This organization, The Life Group LA (TLGLA), is not only exquisitely effective, it has an immense and loving heart. The people involved are primarily donating their time: administrative, volunteers and professionals, for the various support groups, trainings and their highly acclaimed weekend seminars.
The TLGLA leadership team is dedicated to providing the highest quality services to those who use their organization. It only takes one interaction with Sunnie and her team to recognize the depth of their love and concern for their clients. This organization runs on a shoe-string budget, it is not a top-heavy bureaucracy filled with redundancy, so your donations get to the people who are served.
If you have money to donate to an non-profit organization, or better yet, time in your life to volunteer, TLGLA is the organization you should consider. Your experience will not only benefit the community, it will make you acutely aware that good exists and thankful that you were lucky enough to have discovered a place that will fill your heart with joy and reinforce the oft lost concept of the innate goodness of humankind.
Review from Guidestar
The Life Group L.A provides weekend seminars that offer education, support and unconditional love to all who participate. It is the most transformative program that I have ever experienced, where fear, despair and isolation are replaced with courage, hope and a renewed sense of community. With compassion and non-judgement (and lots of hugs!) lives are changed in a most positive way! Attending one of these weekends is a gift that truly keeps on giving, where spirits are lifted and new friendships are forged. I cannot say enough good things about the Life Group. Please come experience it for yourself! Oh, and by the way, did I mention that it's free? See you next time...xoxo...carla
I participated in The Life Group weekend in April 2011. I knew about the seminar from my previous volunteer work. I had spent time raising a child and I wanted to re-focus my life on what was important to me. The Life Group weekend was the perfect place for me. I re-aligned my priorities to best serve my health and well being. I reconnected with committed compassionate caregivers serving a worthy goal. I found myself to be wise and powerful when I had lost hope. I have immense gratitude for the synergy of The Life Group and it's volunteers.
Since that time I have become a volunteer myself. I give because I have been given much. Thank you.
Working with the LifeGroupLA since its inception is a privilege. The volunteers and facilitators under the leadership of Sunnie Rose Berger offer a service of our Southern California Community unlike anything that is going on. In particular with offer the PoZ Life weekend 4x/year and anyone infected or affected by this pandemic can attend the two day seminar without charge. The POZ life weekend offers education and emotional support to those diagnosed with AIDS as well as to their family and friends.
The LifeGroupLA model of compassionate presence has transformed my life. I am definitely more peace filled after my 22 years of working in the role of Presenter and now Board Member.
The Life Group LA affords persons infected and affected by HIV/AIDS to attend a POZ life weekend without charge to the attendee to gather information about the disease, treatment, nutrition, complimentary therapies. There are ongoing support groups in the community for our clients also without charge. The volunteers are well trained in theShanti model of compassionate presence and provide an environment of care and support unequaled in the Southern California area. I am a volunteer in the HIV/Aids community for 20 years. When Shanti closed its doors, Sunnie stepped up to the plate and has done much personally and professionally to have TLGLA survive to serve. Personally, I am a better woman, nurse and volunteer because of the work with TLGLA and the wonderful individuals who give abundantly to the clients who come to us for education and emotional support during a most challenging time. I have met families and partners of our clients who attend the POZ weekend and the transformation from "aloneness" to meeting a community of caring individuals at TLGLA is renewing and life affirming for me.
I have grown from a person who only thinks and focuses on herself to a person who think about herself and Life Group as her 2nd family. I have learned to be dedicated to what I do and love my work. I have made great friends. I have witnessed many changes and miracle. I am honored to be a part of the Life Group.
The Life Group LA runs by compassionate volunteers! What makes the Life Group LA different is they are providing education guiding people to change themselves to become healthy happy people.
In a time when services for people with HIV/AIDS are being cut, the work of the Life Group LA is more important than ever. Their Poz Life Weekends provide specific information about HIV/AIDS, treatments, side effects and cutting edge research. The weekends also provide emotional support and vital connections for people living with HIV and the people who support them. The educational and emotional components are perfectly balanced. The weekends are a mix of both newly diagnosed and long time survivors of HIV. I have had the honor of speaking at many of the weekends and have totally enjoyed it. The audiences were engaged and asked a lot of questions. And audience members learned from each other as well. Also, as an HIV services provider, I have referred many clients to the weekends and usually described then as "life altering" and thanked me for the referral.
I have had the privilege of volunteering for Life Group LA on two occasions and was stuck by how they had created a caring and cohesive, creative and supportive community for their clients. Midway through the weekend the sharing that took place was profound and the sense of hope palpable. This is an organization well worth supporting!
