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!

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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:

The Eayikes family and I came together at Lincoln Park, to bring food and clothing to the less fortunate community of Long Beach. It was a great family experience for all of the members of Eayikes and the fellow members of the community. The intentions of this food and clothing drive, besides food and clothing, was to bring as much joy to the less fortunate through compassion, family and lots of childlike wonder! Personally, what I learned from this trip is to appreciate what you have and try to be more understanding of different types of people. This drive wasn’t only for the homeless, but there were a lot of people that just haven’t been so lucky or cant afford clothes for themselves or their family. Overall, seeing what other people are going through with their lives brought our Eayikes group closer together, and we all saw more compassionate sides of each other. When Eayikes comes together as a unit, possibilities are endless, as shown at this food/clothing drive.
— Shawn F.

 

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!

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