If it were up to Farm LA, the humble lima bean would be the official vegetable of Los Angeles. The healthy, filling veggie grows like a champ in LA, and the non-profit’s plan to create new, sustainable lima bean farms is the winner of our March grant! Farm LA is a local 501(c)3 dedicated to rescuing unbuildable land in Los Angeles for solar and drought-tolerant agricultural farming. They seek out abandoned, unsold plots of land that remain unused due to permitting restrictions or layout imperfections, and turn them into something beautiful. Founders Jason Wood and Emily Gleicher started out by building public gardens in local communities, but soon decided they wanted to expand their operation to grow food for people in the area. They combined that ambition with a passion for their favorite vegetable, and the Lima Bean Project was born. The $1000 provided by the Los Angeles chapter of the Awesome Foundation will go towards building seed beds, soil, irrigation, shading material, and other tools needed to create small, sustainable lima bean farms that Farm LA hopes will provide food to neighboring communities for years. Through their efforts, Jason and Emily want to educate others on healthy eating habits, and help create a cultural awareness for… read more →
Congratulations to Camp Spin-Off! Their awesome mashup of summer camp and DJ school picked up the Los Angeles chapter’s February grant! Camp Spin-Off is the world’s only DJ and music production sleepaway camp for teenagers, where aspiring mixmasters get a chance to experience music and technology in the great outdoors. At their location in the Ojai Valley, campers get to learn things like music production and mixing or how to DJ on turntables, alongside classic camp activities like hiking, swimming and rock climbing…all capped off by a party featuring a special celebrity guest DJ! Camp Spin-Off is a volunteer-run organization, and 100 percent of their funds go towards running the camp and providing scholarships for underprivileged youth. With the money from the Awesome Foundation grant, Camp Spin-Off will be able to provide a week of music and fun to five Los Angeles area kids. For encouraging kids to get in touch with their creativity and explore the world of music, Camp Spin-Off is truly awesome! For more information, check out campspinoff.com, and watch the video below to hear some of tomorrow’s hottest DJs talk about their time at Camp Spin-Off.
Kaila Mellos is one awesome teenager. As a child, she was diagnosed with chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO), an extremely rare and painful autoinflammatory bone disease that often coincides with other secondary diseases such as arthritis and Crohn’s. For her Girl Scout Silver Award Project, Kaila sent personalized care packages to children and adults around the world who had been recently diagnosed with CRMO. Once the project was complete, Kaila decided to continue her newfound passion by founding Kaila’s Komfort. Since then, Kaila has not only helped more than 100 people around the world, but she’s also the recipient of December’s Los Angeles Awesome Foundation award! Kaila asks each care package recipient to fill out a survey to learn about the things they like. She then creates a custom package based on the recipient’s interests and type of treatment they are receiving. The gift baskets are filled with items like CRMO Awareness T-shirts, books and magazines, gift cards for iTunes or Amazon, coloring books and crayons, and often, a special pain relief device called “Buzzy.” Kaila says about her work, ““I hope to continue to be able to make a difference in the lives of CRMO patients by providing comfort… read more →
The Los Angeles chapter of the Awesome Foundation is pleased to announce the winner of its November prize: Reading Legacies, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing the joy of reading to young people, and to provide role modeling opportunities for at-risk youth through shared reading experiences. With nearly 85 percent of juveniles facing trial in the juvenile court system regarded as functionally illiterate, Reading Legacies believes that reading is the most fundamental skill necessary to avoid poverty and incarceration. The Awesome Foundation grant will go towards helping Reading Legacies continue its “Family Connections” program, which empowers incarcerated parents to inspire their children at home to read. Inmates and juvenile detainees are invited to share the read-aloud experience by recording a DVD, which is then sent home along with a book for other family members to share. Family Connections logged more than 1800 volunteer hours in 2014, not only inspiring the joy of reading in kids who received the DVDs, but also strengthening the crucial bonds among family members during a difficult period in their lives. Reading Legacies is currently expanding the program by collaborating with several universities, where students in criminal justice and psychology classes will participate as volunteers. For more… read more →
The Los Angeles chapter of the Awesome Foundation dove deep into our stack of submissions to find October’s grant winner: Making Waves, created by the League of Extraordinary Scientists. LXS brings science education to young people in low-income and underserved areas with programs and demonstrations provided at zero cost to schools and libraries. The $1000 award will go towards LXS’s new Making Waves tour, which will introduce the world of marine biology to kids from Southern California, many of whom have never even been to the beach or touched the ocean. The Making Waves tour kicked off last week and has already brought marine science to a number of third- and fourth-grade classes. Working with local marine biologist, Dr. Flip McCarthy, the kids learned how to test an ocean specimen to determine if it is an animal or a plant. As the project continues, future discoveries will include learning about the carbon cycle, and understanding our own responsibility to care for our oceans. Congratulations to the League of Extraordinary Scientists! We hope the rest of the Making Waves tour goes swimmingly. For more information about LXS, check out science-ing.org.