I have helped this organization in a limited role, but I have seen enough of it to say that it performs a VITAL role in the community. HIV is not "just" a medical condition; it is a condition that affects the whole person, and the people around them, in relationships and families. So, beyond medical care and medications, the social services are vitally important. I am a professional (clinical social worker) who has worked in HIV social services for over 22 years, and I have lived with HIV myself for 23 years. Having the opportunity to participate in a previous version of this organization was what I credit for my long-term survival. Having services like Sunnie's can make the difference between just surviving and truly thriving. Sunnie has skills, heart, and most importantly, integrity. I have worked in non-profits that do not have integrity, and they are awful; it is an injustice. Sunnie runs a tight ship, and there is no "monkey business"; her hands are clean and her services are sincere and effective, and I have the long-standing credentials and breadth and depth of experience as a client and as a professional to be able to say that. I'm very proud of Sunnie and the all work that the staff and volunteers of the Life Group do, and I give them my highest recommendations.
Everett C Alexander
This is my 8th year facilitating with Sunnie & the Life Group Family. I first attended as a client and was transformed by the experience so much that I trained to be a facilitator.
I have been HIV+ for 34 years. Involved in many AIDS Service Organization's and on the board of many over the years. I was also a LA County Commissioner on HIV.
The Life Group is by far the most compassionate, loving & giving of all the others, bar none.
We still face the stigma & challenges of living with HIV/AIDS, however, The Life Group LA gives us a place to go to be a part of, not apart from; a place to belong, to connect, to live in the Sunlight of the Spirit once more. A place to reconnect with who we are not what we have, a place to love & be loved by many from many places and perspectives.
The color of your skin, the language you speak, your country of origin, your sexual orientation or your resume or bank account do not matter in this place.
One more time: 40+ people came together with many, many differences. As the life group does so well, by end of day one, unconditional love was becoming the norm not the exception. By end of the weekend nothing was left but unconditional love compassion & deep respect for all through all and with all.
I am as always honored to do this to see the souls of people blossom and come into full measure. Thank you all.
I had been HIV positive for 21 years when I attended this seminar. I had never told my story of being in the Navy and finding out I was HIV positive. I was 21 and they put me on a C-141 cargo plane as the only passenger and flew me from Hawaii to Travis Airforce Base where they locked me in a room with a sign that read "infectious disease do not enter." A women came in and interviewed me in a hazmat suit. I was then flown to San Diego and Miramar Marine Corps Airstation. I was then transported to Naval Hospital Balboa on a bus that I had to sit in the back of the bus alone. It was two weeks before someone touched me without gloves on and it was my mother when she arrived. I was so full of shame about that incident that I had never told anyone because when this all happened people were dying within six months of diagnosis and I survived. So, I carried the weight of that shame for all those years and finally at the weekend I was able to address the shame and have a new beginning that has been incredible. I have been living the most serene life since that weekend. I have not shame and completely feel free and present and alive. Thank you Life Group for giving me a life worth living.
I had carried around shame for over two decades. Although I had been a volunteer for multiple organization over the years I had never addressed my personal shame as it related to HIV/AIDS. I found out in 1986 while in the Navy. The way it was handled was more than shaming it was damaging to my soul. In January 2009 I finally got to tell my story in a non-judgmental and supprotive environment. After two decades I was able to begin a path of healing that until the Life Group weekend had not been afforded me. My life has been transformed since that weekend in so many ways but the most important is that I have a deeper respect for myself and those in my life. I am so very grateful for the experience I had that weekend and know it never would have happened if not for this one of a kind organization. Thank you does not seem to be enough. So, I say this to those who provide this service. May you find the compassion and love in your life that you so freely offer during these weekends.
This organization embodies the true spirit of community service. The seminars that they put together not only provide the best and most update information about HIV care, but also show to the attendees the power of volunteering since these events mobilize an amazing group of volunteers that follow the powerful leadership of Sunnie Rose. I am honored every time that I am invited to serve as speaker for these educational programs. Octavio Vallejo, MD, MPH.
Native Fusion volunteered to conduct a nutritional workshop a couple of months ago. We all enjoyed being of service to Life Group LA . The lives of the participants who came to the workshop are an inspiration to us all. What resilience, what humor! We had not laughed as hard as we did that day in a long time! Their willingness to share and do this work is not about charity, it is about being precious and free!
I really love this organization and feel honored to be an invited guest. It's a feel-good organization that gives great education and services to those with HIV/AIDS/Cancer, and their families. There is no B.S., and yet there's lots of love. I've been a presenter for their weekend seminars, sharing the mind's role in improving and creating wellness. I've found that I enjoy and get value out of sitting in on the other presentations (rather than just showing up, doing my thing, and then leaving), and having great conversations with the people attending that leave *me* feeling healed; even though I came to serve/give.
Sunnie attracts lovely, caring people to her organization. She protects those she serves from scammers and negative energy. She truly cares, and gives gives gives. The events I've also been involved with have been a load of fun too! The Saddle Up LA event has become something we hold on our calendar each year, and the only fund raiser. It would be so great to get more attention and funding to this great organization.
