Nominee Name: Jeff Collins
"Jeff has initiated a number of projects and has revived the organization [AT&T Pioneers] with his energy and enthusiasm. ...Jeff doesn’t wait for projects, he creates them. He has played Santa at various schools and shelters and now he’s involved in reviving beeping baseball for the blind. Every year he finds various ways to honor our military and veterans."
— Dan McCrory, nominator
About Jeff Collins
Jeff Collins tries his best to serve his fellow Angelenos in as many ways as possible. He has a passion for volunteering and serving his community and has dedicated many years to serving veterans, children and the most vulnerable in Los Angeles. He has organized barbecues for vets and helped create a project where volunteers spend time visiting vets in hospice and keep in touch with them so that they do not spend their last days alone.
As Santa Claus, Collins has visited many Title I schools and volunteered at Christmas events for local charities. He is also deeply involved in growing a local beep baseball league. Beep baseball is an adaptive sport that allows blind and visually impaired athletes to compete in a modified version of baseball. He has helped them attain 501 (c) (3) status and raise funds to expand the current league.
He believes in working with other organizations in a collaborative way and has enjoyed the support of many local politicians. Through these collaborations, they were able to spearhead a project to restore sculptures along State Route 170 that had been damaged and were suffering from many years of neglect. With various organizations that he volunteers with, they were able to provide Veterans Day recognition care packages to over 500 veterans and deliver Christmas gifts to more than 1000 children.
Collins said he volunteers he has worked with are some of the finest people he has ever known. Many of his fellow volunteers have become lifelong friends. To him, volunteering is a gift that returns to him tenfold what he puts into it. He never loses the joy of seeing the smiles and happiness on the faces of the children and veterans he works with.