When a community is faced with a history of broken families, drugs, violence, gangs and a declining education system, there is often a loss of hope. The dysfunction becomes the norm and the community continues to spiral in the wrong direction. Youth attempt to survive, aligning themselves with the false promises of hope – the drugs, the gangs, the violence. Sharefest believes there is hope for these youth and families, hope that will provide lasting change for generations to come.
With a vision to create an imprint of lasting positive change in our community, Sharefest began as a simple idea to leverage a community’s assets through the creation of working coalitions, growing local leaders, equipping interested youth and fostering volunteerism utilizing established community organizations. Rather than just coming in from the outside and encourage a community to be a consumer of services, Sharefest collaborates with communities to help themselves, developing ownership.
Sharefest focuses on mentoring youth to develop the leaders of tomorrow, fostering volunteerism in the community through service projects in specific points of influence including schools, parks and community programs, and establishing working coalitions made up of city leaders, schools, businesses and the faith community.
"Building strong South Bay communities by fostering volunteerism and preparing youth to lead positive change."
It is essential that the community creatively collaborate together to meet the needs in the lives of these children and their families.
// FOSTER VOLUNTEERISM
Providing opportunities for youth, families, businesses, churches and other local entities to invest themselves into their community is vital. Sharefest is the catalyst for creating these opportunities. To date, Sharefest has provided opportunities for over 50,000 volunteers to complete tangible projects throughout their community at no cost to the recipients. Approximately, $10 million worth of improvements have been made through collaborating together during the annual Sharefest workdays.
“I have been working in education for 25 yrs and never imagined that so many caring individuals would want to give their time and talents to a school and students they might not even know. Community linking arms with schools to improve our campus has helped instill ownership that makes students want to keep the campus clean and work harder to improve in academics. Every time I see a mural or walk in our beautiful new plaza, I am reminded that adults and students really do care and can work together to make seeming impossibilities come true...”
— WINDY WARREN, Assistant Principal, Banning High School (Wilmington, CA)
// MENTOR YOUTH TO BECOME THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW
The statistics are staggering. In Los Angeles, our youth are failing in their education, gangs and violence have diminished thriving neighborhoods and our youth lose hope for a better tomorrow. Through Sharefest’s Youth Development Academy, these youth have the opportunity to be mentored, equipped and educated with the tools that they need to become successful leaders.
I have 5 older brothers and sisters and thanks to the help from Sharefest’s programming, I am the first one in my family to graduate from High School. It feels awesome! Before Sharefest, I was very negative about the possibility of me graduating and many people told me that I would never do it. But thanks to the help of Path for Teens and the other Sharefest programming, I have proved those people wrong and now that I have graduated, I feel like I can do anything!
— EDUARDO, Recent Graduate of Avalon High School
// ESTABLISH WORKING COALITIONS
In every community there’s a banker, a politician, a pastor, a gardener, a retail associate and a good-intentioned non-profit. Each are working to accomplish or achieve something for either themselves or the community at large. Sharefest works to establish creative collaborative partnerships with each of these entities to create an imprint of lasting change. Through identifying the common goals and partnering resources together, these working coalitions are changing lives.
"Our partnership with Sharefest has opened doors for us and helped us establish new and strengthened relationships in our community. In addition, it has provided opportunities for individuals from our church to make connections and serve our community better."
— BRANDON CASH, Pastor, Oceanside Christian Fellowship
// CREATE COMMUNITIES OF CARE
A community that cares is a community that works together to meet the needs of those in their community. In the greater Los Angeles area, a “community” can be so diverse in cultural heritage, economic status and values. Sharefest desires to leverage the strengths and assets found within a given community to collaborate together. We value each and every individual and believe their contributions are essential for creating a community of care. We sum it up like this – if you live, work, play or worship in your community, then take care of it!
I’ve always had a passion to help out others in my community. There are so many broken families, homes in disrepair and students who need so much educational support. I served at a Sharefest project during their annual workday and it has given me more meaning in my life. I met incredible people, found ways that I could make a difference and was able to give back to my community. The impact and benefit is unexplainable - it’s something you have to experience.
— VAGLIA “JO JO” DAVIS, Fries Ave. Elementary School (Wilmington, CA) PTA
I thought a brand new computer lab was my dream, but my dream was to have Sharefest at my school. Sharefest has changed our values and belief system. We, the administrators, staff and teachers, no longer look at obstacles, but look to find ways to work as a community. And it has given students the belief that they can achieve and succeed in the same way.
