Comic-Con@Home 2021 SuperVolunteer Challenge: Volume 4
Lisa C., San Diego, CA says: This year I have been serving as the Vice President of San Diego Audubon Society, as well as the Advisor for the Audubon Club at San Diego City College. We received the Campus Chapter of the Year award in 2019 - the last time we had a National Audubon Convention. Karina O. (another Comic-Con volunteer) and I both worked on a lot of planting projects over the last year and a half at the Otay Valley Regional Park. We planted a Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden at San Diego City College and at Otay Valley Regional Park. We also worked at the San Diego Audubon Bird Festival, building a Hummingbird out of recyclable materials from the event like cans and cardboard and wire. It came out so beautiful! We also did Migratory Bird Day for the USFWS at South Bay San Diego and showed people how to make a bird feeder out of string, a toilet paper cardboard roll, peanut butter and birdseed.
The students also worked this year as "Tern Watchers" and removed vegetation so that the Least Terns could nest at Fiesta Island and Mariners Point. I'm in the photo holding our award, and the one with all the students who were with me accepting the award, and Karina O. is in the burgundy sweatshirt.
Sue (Director of Volunteer Services) says: What a wonderful gift to Mother Nature! Thank you for helping to protect and enhance our ecosystem and our plants and animals. And, um, you neglected to mention that Karina is holding a SNAKE!
Nancy B., Pacific Palisades, CA says: Currently I am volunteering for the LA BioBlitz Challenge to document the wild plants and animals in the Greater Los Angeles neighborhoods. An environmental survey, it is a joint venture of citizen scientists, the LA Public Library Neighborhood Project and the Sanitation and Environment Biodiversity Program. A month-long project, it is running from June 7- August 7. We observe and photograph wildlife, making special care to find indicator species for our neighborhoods. So far, there have been three indicator species: Monarch butterfly, Spotted towhee, and California wild rose, among the 40+ observations I collected last week. (Note- It is much easier to photograph plants than birds and butterflies. They do NOT move about as much!) Documenting climate change's effects in an urban environment is a great use of citizen scientists!
Sue says: Mother Nature is a very happy lady about now. She's got you and the others in LA BioBlitz to keep track of her plants and animals in the LA area. Awesome!
Janet B., San Marcos, CA, says: I found a great way to make a difference doing what I love when I am doing my beach walks. I have become a volunteer for the Surfrider Foundation by picking up trash at my local beaches. Check out their website. Anyone anywhere can do this challenge. Our oceans and neighborhoods do not need our plastics. So, I walk, take my beach bucket, remove trash and also look for heart-shaped rocks to add to my collection.
Sue says: Thank you for helping to take care of our beaches and protect our precious marine life! I hope you find a LOT of heart-shaped rocks, because Mother Nature is lovin' you!!
Nick T., Westminster, CA says: I have been volunteering for the non-profit organization called the Union of the Vietnamese Student Assoc Southern California or UVSA for short. Recently, UVSA coordinated a TNT Fireworks fundraising stand in Garden Grove to raise money for their VAHSA (Vietnamese American High School Alliance) Camp, an annual high school summer leadership camp for students in Garden Grove and surrounding communities. At the fireworks stand, I was tasked to oversee the stands operations, trained the event coordinators on how to manage the point of sales system, manage the cash box, and trained other volunteers on how to conduct sales and pull inventory.
As for UVSA in general, I have been volunteering for the organization since 2005. My first volunteer opportunity with the organization was actually during their summer leadership camps where I was part of the photo and media team. Since then, I learned more about their projects, engaged with thousands of other inspiring volunteers, and am now an active director on their board of directors. Volunteering has been a pivotal part of both my personal and professional development, and so it made me incredibly happy to learn back in 2019 that Comic-Con was also a non-profit. I hope to be able to continue volunteering for Comic-Con when it returns post-pandemic.
Me (right) completing a transaction by selling a "TNT Grab Bag" to a customer in the picture above. I happened to be wearing the 2019 Comic-Con volunteer shirt that day.
Marie T., Orange, CA says: I spent over 100 hours from Feb. to May 2021 working on tax returns for the United Way - Orange County. It was interesting work because we were doing virtual processing for some people, as well as accepting drop-off paperwork for others. I worked at two different drop-off sites - the taxpayers had to drop off copies of their ID's, tax forms - W-2's, etc, we would prepare the returns and then they'd come back to sign for them and get a paper copy of their returns. Most tax returns were e-filed.
The virtual processing meant that people had to upload copies of their ID's and tax forms along with a Selfie of themselves holding their ID next to their face. We would then either e-mail, text or call them with any questions, process their returns and have them electronically sign for them. We would provide an electronic copy of their returns for their files.
I've also signed up to help from July to October with preparing tax returns for people who didn't manage to get theirs filed by May 15th.
Sue says: Marie didn't have any photos, but she wanted people to know that the service is available for low-income people. In Southern California, it's people with income of $66,000 or less. The organization is Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). This is a really great way to help others in the community. Well done, Marie!
Mark C., Burbank, CA says: I wanted to share my volunteer efforts for the Comic-Con@Home 2021 Volunteer Challenge. One effort concerns leading volunteer cosplayers, like my Marvel members at the Avengers Initiative (http://avengershq.com) and my fellow Star Wars brethren at the 501st Legion (http://501st.com), in virtual service for pediatric service organizations like MemorialCare Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach (https://www.millerchildrenshospitallb.org). My volunteers and I discussed our volunteer efforts in recorded pediatric service panel discussions:
2021 Comic-Con@Home Causeplay: In Service to Others: https://youtu.be/pvbhxachnZo
2021 WonderCon@Home Causeplay: In Service to Others: https://youtu.be/vWS7WJS9vhc
2021 Comic-Con@Home Causeplay: In Service to Others: https://www.eventeny.com/events/comicconhome-1456/?action=schedule-item&action_ops[item_id]=6917
For 2021, I also helped with Herald Christian Health Center (https://hchcla.org/) to support their coronavirus vaccination efforts alongside other medical volunteers, such as folks from Azusa Pacific University's School of Nursing (https://www.apu.edu/nursing/), to help get over 30,000 people in the San Gabriel Valley vaccinated.
Sue says: I love the play on words: CAUSEPLAY instead of cosplay. You all are doing a Marvelous job (see what I did there?) and are bringing joy to many and helping with vaccines for many, many more!! Just shows that us geeks and nerds can volunteer and get the job done