This past holiday season we brought the Eayikes spirit to folks in-need of not only basic necessities, but encouragement and love. The last 2 years we collected clothes, cooked Thanksgiving dishes, and served the homeless in Lincoln Park, Long Beach. This year we wanted to do more than serve, we wanted to connect!
Through the clothing distribution we became personal shoppers, helping the locals find correct sizes, matching styles, and giving lots & lots of compliments. We received soooo many donations from our community it was almost overwhelming how many clothes we sifted through!
Shoutout to everybody who gave so generously! It was beautiful seeing the huge hearts of our community in action!
With the food we also took a different approach. We served "to-go" lunch bags for those who were in a hurry to eat and keep moving, while offering a traditional Thanksgiving plate to guests who had the time to sit and engage our youth volunteers. Heading into the event we really had no idea how this idea would be received, but wow was it a beautiful site seeing our young folks sit and break bread with the locals!
Huge thanks to our friends Arthur Cortez & the 750 project/Monday Night Mission and coach Alex Whytmer & the LQ girls Water Polo team who came out to serve with us, the day was that much more impactful and fun working together!
The entire experience of this event, from picking up clothes at peoples' homes to staying up late baking turkeys, getting out of our comfort zones to hearing unique life stories, was more powerful than we imagined, specifically because our youth continue to raise the bar with their love, courage, and childlike-wonder!! Here's what one of our boys, Shawn, had to say about the day:
We believe in acknowledging the humanity of others, and that belief is only fortified when you’re working alongside open-hearted young folks. Cheers to everybody who made it out on November 23, we remain grateful and inspired by your willingness to connect, play, and serve!