‘Tis the season for helping others, and Kollin Altomare Architects staff showed their holiday cheer this month by volunteering with Friends & Helpers, a local nonprofit organization, in El Segundo earlier this month.

Friends & Helpers was started in 1992 in Southern California by a victim of domestic violence to support the families within local shelters. Their goal is to provide support, education and encouragement for domestic abuse victims who have fled to a shelter or group home for safety. All of whom are trying to help themselves out of a violent, hurtful situation by receiving counseling, job training, financial planning and life skills. The organization supports several centers throughout the year.

Jill Guerrero, KAA job captain, introduced the rest of our staff to Friends & Helpers, and organized a volunteer day to give back local families in need. On December 6th, Jill and Kira Beltran, KAA interior designer, participated in this year’s holiday program, assembling packages of gift cards, toys and food for families in the program.

Friends & Helpers community outreach includes Back to School and Adopt A Family Holiday Program. Volunteers assemble school supplies, snack bags, hygiene items and holiday gifts as a way to provide the families with items we often take for granted and they desperately need all year round. This is made possible by donations, volunteer hours and company sponsorship. For more information on Friends & Helpers, click here.

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Serving the community we live and work in is very important to us at Kollin Altomare Architects. Founder and principal Michael Kollin recently spent time mentoring Wilson Classical High School’s senior architectural students despite an increasingly busy schedule with all of our ongoing projects. As a mentor, he guided them and shared his knowledge gained through decades of professional experience as an architect.

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 As the students presented their final senior projects June 10th, Michael served as juror, and later that evening was also a juror at an art showing of the students’ work. “Regeneration”is an exhibition of functional objects designed and built by students from Wilson High School’s Spring Architecture class. Using wood sourced from used pallets, students constructed upcycled tables and chairs inspired by both architecture as well as their personal experiences. The exhibit is on display at the Long Beach Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) and will run until July 3rd in MOLAA’s Port to Learning Gallery.

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The Port to Learning is a new gallery space committed to expanding visitors’ understanding of topics central to MOLAA’s mission through interactive educational programming. For more information on the Regeneration exhibit, click here

Congratulations to these talented students! We look forward to seeing their designs around Long Beach in the future!