Tuesday, July 25, 2017

DOOR Los Angeles - Monday reflections

Out first night in Los Angeles was followed up by a pleasant morning and a day of service. Today, we went to the Alexandria House, a non-profit organization that provides daycare and summer camps for children from pre-k to fourth grade.
As volunteers for this program, we played with and took care of the children as part of their summer camp program. Seeing the kids enjoying themselves was simply beautiful for all of the volunteers there. Watching them warm up to us throughout the day was meaningful to us as humans; it was nice to know that we were considered friends in the kids' eyes.
Some of the highlights of the day included the large game of Apples-to-Apples with a few of the children and the craft time later in the day when the kids constructed "mouths" by gluing marshmallow "teeth" into a paper mouth. After the program, half of our group went to Home Depot to pick up the things they needed to fix a broken fan in the guys' sleeping area while we went straight back to the church. On the way back to the church, we had time to reflect on what we'd just experienced. Looking out the window on the cityscape of L.A., we wished that everyone could have the chance to have fun and not worry about their problems, knowing they are safe and cared for, as we helped the kids to do today. This deep reflection was followed up by a Slurpie betrayal: the half of our group going to Home Depot had stopped by 7-11 afterwards and gotten Slurpies without us.

At the evening program today, we had discussions about how every one has a different story. Even if multiple people are in similar situations, they may or may not have come from the same background or had the same experiences. We did an activity with all of the different groups participating in DOOR: a guest speaker had us step forward when she read a statement that was true for us. The statements included some funny ones, like "Take a step forward if you have really cool pants," and some were more uncomfortable, like "Take a step forward if you or someone you know has ever been incarcerated." As the activity went on, we observed who was standing with us. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences in people who looked or seemed totally different. The activity helped us to bond while also giving us an example of just how diverse even a single room can be.
Anna, Sarah, and Leo

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