United in Harmony is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization that was established in 1989 as a response to homelessness and poverty facing children in our community.
United in Harmony’s mission is to provide underserved children with hope and opportunities. United in Harmony’s overnight-camp program (Camp Harmony) is designed to help children develop positive self-esteem and to thereby inspire and empower campers in their future endeavors. At Camp Harmony, children grow through interactions with teenage and adult role models while experiencing nature, exploring arts, sports, and an array of other enriching activities.
Facts about underserved children in Los Angeles*:
More than a quarter of of Los Angeles County Kids Live in Poverty.
55% of families living below Self-Sufficiency Standard
18.2% of Children Living in Food Insecure Households
In 2020, 854,804 Students are eligible for free school meals
49.4% of Children in Pre-K-5th Grade have been recored as being homeless at any point during a school year
35.3% of children are living in Crowded Households
*Data from kidsdata.org
Camp Harmony is the foremost United in Harmony program. Camp Harmony offers underserved children a break from the tension of their daily lives–a place to play freely. It also affords them the opportunity to grow new talents while learning to trust and to try. Children enjoy a five night camping experience in the summer and an mini-two night camping experience in the winter. Our goal is to build relationships and self-esteem, to emphasize the beauty of nature, and to offer activities in art, sports, personal health and personal challenge.
Over 100 volunteer counselors are part of United in Harmony’s Leadership Program (a post-camp program that enables counselors to maintain relationships with campers, through monthly engagements with various agencies throughout the year). Summer counselors have the opportunity to continue relationships formed with campers by applying to the Leadership program. Leadership meets twice monthly throughout the school year.
Annually, United in Harmony hosts a holiday party for over 200 children from various shelters. The Holiday Party is a wonderful tradition for sharing the holiday season with those less fortunate. Counselors, support staff and campers come together for an afternoon of fun, food, crafts, gifts and a visit from Santa. Children return home with gifts of new toys, clothing, books and more. This annual event welcomes volunteers of all ages.
Alumni Counselors have reunited to continue their volunteering with the children served by United in Harmony and Camp Harmony. During the school year they sponsor several field trip outings with groups of children who have attended Camp Harmony. Alumni counselors are career minded adults who want to continue the mission they accepted years earlier and continue to support the under-served populations of children in our area.
Lindsay Schwartz, started as a volunteer camp counselor for United in Harmony, Camp Harmony as a high school student in 1999. After her first summer session she was hooked. The impact of the program on her was tremendous.
She continued as a volunteer camp counselor through high school and moved to a volunteer Unit Head through college. After college Lindsay continued her dedication to the organization by helping run a leadership group, helped with programming as a Program Director and then, was eventually invited to be on the Board of Directors. In 2016 she was offered the opportunity of a lifetime, to take over as Executive Director of United in Harmony, Camp Harmony.
To have an Executive Director who has grown up in our program has been so beneficial to the organization. She understands every layer of United in Harmony and how it runs, making sure all aspects are working effectively and efficiently.
Her passion for Harmony is evident in her dedication to the organization, campers and volunteers.
Board of Directors
- Andrew Bank
- Barbara Bartman
- Tracy Curran
- Wendie Goode Dox
- Janet Jonas
- Wendy Klappholz
- Brian Kramer
- Rachelle Kramer
- Aaron Leff
- Nicholas Melvoin
- Brett Marz
- Jordan Passman
- Katie Pasternack
- Ronna Slutske, Board President
- Shana Passman, Vice President
- Carol Goldberg, Treasurer
- Lorri Herman, Secretary
- Adam Slutske, Executive Camp Director
- Laurie Bernhard, Consultant