Holy cow, July flew by. I think this might only be the first or second time that I fail in submitting my Charity of the Month on time :(

I was also having some trouble picking a charity, but then I went to a neighborhood clean up on Saturday, and the decision seemed obvious.

When we went to the beach in Haiti, we talked about how we wish we had more time there to organize a beach clean up: there was trash EVERYWHERE. It really detracted from the beauty of the place. The thing that we all thought about, was how easy it would be to clean it up if we just got a few dozen people to help out, and how much of a difference that would make. GOALS Haiti actually did a trash pick up in Leogane not too long ago, and I hope they keep doing it!
Flash forward to the present, minus three days: my cousin told me about an event in Compton, where they gathered volunteers every few Saturdays to help clean up the neighborhood, mostly by painting houses, fences, schools, etc. Being the sucker for volunteer work that I am, I signed up and got my friend Sarah to sign up as well. I believe if the wake up time was not 5:30am on a Saturday morning, more friends would have joined us ;)
Anyhow, we got there promptly at 7am for registration, and to figure out what group we’d be working with. There were SO MANY people. I honestly thought there would be about 20 of us…but nope, I’m pretty sure the body count was over a thousand. They were mostly from various churches and youth groups…and by “mostly” I mean “almost all.” People kept asking Sarah and I what church we were with…I had no witty response. I have no complaints though, aside from one girl really pushing us to attend the Compton After Party at her church, everyone was super nice and not preachy at all.
So what did we do? Once we found our group, everyone broke off to separate work sites: various neighborhood blocks, a high school (painting walls and murals), elementary school, and a few houses. Our work site was a neighborhood block, where we pained the fences of maybe 5-6 houses. These fences are made of tiny individual metal bars…I was honestly quite sick of them by the time we finished, haha. BUT, seeing the before and after, it really amazes me what one little coat of paint can do to really revive a place.
With that said, we plan on going to the next one in October. Check them out, and see if you can attend one of their events, or help them financially so they can keep improving the city of Compton.