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
Life Group is an incredible gift. I was truly amazed at the sense of warmth, safety, welcome and community the create for their clients. I felt and witnessed spiritual and emotional healing among the attendees at the workshop I attended last year. Its dedicated group of volunteers are also inspired to go out and do even more service in the community beyond the borders of The Life Group. It serves a great need and does it beyond well.
The Life Group offers 2 and 3 day weekend seminars for people affected or infected by HIV. I have seen amazing transformations in people who have attended the seminar. Often they change from being depressed and anxious to empowered and engaged. The seminar is much more than an informational workshop but rather a holistic experience.
This organization is amazing. The POZ Life Weekend Seminar sponsored by Life Group is informative, comforting, and enlightening.
The POZ Life Weekend offers workshops to understand logistics associated with HIV/AIDS including the most up to date medical research, available services, and additional resources. More importantly, POZ Life offers acceptance, compassion, love, safety and connection, to name a few.
Life Group LA also offers various support and discussion groups, at no cost, for those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Life Group LA is not a huge operation, in contrast it has had a huge and influential impact in the community.
I am so grateful that this organization exists! My life was changed by it on many levels.
Review from Guidestar
Throughout the history of HIV, it has been the grassroots organizations that have made the most difference. The Life Group conitinues this important legacy. Whether it is working with those infected/affected by HIV or it is being a visible presense in the gay community, this organization is always a supportive and necessary voice. Sunnie and the volunteers have created programs based upon love, support and caring compassion. The network of support which The Life Group provides is essential so that no one impacted by HIV (gay or straight, male or female) feels alone. I am so proud and grateful for my association with The Life Group!
Life Group LA is one of those one of a kind non-profit organizations, personal, intimate and professional. For anyone who is living with HIV or a friend, family member, partner, or someone they know and love who has HIV, Life Group is a transformational weekend where the infected and affected come together to learn how to live a more enriched and fulfilling life. It's a weekend of information, knowledge, education, friendship, spirituality and in the end, Love. By the end of the weekend all participants leave with many tools the most important being, Life doesn't end with the news that you or someone you love has HIV but an opportunity to live a successful life, one you had always imagined for yourself.
I have been a sponsor for the Life Group La's Saddle Up LA and just amazed at all of the hard work that Sunnie Roseberger and her team put in to this amazing event. But it doesn't stop there, They are working all year around raising awareness, resources and educating the public on HIV. HIV affects alot more people than we are aware of and it just doesn't hit a specific group of people. The Life group with continued resources can keep doing their part to make those who have HIV enjoy life a little bit more.
The services and expertise of the Life Group LA Inc are so vital in helping people with HIV and AIDS in California. They do a fantastic job of helping those in the community. Keep up the great work!
About five years ago I was diagnose with HIV. It was the scariest thing I had ever experience. I was emotionally devastated. At that moment I made a promise to myself...that I would start my treatment right away and keep my diagnosis secret from my family and friends. I felt I needed to do so because of the feelings of shame and guilt I was consumed by. About Six months later, after starting my treatment and coming to terms with my condition. I felt a void in my heart…that somehow I was utterly alone in my journey. I knew I needed to tell my mom and my siblings. I needed them for I could no longer keep my secret, it was eating me up inside. I had no Idea how they would take it or if they would understand that I was going to be ok. A good friend told me about Life Group, and so with a heavy heart I disclosed to my family and invited them to attend a Life Group seminar that very week. I really didn't know what to expect. I simply knew from my friend that Life Group would help us get some answers. The seminar was the most amazing and healthiest thing we could have ever done as a family. We came out of it filled with HOPE, COURAGE, and INSIGHT. The entire experience was so beautiful in every way. The presenters did a great job introducing the information we needed. The Group Counseling and activities allowed us to explore our feelings and tell each other how we felt. We not only grew closer as a family but also gained more insight than we could have imagine. Life Group changed my life and for it I am a better person. It gave me the tools I needed to find inner peace. I always tell my friends about the amazing work that is done there and how valuable it is to the HIV community. I am forever grateful and will treasure the blessings of this experience until the day I die from old age. =0)
The Life Program and the wonderful team members came to San Diego and I watched so many newly HIV diagnosed patients grow, learn, and feel less alone in just two short days. This is a wonderful model program that has changed many many lives.
I began my relationship with Life Group L.A as a client at one of the organizations Poz Life weekends. I had recently been diagnosed HIV+ and I was having difficulties with my medications and dealing with the issues of stigma and shame associated with having the virus. Nor could I embrace the attitude that having HIV was 'no big deal'. The experience opened my eyes to the possibilities of not only living with HIV successfully and happily, but living a life that was healthier than the one I had prior to being diagnosed. Life Group L.A helped put me on a life track that has since led me on many unexpected pathways. I have since taken the role of volunteer for Life Group and further became an employee of the L.A Gay & Lesbian Center in a program called Positive Images as an Outreach worker. That program augments the work of Life Group L.A by providing social support groups and education for men living with HIV. Through these two organizations I am blessed to be able to take a leading role in helping to reduce the transmission of HIV and fight the stigma and discrimination surrounding those who are living with HIV. Life is indeed amazing.
Life Group LA is an amazing organization that assists the HIV+ community with emotional support weekends, up to date information, and a caring and non-judgmental environment. The dedicated staff, volunteers and the astounding Sunnie all combine to be one of the most effective in Los Angeles. Long live LIFE GROUP LA!
I have never seen anyone more selflessly dedicated to a cause than Sunnie is with Life Group L.A. The work they do is vital to the community and she is tireless in her efforts to support those who are in need.
They run on a financial shoestring so I try and support them all I can and enthusiastically encourage my friends to do so as well.
Being HIV- and having a partner that is HIV+ presents challenges both physically, mentally and emotionally. The LifeGroupLA has been there in several supportive ways:
- By providing an HIV- Group (for those with HIV+ partners) where discussion and exchange of thoughts and ideas are safe to explore.
- By presenting the Poz Life Weekend that is empowering, educational and filled with love and support.
It is a wonderful volunteer driven organization where I am also proud to be a supporter both financially and in fundraising efforts.
I was introduced for the first time as a program participant in 1991. I was ill and it gave me hope, in not only figuring out how to live with my disease, but more importantly how I could help improve the world around me. During the 90s, I reffered people from an array of different backgrounds to the program as a necessary step in managing and living with their disease. Later, in the early part of 2000 I somehow found my way back to the program and started to volunteer as a speaker, helping to guide people through that which I had discovered from participating in the program soo many years prior. I have continued to donate my time and resources to this program as I have seen it change life, as it has changed mine! I continue to refer people and individuals to this program passionately as I believe the work in creating change and providing hope in the discovery of ones disease can be life giving when soo much seems hopeless and helpless.
Review from Guidestar