Archive for September, 2009


Pals with Paws Play Date

September 30, 2009
This past Sunday was the Pals with Paws Play Date at Lied Animal Shelter! More than 15 volunteers showed up and it was a great turn out. I spent 3 hours with about 20 wonderful volunteers from all over the valley walking and playing with the dogs. It was a really great experience and the dogs were so much fun to hang out with. I’m really looking forward to next time and hope you all stay tuned and sign up!


Up and Coming

September 21, 2009

Happy Monday everyone! So this past weekend was really awesome. With the Greek Festival, Italian Festival and Circus in town there was something for everyone to get involved with and enjoy! This upcoming weekend will be no different. So take note of anything you see that you like.
On Friday September 25 The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is hosting their Rock the Walk event. There is going to be a BBQ dinner and concert under the stars! As a volunteer you’ll help set up and sign in guests. All volunteers will receive a plate of fabulous BBQ from Famous Dave’s and a great t-shirt. If you would like to volunteer for this event click here.
Child Focus is also hosting a volunteer opportunity on Friday September 25. For more specific information on this volunteer opportunity please call Martha Carter at 702.436.1624.
On Saturday September 26 the Las Vegas Weimaraner Club & Rescue is having their annual Weim & Wine walk. Volunteers are still needed! Click here for info.
The New Vista Community is also hosting a wine walk on Saturday September 26. Help serve wines at one of 20 wine tasting stations featuring a variety of wines! Bring your TAM card and help pour wine. Click here for more info.
On Sunday September 27 The Volunteer Center’s Alexia Gyorody is leading a Pals with Paws Play Date from 10 AM – 1 PM. Come out and play with our pals for just a few short hours and enjoy some treats too. Click here if you’d like to sign up.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

September 18, 2009

I first heard about diabetes as a child when my Yia-Yia (Greek for Grandmother) was diagnosed. Since then, the next time I encountered the disease was when Nick Jonas came out as a diabetes patient. But millions of other (not so famous) Americans live with this disease every single day.
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. J.J. gave me tons of great info on the disease and what JDRF is doing to find a cure. There is Type I and Type II Diabetes and no matter what type you have the disease has the potential to affect every organ in your body. From our eyes, to our livers, to causing heart disease. Everyone from healthy athletes to the elderly can be diagnosed and diabetes is not solely sparked from a poor diet or inadequate exercise, as many stereotypes project. Insulin shots are used for survival and some patients require as many as 7-8 shots a day. Not only is this challenging to the patient, but families also deal with the affects.
But the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is making HUGE strides in helping these patients. $.86 of every $1 donated to JDRF goes directly toward education and research. JDRF hosts numerous events throughout the year to raise awareness and funds for their cause. Ranging from Rock the Walk (September 25) to The Walk to Cure Diabetes (November 14) and their annual Black Tie Gala (spring time). Not only do these events welcome community members to attend, but volunteers are always needed!
After meeting with J.J. I felt like I not only formed a great partnership in the community, but I walked away with a plethora of knowledge I didn’t have before. J.J. was warm, welcoming and enthusiastic about her cause. It’s always great to meet a neighbor that feels as passionate about serving as I do. I encourage everyone to check out more info on Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation here. If you’d like to volunteer for the Rock the Walk event click here.

9/11 Pictures

September 18, 2009
The image uploader is finally cooperating so here are some pics from our 9/11 Event : ] The event raked in 401 banners, 1,476 cards & notes and an amazing 7,451 lbs of personal care items like DVD’s, snacks, games, hygine items, etc. That’s roughly 3.5 TONS of stuff! We were all truly amazed and speechless at the outpouring of love and support for our troops. It was just one of those days that I had chills all day long and was on the verge of tears because of how awesome it all shaped up to be. One of the best days yet! Congrats to Natalie Minev and the entire Volunteer Center Staff on such a fantastic and fabulous event!!!! For more pictures and to keep up with The Volunteer Center click here.


Week Update!

September 18, 2009

Whoa! It feels like I haven’t updated this in a while! This has been one whirlwind of a week and I hate to neglect this so I’m going to post tons of updates!
I had the great opportunity to be at the UNLV Involvement Fair this week and it was such a good way to network. There were over 100 student organizations and who knew that there were so many involved students!? What was so great about the event was the ability to meet students and hear what they were interested in. Particularly, the fact that schedules are so crazy during the school year that weekends work best for everyone which is perfect for my Pals with Paws Play Date! Which is filling up quickly!!! So my appreciation goes out to Jacob Murdock and the Rebel Service Council for hosting the Involvement Fair – great job team!!! (Oh, and check out UNLV vs. Hawaii Saturday September 19! Should be a great game 🙂

This week was also United Way of Southern Nevada’s Campaign Kickoff Event! This was an affair to remember. It was football themed and United Way’s fabulous team went all out for the occasion. Everything from the music, the centerpieces, and even the power point were fantastic! There was a drum line, UNLV cheerleaders, and baton twirlers. The icing to the cake was that Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger spoke! It was a really great time and of course, the food was fabulous. Kudos to Jill Jackson, Niki Jones, Laurie Mann and the entire UW staff for making the event so memorable!

Full time AmeriCorps Position!