—PRINCIPAL ANTONIO AMPARAN, HOLMES AVENUE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, LAUSD
Sharefest serves at-risk Latino and African American youth ages 11-18 from the Harbor Gateway and Wilmington areas of Los Angeles. This area of Los Angeles, has many challenges to overcome. Something not lacking is the spirit and hope that change is possible. Our hope comes from local youth in particular, as agents of change. Their life experiences and commitment to their community is both inspiring and encouraging. Here is a list of just some of the needs in our greater community:
- In Los Angeles, one of every five children lives in poverty.
- Our county hosts nearly 38 percent of California’s foster care children, approximately 30,000 kids.
- The Los Angeles Unified School District’s graduation rate is at least 25 percent lower than the national average.
- More than 60 percent of Latino and African American students fail to graduate.
- More than 40,000 people belong to one of the 700 gangs in Los Angeles.
- Nearly 63 percent of hate crimes committed by gang members were violent and racially related.
Join with Sharefest and local youth to bring change to our community. Be the difference makers.
Sharefest believes that innovation or a departure from the way we have been doing things is the essential basis for change. Sharefest fosters coalitions of businesses, churches, community groups, schools and cities who have not worked together before. Challenging artificial divides and establishing working relationships. We begin the mentoring process of the next generation by providing visible models for how we build and support our community. Providing a venue for a life of volunteerism fulfills many individual desires to make a meaningful difference.
To date, Sharefest has facilitated 12 annual workdays completing over 2,500 different projects to mobilize over 50,000 community volunteers to complete over $10 million dollars worth of work for our community. That is effective.
Sharefest has served over 1,250 at-risk youth through our Youth Development Academy. Below are statistics of how our effective programming has attributed to skyrocketing graduation rates at Avalon Continuation High School.
// THANK YOU QUOTES
“Thank you again for your priceless help.”
– Samantha Leddel, Assistant Principal, Adams Middle School
“Please convey my deepest appreciation to all who volunteered on that Saturday—to refresh and beautify our little school. May we keep the liaison for many more future years.”
– Pauline Wong, Principal, Harbor City Elementary
“The projects were outstanding. Staff are thrilled and I've received nothing but absolutely amazing feedback. Our most sincere and earnest thanks to you, the project leaders and the countless volunteers that participated...”
– Mike Witzansky, Parks and Rec. Director for the City of Redondo Beach
“Thank you to everyone who did such a magnificent job with the ShareFest efforts at South High School. I can't believe we have so many helpful, dedicated people willing pitch in! The graffiti Friday was unfortunate, but the timing made it possible to get so much more cleaned than we would have been able to on a different weekend. I am so thankful we had such a willing group.”
– Scott McDowell, Principal, South High
“I just wanted to share what a blessed time I had helping out with ShareFest this year. I always enjoy participating with PV Cares and this year was awesome knowing we partnered with Sharefest for the day. Now I had wished I brought a camera. My partner Gina Cappelletti and I visited the home of Bill & Betty, an elderly couple that live in a Palos Verdes home with the most amazing view of the entire south bay beaches. We helped them install a phone/answering machine system and change about 5 light bulbs. They were both extremely grateful and overwhelmed with our helpfulness. I sat in the living room with Betty for a little while and she shared with me that she is a recipient of a heart valve transplant. I believe she is about 85 years old. Her husband is about the same age and has had a stroke in the past. They get around alright, but says she gets tried after just doing the dishes. I just know that I was so blessed to be able to help them any way I could. Thank you Sharefest and NLCC for partnering together this year and helping us to share the love of Christ to those in our community.”
– Lisa Potter, Member, New Life Christian Church, Rolling Hills Estates
“Hey I took my son to school today and they said you all did the work at Launch specialty needs preschool in Torrance USD. It looks great, from a mommy and the kids THANK YOU!”
– Katie McHargue
"Chad, ShareFest seemed to bless so many people once again, and I felt blessed myself by being a part of it."
“It has been so exciting working with everyone. What a wonderful heartfelt experience. The reachout is amazing and so healing in spirit. I feel God's presence. Thank You."
– Sondi, Trinity Lutheran
“ShareFest was terrific!! Thank you so much for allowing our congregation to be a part of this wonderful ministry. There were eleven of us from FPC Gardena at Bell Park – the work went smoothly and we had a great time!... It is great to be a part of such a community... Thank you for everything! Blessings.”
– Donna Lee Merz, Rev. First Presbyterian Church of Gardena
“Great Job! Everyone I talked to who helped out at our church had an inspiring time. Thanks.”
