When animals are rescued from dangerous living situations or seized from the hands of smugglers, STAR Eco Station provides second chances at peaceful lives. The facility offers a haven for more than 200 rescued animals and educates the public as an environmental science museum. During public tours, guides lead guests through exhibits of rescued exotic animals, such as parrots, pythons, and wildcats, while explaining the habits, history, and New Year's resolutions of each creature.
The recipient of multiple awards from media and government agencies, STAR Eco Station also provides educational outreach programs to more than 40 California school districts and works in concert with conservation organizations such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Paw Project, and Heal the Bay.
Women Against Gun Violence was founded during a national seminar on guns and gun violence, which brought together women's organizations in recognition of their historic leadership roles on community issues. Today, WAGV aims to prevent gun violence across the country by educating communities about the consequences of violence and advocating for legislation that promotes public health. WAGV's outreach programs aim to engage all citizens, from school children to adult members of the community and politicians. Its programming includes the Keepin' Them Safe program, which teaches parents how to implement safety precautions for guns in homes through role-playing activities, and the GunsSuck initiative, which combats ads that depict and glamorize gun violence, particularly those that are close to schools.
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.
Student-created artwork lines the white walls of Hands-on 3rd's two studio spaces, the second of which belongs to partner company Art Works. The organizations share talented instructors, filling up the schedule at each location with drawing, painting, and sculpting classes from Art Works and yarn-work and sewing classes from Hands-on 3rd's staff. Whether a project requires a fresh stick of charcoal or a darning needle, an ample inventory arms students with the supplies needed to finish their projects, such as sketching a mustache on a dozing deskmate.
Eat|See|Hear offers an unparalleled outdoor movie experience by screening new and classic films in HD on an inflatable, wrinkle-free projection screen standing 3.5 stories tall and 52 feet wide. Using a 30,000-watt sound system, each venue is custom-calibrated to ensure a decibel-appropriate listening experience for audiences lounging on blankets or in lawn chairs. Local food trucks remain onsite during events to dish out cuisine, and pre-film performances by up-and-coming bands get audiences pumped up and help loosen any cobwebs built up inside the ears.