Harvesting Happiness for Heroes supports veterans and their loved ones through workshops and family training as well as online community support and one-on-one coaching. To help address each veteran as a whole person—mind, body, and emotions—HH4Heroes provides a range of therapeutic services including meditation, positive-psychology tools, yoga, and healing arts such as massage and aromatherapy.
Food Forward connects people with food by harvesting excess produce from local farms and public spaces, which it distributes to more than 20 food banks and pantries across Southern California. After receiving an invitation, an all-volunteer force meets at a property and picks produce for one to two hours. A pick leader provides tools, organizes the group, and delivers the fruit to a vetted hunger-relief organization that serves it to clients within 72 hours. By conducting 15–20 picks every month, Food Forward aims to demonstrate the abundance of available food that goes to waste and to raise the issues of urban hunger and food justice in the community.
Grilled or chilled, layered or wrapped, the chefs at The Original Sandbag's Gourmet Sandwiches uphold the age-old art of bread bundling as they craft a mélange of classic sandwiches alongside a complement of classic soups, sides, and desserts. Staffers load up the shop’s fluffy rolls or toasty bread slices with spiced cuts of turkey, saucy meatballs, and veggies before pairing each creation with a homemade chocolate-chip cookie, imbuing senses with nostalgia for days at mom’s house or late-night shindigs at Cookie Monster's mansion. Diners can take their bounty to go or linger at the restaurant, which features a lineup of indoor seating and a collection of patio tables soaking in the warm rays of the noonday sun.
Students enrolled in the GAP program attend a full semester at Santa Monica College, receiving individual attention from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. five days per week and assistance with signing up for classes and extracurricular activities. GAP program attendees also gain opportunities to work at local companies and volunteer with AmeriCorps or the Red Cross, based on their preferences. The emphasis on each student making choices for him or herself helps enrollees to gain important personal and social skills for independent living later in life. By the program's end, students find themselves in greatly improved positions to secure stable long-term employment.