– David Lau, Assoc. Pastor, Bread of Life
“…It couldn't have gone any better!!!!! Thank God we were able to partner with many of their parents and teachers and accomplish a ton of work for them. 6 murals, 10 basketball poles, 6 new steel nets, 8 benches, a packback hook for each student, 1,000s of screws and all with a great atmosphere of service and cooperation. God was obvious and enabling! Thanks for the connection and the coordination of this wonderful community impact event.”
– Pastor Ty, Cornerstone Christian, Manhattan Beach
“It went just great … no one had a wait time longer than five minutes. It just rocked. The giveaways were most appreciated, and everything went really smoothly. I can't think of anything to make it better.”
// THANK YOU LETTERS
- Thank You Letter from Councilman Joe Buscaino
- Thank You Letter from Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa
- Gulf Avenue Elementary School
- Los Angeles Unified School District
- Lawndale Elementary School District
- Carson High School
- Dodson Middle School
- Gardena High School
- Adams Middle School
- Towers Elementary School
- Supervisor Don Knabe
- City of Torrance
- El Segundo Unified School District
- Torrance Unified School District 1
- Torrance Unified School District 2
- Cal State Univ. Dominguez Hills (Ernst)
- Torrance High School
- ShareFest: Community Service Builds a Bridge to Carnegie Middle School
- Janice Hahn Thank You
- Toyota – Jack Hollis
- 186th St School Thank You
- Cooper High School
- Shery High School
- Redondo Unified School District
- Community's Child
- City on a Hill
- Douglas Leach Architecture
- Single Mother in Hawthorne
- Richstone Family Center
- Daniel Ibarra Thank You
- Certificate of Recognition from the City of Torrance
- Councilman Buscaino Recognizes the Efforts of Sharefest | Watch Video
- 23rd Annual City of Carson Business Awards recipient | Non-Profit Category
- Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition presented by Congresswoman Laura Richardson
- Certificate of Recognition from the City of Carson
- Certificate of Thanks from Towers Elementary School, Torrance CA
- Certificate of Recognition from the California State Assembly, Warren Furutani, Assembly Member, 55th Assembly District
- "Award of Appreciation for Outstanding Contribution to Education" from Association of California School Administrators (Region 14) and Redondo Beach Unified School District
- Community Grand Marshal of 22nd Annual Heart of the Harbor Holiday Parade
- The Harbor City/Harbor Gateway Chamber of Commerce Organization of the Year Award
- City of Los Angeles congratulations for "2010 Organization of the Year Award"
- Los Angeles Board of Education Certificate of Recognition for "2010 Organization of the Year Award"
- California Senate Certificate of Recognition from Senator Jenny Oropeza for "2010 Organization of the Year Award"
- Certificate of Congressional Commendation from Congresswoman Jane Harman for "2010 Organization of the Year Award"
- Los Angeles Unified School District Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding service to the community
- Non-profit Organization of the Year Award from the Wilmington Coordinating Council
- Certificate of Recognition from the State of California Senate for the "2009 Community Award"
- Certificate of Recognition from the California Legislature Assembly for the "2009 Wilmington Superstar Award"
- Certificate of Recognition from the California Legislature Assembly for the "2009 Community Award" from the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
- Certificate of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles, Councilwoman Janice Hahn, Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa
- 2009 Community Award from the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
- Certificate of Appreciation from Curtiss Middle School, Principal Dr. E. Burems
- Certificate of Appreciation from Hawaiian Avenue Elementary School
- Certificate of Appreciation from Avalon High School, Principal Regina Awtry
- Certificate of Congressional Commendation from Congresswoman Jane Harmon
- California State Senate Certificate of Recognition presented by Debra Bowen
- Three City of Los Angeles Certificates of Appreciation presented by Janice Hahn, Councilwoman of the 15th District
- The President’s Call to Service Award
Office of City Attorney Certificate of Appreciation
- Wilmington Park School Certificate of Appreciation
- City of Redondo Beach Mayor’s Commendation Award
- City of Redondo Beach Proclamation Award
- Redondo Beach Unified School District Award of Appreciation
- Torrance Unified School District Golden Apple Award
- Torrance Unified School District Outstanding Volunteer Participant
- Torrance Unified School District Certificate of Recognition
- City of Los Angeles Certificate of Appreciation presented by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
- Office of City Attorney Certification of Appreciation presented by Los Angeles City Attorney Rockard J. Delgadillo