Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Season's Givings, revisited

A few years back, before our intrepid Kitty Felde relocated herself to DC, we'd profile volunteer opportunities of various kinds that Angelenos could take advantage of.

We all pretended to think of it as a pain in the ass. But our little Grinch hearts grew three sizes each time we talked to people who actually volunteered and gave of their time - even as we struggled to figure out whether doing stories on this stuff is a conflict of interest.

Comes news that seems economically relevant this year. A friend who works for Teles Properties - a real estate company - says the traditional company party is off this year. Instead, Teles realtors are going to do some Heal the Bay volunteering: they're meeting for a 2 1/2 hour cleanup - Heal the Bay traditionally does a little edjumacation at the beginning of that, about beach trash and urban coastal issues (at least if KPCC's own sessions are any guide).

It's not all sweat for those realtor kids; gourmet food trucks are coming by, Cupcakes a Go Go and Great Balls on Tires (I think they're hawking meatballs). But it is a change, notable both for its on-trend committment to social service and on-trend committment to food trucks.

Anyone else got some stories of their companies stepping up and incorporating volunteerism into holiday plans?