will forever affect me. One of them was handing out food to the homeless at the LA Mission. This was a very humbling experience and everyone in our group worked so well together to get the job done. The other was handing out hygiene kits to homeless in downtown Santa Ana. There were so many people in need and it was hard to turn people away after all the kits were gone. I'd had no idea how many people there were camping out around the courthouse. It made me realize how huge the need really is.
I would highly recommend this group to anyone interested in reaching out to the community, by giving back through support and donating time to helping the needy. If you are looking for a fun and energized group of people look no further. I have not even begun to say enough about this organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others" - Mahatma Gandhi. Since my youth I have been volunteering and providing services to the communities and patrons throughout Southern California. I was introduced to Pathways to Volunteering through a meetup group service project at the Midnight Mission a little over one years ago. At this initial project we prepared and served food to homeless patrons who are in the process of recovery towards self-sufficient independent living. Craig had arranged the meetup about 30 minutes before the actual event, which help me greatly as me and my sister was running late that day. Upon arriving I knew immediately that Craig was an organized leader and was very experienced in planning to help late comers to attend the volunteering assignment. The event was very well planned and Craig took the time to arranged for a detailed tour of the Midnight Mission to give each and everyone of the attendee the background of facility, goals, purposes and programs. This tour was a very special touch as I had not encountered it in any other volunteering projects I have been involved over the years. Pathways to Volunteering is one of the most organized volunteering agency and those who meet its organizers, will find out there is excellent leadership. Pathways to Volunteer organizes volunteering services to all various age group and various activities, if anyone is looking to find a place of belonging in volunteering, they will definitely find something to enjoy at Pathways to Volunteer. I look forward to more experiences in volunteering with Pathways to Volunteer.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Pathways to volunteering has enabled me to participate in multiple causes. Perhaps most memorable is serving the US veterans during the holidays at the VA. There are also opportunities to help throughout the year. Craig seems to be really devoted towards this giving cause!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I discovered Pathways To Volunteering (PTV) through the meetup events. My first volunteer was at LA Food Bank, then, I volunteer for the Veterans Holiday Celebration (VHC), where in this event I finally met Craig Shinmon, the Founder/Program Coordinator of the PTV. He shared me his experiences when he visited some Asian countries and he was also informed me the upcoming activities at PTV. From his sharing, I could tell that he has passions in helping/serving people in need and would like to encourage people to join him and feel the remarkable experience in helping people. No matter how big or small you could participate in, you would learn new things and it’s priceless.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the volunteer events I like to join was the VHC event. The reason I like to participate in this event because I think even though the veterans are no longer on active duty, but the men and women who have served this country deserve praise. My tasks were assisting with seating and serving food for the veterans and their families. The most exciting part when I did this tasks was when they’re sharing their incredible stories especially when they’re on active duty, far away from their families. I was amazed and learned a lot from their stories.
The other volunteer activity I would like to share was when I involved in Junior’s blind holiday carnival. They transformed the gymnasium into a winter wonderland for the family member of all ages to enjoy the activities. At that time, I got in charged on the smashing can game. Although most of the kids were visually impaired/disability, but they could play all of the games pretty well. I was so happy and cheerful could be able to assist the kids playing, and at the same time felt touched by their spirits and their families support. Sometimes we’re still complaining about life, we don’t appreciate what we already have, and easily give up. When I assisted the kids, I was ashamed of myself and I thought I should learn by the spirit of those beautiful kids: Never complaints and never give up! Be tough, be happy!

Of course, there’s a lot more volunteer activities stories that I can’t share them all here. The next volunteer activity that I had signed up is Junior’s Blind Olympics. Volunteers will serve as Coaches and Coach Assistants to be paired with partial or blind athletes from the Western region of The United States. Even though the event started pretty early, but I am so excited for this event. It will be another incredible moment of my life that I will learn from this event.

If you want to volunteer but don’t know where to start yet, please come out and join us, Pathways To Volunteering. There’s a different kind of activities that you could participate in. Once you sign up for the events that you're interested in, Craig will email you the detail information of the event and when the date is getting closer, he will update you all the information you need to know. Feel free to ask him if you have any questions/concerns. So far, I have good experience in joining PTV. Craig has never let us down. He cares people more than he cares himself. For example at the volunteer event, even though Craig is busy, but he has never forgotten to check on the volunteers to make sure if everything is ok. If he can’t come to the event because there’s another event he has to help, he always asks someone like Terry to be a leader on the team and check on us to make sure if everything is fine. Both Craig and Terry like to remind us if we’re tired, we can take a rest and have lunch. They would find someone to replace us while we're gone for rest. It’s really grateful to have this nice team. I've never felt awkward to work together with other volunteers on this team. Even though I just met once with some of the volunteers, but it feels like we are a family who cares for each other.



1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering in various events in my early teens and as a working professional now I wanted to get back into to serving others. In school I was apart of an organization that was dedicated to serving communities and improving the livelihood of people. When i was introduced to Pathways to Volunteering I was amazed at how people were so motivated to serve their communities and noticed how fun it was to give back. Thank you Craig for being such a dedicated leader for Pathways to Volunteering!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I moved to SoCal back in 2015 as an international student and have been looking for things I can help the community. And I got to know Craig, the leader of Pathways To Volunteering (PTV), through a friend. He had a clear vision and plan for volunteering and his view corresponded with mine.

I participated in several volunteering events with PTV: being a mentor for local children (Day of the Child event), making care kits (hygiene kits) for homeless men and women and those are distributed to largest homeless population at Skid Row, treating Halloween Trick-or-Treat candies and chocolates for local children, playing basketball with children at the facility for handicapped children, holding an Alexandria House Annual Holiday Community Party. Those activities gave me a chance to interact with local people and our team could have a positive influence on them.

Not only is volunteering a rewarding experience, but also the volunteer experience has taught me to embrace the children and people who need a help. Especially, as for children, I believe volunteering could encourage them to look on the bright side and to keep chasing their dream. It was a great way to meet nice people and help the community together with PTV. I would like to share my experience and look forward to meeting more people to do volunteer work together with our team!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was amazing experience for me. I got a chance to volunteer job through my friend's suggestion. My job was helping kids to make bracelets. It was very worthwhile that I helped them out and interacted with them. I again participated in the volunteer job next year. While I was directing kids for taking photos with Miss Claus, I met the same kids whom I made bracelets last year. It was very nice and good to see them again.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After graduation from college, it also meant parting ways with organizations that set-up structured volunteer opportunities that I can get involved in, which is why I am glad to stumble upon Pathways to Volunteering. So far, I have attended two of the organization’s events – Midnight Mission and Big Sunday. At Midnight Mission I had the chance to serve food for the homeless as well as learn about the organization’s purpose, goal, and tour of their building prior to the dinner service. In this volunteer opportunity, I was also given the chance to hear about the stories of individuals who were former recipients of the Midnight Mission and it is heartwarming to see them give back to the organization. More recently, I participated at Big Sunday’s 3rd Annual Vet’s Night and Dinner, where I was given the opportunity to write letters for our troops and also participate in a dinner celebrating our veterans – which included trivia games and a chance to see a performance by New Directions Veteran’s Choir. Midnight Mission and Big Sunday are just two of the many volunteer opportunities made possible by Pathways to Volunteering. I look forward to doing more volunteer opportunities with this organization. I would definitely recommend Pathways to Volunteering with others as participating in this organization is always a time well-spent and fun. Thanks Craig for spearheading this organization!