Showcasing Portraits of Compassion in L.A. County

March 10, 2016

SantiagoOrtega“Five years ago, my son lived through eight bullets, and I had to push to get him the care and attention he deserved. I’ve turned that experience into a positive outcome through volunteering and leading [St. Francis Medical Center’s] compassionate listener program.”

Volunteer Santiago Ortega is just one of our Unsung Heroes of Los Angeles County, everyday people doing extraordinary things.

All across Los Angeles County, people are working to realize our country’s limitless potential. Individual acts of kindness ripple outward, creating powerful, positive change. Their actions represent the dreams of the community and lay the foundation for a better future.

In honor of the California Community Foundation’s centennial celebration, we have conceptualized and commissioned Portraits of Compassion, a photography exhibit showcasing 30 heroes

With original photography by L.A.-based photographers Sam Comen, Stella Kalinina and Noé Montes, the exhibit will run through April 4, 2016 at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes.

The Unsung Heroes were nominated by the community and selected by CCF to uplift examples of people performing selfless acts that are making a positive impact in Los Angeles County. They run the gamut from educators to farmers to cooks to activists.

They channeled their passions for service into founding institutions critical to our community’s well-being.

They have turned personal tragedy into triumph by helping others in need.

Their interests are as diverse as the county they call home, and together they are transforming the region.

We hope you will take some time to learn more about these inspiring heroes and attend the exhibit. You can follow the conversation on social media using #LAheroes and share your own unsung hero with us.

Portraits of Compassion is open to the public free of charge through April 3, 2016 at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (501 N. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012).

For more information, please visit and follow along on social media with #LAheroes.

This is the first post on CCF’s revitalized and renamed blog: #LAtogether, which is intended to serve as an engaging forum where nonprofits, donors, policymakers, researchers and community members can come together to exchange ideas and share stories that address our region’s most pressing challenges. Our goal is to create and support an online community of diverse perspectives focused on building Los Angeles, together. If you have content suggestions, or would like to contribute an article for consideration, please email us at:

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