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.
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.
As a member of the Pet Care Services Association (formerly the American Boarding Kennel Association), K9 Loft is devoted to offering the best in dog-care services. The large, state-of-the-art facility is kept clean and safe for dogs of any shape, size, and ratio of robot to animal parts. With the daycare service, customers can store their terriers, salukis, or affenpinschers for a full day ($35) in a climate-controlled environment that is constantly supervised by trained staff. The best friends of best friends maintain sanitary conditions throughout the day through use of biodegradable cleaning products. As animal friends socialize with other barkers and snack on Natural Balance hors d’oeuvres, streaming webcams make it possible to view them in action, or inaction, from afar. All dogs are screened and organized into separate groups—including designated areas for non-social dogs—depending on their size and personality.
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.
As a child in Buenos Aires, Angel Echeverria would sit on the porch of his family home and watch his aunt and uncle dance the tango. Music often spilled into the streets of his neighborhood, where many tango musicians lived. By the time he was a teenager in the early 1960s, Angel began studying the tango himself, and nearly 50 years later he founded The Tango Room Dance Center with Julie Friedgen. Like Angel, Julie grew up watching her parents’ Argentine friends dance tango at parties, and eventually became a ballet and flamenco dancer. Though she didn’t begin learning the tango until 13 years ago, once she started she immediately knew it was the dance to which she would devote the rest of her life.
Not surprisingly, The Tango Room is dedicated to the Argentine style of dance; many of the instructors hail from Argentina and lead classes in traditional, contemporary, waltz, and milonga variations. On Saturday nights the school transforms into El Encuentro—which translates to “the encounter”—a fast-paced dance party modeled after the tango clubs of Buenos Aires. Beyond tango, the school also hosts classes in salsa, belly dance, and R & B line dancing as well as Zumba and bujinkan, a Japanese martial art.