When I lived in Los Angeles I avidly volunteered.
I began volunteering out of selfish reasons of being lonely and bored, but once I saw the deep impact volunteering had on all parties involved, I became hooked.
The organization I volunteered most frequently for was in a dilapidated house in the area between Echo Park and Downtown LA. I guess that area would still be considered Echo Park, but it’s not all the hipsters and bars that one thinks of with that area. It was a moderately dangerous neighborhood that once boasted beautiful houses and elegant businesses. Now the houses have bars on their windows and a smoky smog sheen covering the paint. Broken car window glass litters the street. When I pulled into a nearby convenient store to accurately locate the nonprofit house on my GPS, I watched a stream of rats run alongside my car. In LA, rats aren’t as common as in NYC.
The nonprofit I was going to temporarily houses children from Mexico and Central America who have crossed the (more…)