Happy Summer, everyone!
This week Development Coordinator Jeremy Minter shares a behind the scenes look at one of the amazing community support projects Corpsmembers are working on this summer all over Los Angeles County.
“Being able to see a smile on someone’s face, does it for me!” I hear Corpsmember Barbra say as we start our day at Los Angeles City College.
All year Corps have taken on a variety of projects aimed at helping the community, and today we find ourselves on an increasingly hot morning prepping for a drive-by food distribution in partnership with the LA Regional Food Bank. All around Corpsmembers are poised to support the community with a smile and a helping hand. This is part of an exciting collaboration with the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps, Conservation Corps of Long Beach and the County of Los Angeles to continue to answer the call to serve made by the Governor at the start of the pandemic.
For several months now, rotating crews of Corpsmembers from different sites have staffed these food distribution events two days a week on Wednesday & Fridays. The Corps strives to give Corpsmembers a variety of work experience and a meaningful connection to the community. After talking to our crews, I heard that many enjoyed the change of pace and work tasks. A normal day may be filled with cleaning up alleyways or planting trees. On days like today, they talk to people, and it gives them a chance to sharpen those soft skills employers look for in a potential hire. We find that many young adults who come to the Corps lack public speaking confidence or just the ability to talk to strangers. We hope that opportunities like these give Corpsmembers a space to feel confident to work on communication outside of their comfort zone.
As the distribution continues, I take a moment to reflect on what impacting your community looks like. I know I see it right in front of my eyes! First, I notice the dedication and thoughtfulness Corpsmembers put into their daily work. Crews come prepared to work, ask great questions, make a few mistakes, and grow. Paying attention to these life lessons daily is a framework for growth in a person or task, and I am happy to be apart of an organization that creates these moments.
Second, the need is wide and far reaching. The diversity of people who we saw participate in the food pick-up shows that people from all backgrounds are looking for support during these trying times. Our Corpsmembers met every participant with a friendly greeting and a smile, showing respect for all in need of assistance.
Lastly, the collaboration between organizations makes a larger impact than if we worked alone. For the LA Regional Food Bank to coordinate with different Corps and the County of LA to support us all bringing people together for a good cause is inspiring. The theme of the day was teamwork!
It is my pleasure to advocate and uplift the voices of our Corpsmembers. They rise to the occasion everyday to clean our city and make it a healthier place for everyone and are happy to see the fruits of their labor in a smile from a stranger.