September 15, 2009
This is an amazing opportunity to serve your city, get an education award, and network with like-minded individuals! Must apply by 9/16/2009 @ 5 PM!
For more information or to apply: Please visit:
AmeriCorps*VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 40 years.
VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more. With passion, commitment, and hard work, VISTA members create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty.
By serving through VISTA, members gain new skills, friends, and experiences—plus they’ll receive the satisfaction that comes from helping others. During a term of service, members also receive a modest living allowance, health care, and other benefits. And, upon completing service, members can choose to receive either an education award worth $4,725 to pay for college, or $1,200 in cash.
AmeriCorps VISTA members will be assigned to the Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada (VCSN) to support the United Way of Southern Nevada’s (UWSN) Financial Stability Partnership. AmeriCorps VISTA members will serve within UWSN to build organizational capacity and increase the number of EITC (Earned Income Tax Credits) and CTC (Child Tax Credits) qualified tax returns of low-to-moderate income individuals, families, the limited English proficient and the disabled in southern Nevada.

9/11 Recap

September 14, 2009
This past Friday was the eight year anniversary of September 11th and The Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada made sure to get involved and LIVE UNITED on this monumental day. Not only did we host Thoughts and Wishes for our Troops, but we offered numerous opportunities for community members to get involved and LIVE UNITED in their own way! The Thoughts and Wishes for our Troops was an amazing event that consisted of Volunteer Center and United Way staff, AmeriCorps members and community members coming together to make cards for our soldiers overseas.
We partnered with Blue Star Mothers to get our packages overseas and Edith Garcia spoke on behalf of the organization. When she spoke of her deep appreciation for our generosity and the challenge she faces as a mother of a fighting soldier, it was really cool to put a face to what we were doing that day.
I even got interviewed for a segment on T.V! And our efforts were featured in the newspaper and on the news also! Such an exciting day and I’m so proud to have been involved in thanking our troops for their service. Check out the segment below!
(pictures to come soon!)

Pals with Paws

September 9, 2009
(Above is my handsome nephew, Prince Roscoe Torralva)
Hello All!!! So I’m leading my first ever volunteer project this month (with dogs!!!) and I’m so excited about it!

It’s going to be with Lied Animal Shelter on September 27th from 10 AM – 1 PM. Lied Animal Shelter is THE largest regional facility for homeless pets in our nation! If you see my post from 8/21 – you can tell how excited I was to meet with such a fabulous organization. On September 27th we’ll walk the dogs, give them some much needed affection and put the sparkle back in their eyes! I hope this event is a huge hit and that I see some of you there! To sign up for this opportunity click here.

Thank you in advance for coming out in support and continuing to help better OUR community!!!


Don’t Monkey Around

September 8, 2009

(Below is a self portrait. Just kidding!)

Labor Day weekend was full of fancy and fun things in my life. A huge IKEA shopping trip with my sister, along with tons of homemade, sweet treats and a beach day in L.A. I also signed up via L.A. Works to volunteer at a Gibbon Conservation Center. L.A. Works is an affiliate of The Hands On Network and provides similiar opportunities that The Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada does, but to Los Angeles Residents! Unfortunately a pesty eye infection kept me from completing the volunteer duties, and from other plans in the land of sunshine. But I decided I should talk about the fabulous things that the center is doing, despite my ailment.
The Gibbon Conservation Center is a nonprofit facility established by Alan Richard Mootnick in 1976 for the study, propagation, conservation and betterment of the highly endangered small ape, the gibbon, and for the education of the public about the plight of this fascinating primate. The Gibbon is a type of ape that have become endangered. They are the fastest and most agile of all tree-dwelling, non-flying mammals. These remarkable Gibbons are very social animals. They are strongly territorial, and defend their boundaries with vigorous visual and vocal displays. (Sounds like my mom! Ha ha) The gibbons’ ball-and-socket joints allow them unmatched speed and accuracy when swinging through trees. The center offers tours, hosts volunteers, and provides tons of information and education to the public. If you would like more information on the center (or to volunteer!) click here.
To check out L.A. Works click here.
P.S. Don’t ever drive on a freeway with one eye closed, people will honk at you. And it’s difficult to see.

Hands on Around the Nation!

September 3, 2009

“Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as you can.”

Since September 11th is now the National Day of Service and Remembrance I think we should all get involved in our communities. If not on this day, we should all at least make the effort to give back a bit of our time throughout the year. I’ve compiled a list of Volunteer Centers in major cities around the U.S. (and a few small ones). If your city is not on this list just contact local non-profit agencies and offer your time. I’m sure they’d love to have you help! Or, simply Google your city + volunteering opportunities and websites such as The Volunteer Center or other Hands On affiliate sites should pop up! This is a fabulous opportunity to help hands on, in your community, with your neighbors, families, friends, classmates and co-workers. My hope is that everyday becomes a day of service for each of us. Whether we just carry a positive attitude, volunteer at an event, or lend a hand to a passerby. Live United!

Las Vegas, NV
Seattle, WA
Bay Area
Gulf Coast
New York, NY
Atlanta, GA
Houston, TX
Boston, MA
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Chicago, IL
Southeastern Michigan
Miami, FL
Charlotte, NC
Raleigh/Durham, NC
New Orleans, LA
Washington D.C.
Pittsburgh, PA