The First Days of Spring

Dear Friends,

Once again, I am writing to you with a host of mixed emotions. I imagine you are feeling them, too.

We have welcomed a new season, one of rebirth and renewal, and turned the clocks ahead to grab another hour of warming Southern California daylight. We can see hope on the horizon as people are vaccinated against COVID-19, but we have also been reminded of the complex problems that were facing our country and our communities before the pandemic refocused our attention.

Over the last few weeks, we have taken time at the Corps to reflect on the tragedies we continue to face and the trauma we are all feeling. The Executive Management Team and I shared our thoughts with our staff and Corpsmembers on the horrific attack in Atlanta and the rise in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Sadly, gun violence continues to shatter lives, and you can read our statement here.

We also took time lean on one another and our literal and metaphorical roots as we planted trees at our Compton Creek Natural Park to honor the loved ones of staff and Corpsmembers who have been lost to COVID-19. We spoke their names, shared their stories, and gave their memories to the trees who will protect them for generations.

Through it all, our Corpsmembers continue to inspire and amaze. They are making great progress on our work with Pallet Shelters to construct new housing opportunities for those experience homelessness. They are meeting the challenge set out by our partners in the City of Los Angeles to combat illegal dumping. And, they are fulfilling their promise to push themselves to achieve their goals. I am so proud of Corpsmembers like Jesse. He worked hard to meet all his milestones, and is now leaving us to start a new job at FormLA.

On this roller coaster of emotions, I am clinging to those joyful, exhilarating moments. That is why I am excited to share that we are bringing back our Spring Luncheon celebration this year! Yes, we will be in the virtual world, but we are doing our best to put together a program that delivers as much heart and soul as possible. We hope you can join us.

In Service and Gratitude,

Wendy Butts