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Hi, I'm Tess Kazenoff from the Long Beach Post. I love Long Beach and I’m betting you do too.

Welcome to Doing Good in the LBC, a weekly newsletter where we’ll share how you can volunteer or give in our city. We’ll also share the latest goings-on of nonprofit organizations in Long Beach.
The Jazz Angels will reach its 17th year this summer, bringing jazz education and experience to youth ages 11 to 17. Photo courtesy of Barry Cogert.
Nonprofit news: The Jazz Angels brings music education to Long Beach youth

In 2006, longtime musician Barry Cogert applied for a grant to bring together youth to rehearse jazz music and play in a community performance. Gathering together 10 middle school musicians, Cogert and his band rehearsed over the course of eight weeks.

As the grant cycle came to a close, culminating with the performance, Cogert thought that was the end.

As he thanked the musicians for being a part of the program, one student asked, “When’s the next rehearsal?”

As others chimed in, Cogert looked toward his friend and co-director, Albert Alva.

“We just thought it was over,” said Cogert. “But Albert and I looked at each other and said, OK, let’s see what we could do.”

The next year, Cogert was able to receive nonprofit status, and The Jazz Angels was born.

Today, the youth jazz program includes nine bands, organized by personality, ability and age. The organization also works with Rising Tide, a youth after-school education center in Downtown Long Beach, and partners with the Paramount School District, teaching six classes a week there.

Read more here
Places to volunteer in Long Beach
  • Join a group of Bixby Knolls and Los Cerritos residents that meet each Sunday at 8 a.m. at rotating locations around Long Beach to clean up the area. This Sunday, meet at Los Cerritos Park by the restrooms, near the Bixby Road and Country Club Drive cross-streets. All ages are welcome, and no prior experience or equipment is needed.

  • International City Theatre is seeking ushers for its Wednesday and Thursday night previews, Thursday through Saturday night performances, and Sunday matinees. View more information here, and contact Jordan Gohara at 562-495-4595, extension 100, or email her at jordan@ictlongbeach.org with any questions.
    The theater is located at 330 E. Seaside Way.

  • Dream Catcher of Los Angeles focuses on improving the lives of children, adults, and veterans with cognitive, physical, and emotional disabilities through therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities. The organization is currently seeking volunteers for various roles including leading horses during lessons, assisting students during lessons, grooming horses, photographing and filming, creating newsletters, and more. Experience with horses is not needed, and the organization will provide all necessary training. The nonprofit requests that volunteers commit to assisting on a regular basis to provide consistently to both riders and staff. Learn more here and download the application form to get started.
Ways to give in Long Beach
  • If you’re looking for a new home for your instruments, The Jazz Angels happily accepts and refurbishes used instruments to distribute to students in need.
    Email barrycogert@gmail.com to contribute to the organization.

  • The LGBTQ Center has outgrown its Fourth Street home and is looking to expand! The center is seeking the community’s opinion about the process, and invites community members to take a survey in English or Spanish regarding priorities, values, and thoughts on an added location.

  • Celebrate Long Beach Forward’s new nonprofit status and being “Rooted in Community” with a spring fundraiser at Trademark Brewing on Saturday, April 30 at 4 p.m. While no contribution is required to attend, a donation of $25 is suggested, and one free drink ticket will be provided to each guest. Trademark Brewing is located at 233 E. Anaheim St.
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