Large and well funded non profits in Los Angeles and around the country do not even come close to doing what the Life Group does when it comes to education and social events for people with HIV. And they do all of this on a shoe string budget! Sunnie and her volunteers should be supported not only by the city of LA but also by large foundations. Their work is groundbreaking and effective.
Even before receiving the 2011 Volunteer of the Year Award from The Life Group, it is hard for me think to of many non-profits that have made such a difference in my life. The Life Group L.A. , in my opinion, defines itself as a community. And because it is a very inclusive community, so many people feel welcomed and served at the POZ Life seminars, the weekly emotional group meetings, and all the other events the group is involved with. I hope any of the readers of this message can share everything I feel is so special about The Life Group L.A. with me (and it's exceptional leader, Sunnie Rose). Many Hugs, David
It has been a long road for me to commit to a volunteer role at The Life Group LA. After being a client three years ago, I knew I wanted to give back in some way to the group. I volunteered for some hours at POZ Life weekends, volunteered at your Gay Rodeo and Gay Pride booths, raised money at Saddle Up LA, and eventually spent entire POZ Life weekends with the Tech Team. I got to know Sunnie, the Executive Director, and the other volunteers. I even found a best friend who I tragically lost in a still unexplained incident. I can’t think of another group I am more invested in than The Life Group L.A. Your board members and facilitators spent 36 hours with me over
two weeks and guided me to become a new emotional group facilitator for the Life Group L.A. I am humbled by the feedback they gave me. I am lifted up by the support I received and used to successfully complete the training. Thank you so much!
Review from Guidestar
This group brought new life to me when I needed it most. The whole weekend was wonderful and it got me to be able to open up in a safe non threatening environment. I didn't really know how much I needed the support but Life group knew exactly what I needed. Love it so much that I might want to volunteer in some capacity in the near future. Give freely or yourself, your love, you time and your money knowing they are doin exactly what any great non profit should be doing serving the greater good of their clients. Wonderful wonderful group!!
I decided to return to volunteering in 2009, after the Great Recession butchered most of the social service program's funding. It created a great volunteer need and I rose to answer the call. I was blessed to find TLGLA through a person named Rod. He told me about the organization. After talking with Sunnie I volunteered for the first time, Jnauary 2010. Since then I haven't missed one weekend, nor fundraising opportunity. There's so many things that make this grass roots non-profit such a powerful place. It starts with its volunteers. Each one is pure love, understanding, compassion, and dedication with a personality of what the organization's ideals represent. Each of us brings our own magic to the table to create an overwhelmingly positive environment for our clients. TLGLA lets each of us do what we do best; we take the clients who are affected or afflicted with HIV through a weekend of educational awareness programs, healing groups, and emotional support groups to enrich and empower those making long term decisions about their status. Doing what we do best creates an environment where the client leaves at his or her best. TLGLA strives to make sure both the client and volunteer are as equally loved, appreciated, and understood. At the end of a weekend we walk awa with the feeling of emotional and spiritual fulfillment. All of our clients leave amazingly lifted, and ascending to new levels, knowing they are not alone. All services are provided free of charge, and our weekend continues to grow. I don't know what I would have happened had I not met Sunnie, and began volunteering for TLGLA, and I'm thankful I don't have to focus on that. Instead I've walked away with the most amazing, solid, and real friends, as well as amazing memories from my time with them.
Where do I begin a review of the Life Group LA? My first awareness of TLGLA was in 2004 at a support weekend event I attended. It was an amazing experience and a unique concept . The short term and long term benefits of the weekend workshop continue to support me to this day. The organization is perhaps the most dedicated support system I know of for the HIV+ community in L A. They operate with limited budget to sustain their mission. Sunnie Beregr, the founder, has weathered the challenges in a depressed economic environment year after year, to insure the group's continued services. This is one of the most loved and cherished HIV+ support groups on the west coast and it is deserving of funding that will sustain it and grow the organization statewide and perhaps nationally as well.
I am a volunteer speaker for The Life Group LA, and each time I present to the clients I walk away in awe... The program is the most empowering, uplifting and life changing event for HIV infected clients.
Working with Sunnie, the other volunteers and clients is truly a gift for me- Thank you all!
Michelle J Sherman, RPh, FASCP, AAHIVE
There is no other program in LA by any other organization that has no demographic boundary where we can go get all this info, support and understanding in one weekend. I am regretful that I did not go when I first tested HIV+. I would have discovered peace and a better understanding a year ago and not floundered around learning on my own how to access services I needed, understanding how best to take care of my condition and most of all stress less. This group of volunteers and staff were welcoming, knowledgeable and beyond supportive in every way. Charles D.
Review from Guidestar