When one speaks of Los Angeles most think of beautiful sunny weather or the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. What few who live outside of the area realize, is how big of a homeless population it has. Of the many individuals living without homes in this area, several of them are the most helpless among us, the children. Union Rescue Mission strives to help them, and it’s doing an amazing job.
Union Rescue Mission is unique in many ways. For starters, it is one of the largest missions of its kind in the entire country! It is also worth noting that Union Rescue Mission is one of the only organizations in Los Angeles which offers help for families; most others are single occupancy only. In an area like LA, this is needed more than most realize.
In May of this year Raw Sugar Living partnered with Union Rescue Mission to throw an event benefiting the homeless of Los Angeles, California. When I found out about this event, I knew I had to be a part of it. As a mother and a part of Mom Life Yo, I am always trying to help other moms in one way or another. I realize the challenges of motherhood are so great. To think of all we deal with in our daily lives as parents, and then trying to imagine piling homelessness on top of it, was unbearable just to think about. It’s an ugly reality that we should all be facing in order to help our fellow man.
I arrived at the event enthusiastic and ready to go! I was in charge of the face painting, something I’ve done several times before at other events for kids. My task gave me an opportunity to have an individual interaction with each child. My chair and table were positioned so that I was (obviously) facing the children and my back was towards everything else that was going on.
While I painted vibrant stars and moons, superheroes and other creatures on cheek after cheek, I talked to each kid. Some told me about what they were learning in school. Others spoke of all the things they wanted to be when they grew up. One kid even told me the history of rock!
These were normal kids just like mine or yours. I sat there, and with every dip of my brush into the paint I realized that I could have been at any birthday party for my own kids, doing this very same thing. Nothing was different about them; they were simply homeless. That reality made it even harder to fathom.
No kid should have to endure the pain and hardship of homelessness. No child on earth is more or less deserving of a home and safety than another. Living in a place surrounded by the stark contrast between luxury and poverty makes it impossible to ignore.
You Can Help
Many of us hear statistics and stories that sadden us and cause to wonder what can be done to help. The answer is to stop wondering and start helping! Union Rescue Mission is always accepting donations. And, if you can’t donate goods or money, no worries! You can donate your time and volunteer.
We here in Los Angeles are some of the most privileged in the country. But what good is having so much if you can’t use it to bless and uplift others? Union Rescue Mission is offering single men, single women, single mothers with children, single fathers with children as well as two-parent households meals and shelter, and they do it with respect while protecting their dignity. Visit urm.org to find out more today!