Spring 2021

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78 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2021 | News from Locals Across the Country Exceeding Expectations S AG-AFTRA members are doing amazing work in their communities, with many offering a helping hand in these difficult times. Here are just a few of those who are acting locally to make the world a better place. ‚óŹ Todd Peterson W orking in government service for many years, SAG-AFTRA member Todd Peterson knows how imperative timing is to the lives of the people he deals with daily. And with all of the stress of being on the frontline, Peterson still finds opportunities to volunteer his time to help others and bring a spark of love into the world. Recently, he has been administering COVID-19 vaccinations in the Greater Los Angeles area. During the holidays, Peterson volunteers for the Spark of Love campaign, delivering toys and essential items to families and children in need during critical times. "Whether a person volunteers at a local food bank, senior center, animal shelter or any other service organization, they will gain a sense of community involvement and personal fulfillment. Also, I always like to remind people that volunteers literally keep most organizations running, and without them, the world would be a very different place," he said. John Billingsley & Bonita Friedericy M embers John Billingsley and his wife, Bonita Friedericy, are deeply involved in assisting underserved communities in the Los Angeles area, particularly in the area of food security. Billingsley is the president of the Hollywood Food Coalition and Friedericy is a member of the board. The organization serves hot, nutritious meals, provides a community wellness program in partnership with UCLA, and distributes necessities to those who need them. It also helps to steer clients into housing programs and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. As president, Billingsley implemented a strategic plan, a fundraising plan and spearheaded partnerships with other service organizations. Friedericy assembled a team of 50 volunteers to rescue food from all over the city, including the extra food from TV and film shoots. The pair is particularly proud of the Community Exchange program they helped to create, a second-space donations hub from which the organization can help provide resources to other communities. This program enables the Hollywood Food Coalition to share a million pounds of food a year with more than 50 nonprofits. "I volunteer because you can't pretend that you have no obligations to the broader community and still be a decent citizen, a decent human being. I volunteer because the tug of war between empathy and selfishness is eternal, and our job is to put our hands on the rope and pull in the direction of empathy as much as we can in life," said Billingsley. Los Angeles

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