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2015 Recipient

Shira Alcouloumre

Laguna Beach, CA | 16

2015 Award Recipient

When a young Shira Alcouloumre complained about having to eat a peach for breakfast, her mother decided to give her some perspective: Shira and her siblings were taken to Santa Ana, where they used their own savings to buy and personally deliver groceries to the homeless. The experience inspired Shira and her brother to look for other meaningful ways to give back, and, ultimately, to create Laguna Friends in Need. Through the project, Shira aims to improve the lives of migrant day laborers in Laguna Canyon by creating a safe environment in which they can wait for work, as well as providing meals, clothing, weekly English classes, medical care, and holiday presents for the workers and their families. Over the past five years, Shira’s team has raised more than $20,000 in cash and in-kind donations to improve the site and services provided, including building a shade cover, installing a water fountain, and much more. The team has established a personal bond with the workers, collaborated with the City Council, cut through red tape, and helped break down local prejudices. Shira’s ultimate vision for Laguna Friends in Need is to build an on-site classroom and expand the program to include certified ESL teachers.

Laguna Friends in Need

A project that aims to better the lives of day laborers by building a safe environment for laborers to wait for work and by providing food, English classes, medical care, and holiday presents for them and their family members.