Strengthening communities through partnerships, community outreach efforts and volunteer events are central to the Coaching Corps mission. This is why our partnership with AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps*VISTA makes so much sense. In addition to being Coaching Corps coaches, the young men and women in our AmeriCorps programs work to spread the spirit of volunteerism to the general community.
By using national holidays as days of service, these coaches connect with non-profit organizations in the communities we serve. On March 27th and April 3rd, Patricia Victorio, Bonnie Shea and 10 other AmeriCorps Coaching Corps Coaches served families in Los Angeles in honor of the Cesar Chavez National Holiday.
Meal Service at the Union Rescue Mission
The Union Rescue Mission (URM) is a great safe haven for men, women and children experiencing homelessness and provides temporary food and shelter. It is located just a few blocks from the business hub of downtown LA, but to our coaches, it seemed much further away. For them, crossing Los Angeles Avenue was like crossing into a different world and the sudden change in scenery was discouraging. So many people stood around, with all of their belongings in makeshift carts.
On March 27th, Coaching Corps volunteers helped kitchen staff prepare food for the next night. One of our coaches served food to approximately one hundred people while others opted to stay in the kitchen. It was challenging for these young volunteers to see the women and children in line for food and wonder what would happen after the end of the meal. Where would they go? What would happen to them in a year’s time? This experience reminded volunteers of how supportive their home lives were growing up. It reminded them of the children they are serving through Coaching Corps and the impact they can have in the lives of others.
“Volunteering at the URM illuminated my own prejudices and stereotypes I have about people living in homelessness. Overall, the experience has troubled me,” said Patricia Victorio, a Coaching Corps AmeriCorps*VISTA member. “Hanging in the kitchen office, a biblical phrase was written on the dry erase board: ‘For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required.’ Like the comic book hero Spiderman, I felt that burden of responsibility because I have been granted great power. My great power was the support and love that led me to this point in my life and the ability to give back to those who need it. The night was a night of quiet reflections and powerful realizations. I am grateful to have the experience as it has further motivated me in my year as aVISTA.”
Fun and Games at Midnight Mission Family Housing
On April 3rd , CoachingCorps AmeriCorps volunteers played various sports, painted Easter eggs and spent quality time with twenty-five youth from Midnight Mission Family Housing while their parent(s) received counseling and other services. The volunteers had a great time playing with the kids and just getting to talk to the youth about the organization, their lives and hopes and dreams. It was a great relief for the parents to be able to focus on their needs and know their kids were having a fabulous time.