Continuing on the thread of love, peace and community from the last post, I wanna tell you about the one and only humanitarian experience I’ve had in LA up to this point (I know right, bet you were all wondering when this one was going to come up).
Last Wednesday, me and G – whom I’ll tell you more about in another blog post – went to the LA mission to volunteer from morning until midday. I think, for the both of us, it was really nice to drag our heads out of the Hollywood clouds we’ve been in lately and help out down to earth instead. We had a lovely time working in the cafeteria by prepping and serving the many rounds of food. First we served employees and members of the LA mission program, then we served people invited in from the streets. The LA mission, however, does a lot more than just serving food.
The LA Mission Program
“The Los Angeles Mission strives to be a world leader among Missions that provide for the poor, restore the addicted and eliminate homelessness.” (LA Mission)
These services provide homeless people with a place to sleep, food, consultancy, medical attention and the opportunity for a shower on a day to day basis or help individuals in need to transition back into the community.
A fine example of that is the Fresh Start Rehabilitation Program.
This program starts by teaching, equipping and preparing its students with skills that will enable them to enter into the work environment. Not only that, but they are also through training and counseling given the tools and confidence to be successfully employed, often by employers of which the Mission already have established relationships with.
The return to employment is a huge step for the LA mission’s graduates and the next is e.g. to be reunited with family after problems and conflicts caused by e.g. addictive behaviour. This is where “the Mission’s Bridge Program (and parenting programs) involves family members of students while they are in recovery as part of the healing process” (LA Mission). At this stage, the students learn they can get (back into) a job and that they’re not alone on their path to rebuild their lives.
“The Los Angeles Mission doesn’t just give a bed to sleep in or a meal to eat. It actually offers a chance for people to change their lives.” – Erin Cummings, Los Angeles Mission volunteer
From my short and humble experience with the LA Mission’s work I couldn’t agree more with this statement. While volunteering, I worked next to people from the program and they are funny, lovely and disciplined human beings just like you and me. The only difference is – like I always say – the cards we were dealt and how we have used them. It’s a positive thing to see the change in the corporate world towards citizenship and the steadily increasing profile of the nonprofit sector. However, witnessing the actual change in an individual life – whether just for the day or for a life time – from simple actions of goodness, now that is beautiful.
Today’s important notes:
If you can, please support the LA mission and their incredible work by donating here.
If you know someone who may benefit from the work they do, please look here.
If you want to volunteer you can find further information here!