Volunteerism is essential to building strong communities and FilmL.A. staffers love to give back.
The holiday season is the time to clean out closets and garages, rise early and open our hearts and wallets for the benefit of others. FilmL.A. maintains an active Employee Volunteerism Program and its staff members are deeply involved in Los Angeles communities.
We asked a random sample of staffers if individual volunteerism is a part of their holiday traditions. Our hearts were warmed by what we found.
FilmL.A.’s Purchasing Administrator Tamara Watford Bolger answered, “Each year during the holidays, a group of friends and I visit a local convalescent home and sing carols to the residents.” In addition to her work at FilmL.A., Watford has been singing professionally for years. Watford Bolger says she loves seeing the residents’ smiles of appreciation and sees this as a chance for her to brighten the season for others.
General Accounting Manager, Kelly Kinnett donates to Project Shepherd, a program headed by the Rotary Club of Lakewood, CA. Project Shepherd’s “Neighbor to Neighbor” assistance program collects canned goods, toys and simple gifts to hand out to struggling and out of work parents, young people and seniors.
Rossana Babakhani, FilmL.A.’s IT Operations Support Specialist, donates to an animal shelter in her neighborhood. Her donations include blankets, toys and food to support animal shelter and rescue activities.
Susan Angrisano and Marcus Bevans from the Permit Operations department participate in the Angel City Celebration and Giveaway put on by the Rotary Club of Los Angeles. This annual effort donates toys and clothes to underprivileged youth and their families. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa along with actors Angela Basset, Chris Tucker and Guy Torre were in attendance last year. Bevans said, “Giving back in this way was such a rewarding experience. I also enjoyed rubbing elbows with some of Hollywood’s finest!”
Other employees recently opened their wallets and made monetary contributions to a school supply drive for the students who attended Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, PA. Tim Overbeck, a Production Coordinator at FilmL.A., took up a collection prior to departing to Connecticut for the holidays. “The plan was to hit the ground running on Saturday, head to Staples and just buy whatever we could afford for these kids,” Overbeck said.
We know that the spirit of giving is by no means rare in the film industry. If you know of any stories of film industry employees giving back, we’d love for you to share them in the comments section below.