Part of our belief, aside from academic excellence, is to provide our members with the opportunity to give back to the community. One of the ways we accomplish this is by providing trips to Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles. This trip is planned a quarter in advance, routes are considered, clothes are collected and food prep is planned. Skid Row is an opportunity for our organization to experience the significance of charity work and give back to the less fortunate. It is an opportunity for members to reflect upon themselves and gain a more accurate and profound perspective on other people’s lifestyles and hardships. We hope our efforts will help and encourage the homeless community to get back on their feet again and start a better life for themselves.
What do we do?
We collect clothes, prep food, and buy water. Following the pre-planned route, each team (about 7-8) walks through their route offering clothes, food, and a bottle of water to those less fortunate on the streets of Downtown Los Angeles. We make our way to a donation center at the center of skid row.
What makes this trip special?
Our members have an abundance of experience making peoples’ lives more comfortable in a clinical setting. This provides them with an opportunity to see what it really means to be going through a very difficult time and attempt to provide comfort. A simple pair of socks or a water bottle have the ability to change a person’s day. On top of this, each group politely asks someone they come across if they can treat them to lunch. Each group goes out to an individual and shares a meal with this individual, hears their struggles, stories, hopes and dreams. This has made such an impact on our members and the gratitude we get every time helps us see how a simple, kind gesture can go a very, very long way.
How we can improve?
In future Skid Row trips, we hope to expand our efforts by collaborating with other campus organizations as well as offering necessity and hygiene items, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, combs and deodorant.