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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

A Job Well Done! – California Community Service

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Family and Friends of California Community Service CA1,

Over the course of three days, our team helped out at the local Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach. We did a combination of facility improvement as well as tutoring or hanging out with the club members. Outside, the club’s hangout space was overgrown and in need of refinement for playing games and hanging out with friends. Our team went to work clearing out weeds and a dilapidated old stage. Once the canvas was cleared, several murals went up on the walls, creating defined spaces for games and for educational activities. Ryan’s creative talents shown through as she helped direct Avery, Carolina, and Amanda to paint the most amazing mural, depicting a beach scene with animals holding targets. Boys and Girls Club members were already planning games for the space! While the ladies painted, Conner, Zach, Gary, and Christophe helped to clear away the old stage debris as well as level the ground to make it accessible.

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Next door, Nora, Rachel, Megan, and Jessica created a “Diversity” heart mural, complete with hand prints of all the Boys and Girls Club Members in the middle. The mural overlooked a circle created out of tiles for the club members to sit on or play games! The next team created an amazing interpretation of the giving tree, which in this case produces career options. Brandon, Anna, Hannah, Taylor, Jimmy, and Maya also created a giant fire pit complete with log seats for club members to sit on while they read and discussed career options.

On the third and final day of volunteer service at the Boys and Girls Club, the team said farewell to the club members. This was a difficult departure because of the relationships built over the past three days. Choo Choo, aka Conner, will be greatly missed.

In an effort to relax and unwind after three days of such hard work the team headed to the Hollywood Improv Club to see some well known comedians and share a laugh with their fellow trip members. The show was amazing and featured some well known comedians, some of which had appeared on late night talk shows or voiced characters in Pixar movies!

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The next two days saw the crew head to Orange County Rescue Mission, a local homeless shelter. We were able to tour the facilities and hear about the success that this shelter offered through volunteer contributions. The team also heard from one of the “students” and her life story, which inspired many of us for the challenge ahead. The crew divided up into three teams and went in different direction to help with shelter maintenance and also to collect food donations to help feed the residents of the shelter. Nora, Megan, Anna, and Jessica shined as they approached shoppers explaining the cause and helping the team to collect almost 1000 pounds of food and water for the shelter! It was an amazing display of teamwork and cooperation which earned a much deserved trip to the LA Dodgers game.

The team arrived at Dodger Stadium to watch a night game against the Colorado Rockies. We participated in a stadium-wide airplane contest to see who could get their plane all the way to the field while filling ourselves with giant Dodger Dogs. Although the Dodgers lost, the night was amazing!

 

Special Note from the Staff:

To the amazing parents and guardians of our fabulous team members. We have had the joy and privilege over the past 21 days getting to know your children. It has been so fun to see their personalities shine and thrive in the different settings we explored on our journey. We worked well together in our service teams by utilizing the strengths that each of your children brought to the table. We laughed and sang together on our many car rides and beach trips and we had fun sitting around the dinner tables recounting stories of the day. We’ve come to be a family and all of our unique personalities fit together like puzzle pieces that create a beautiful picture not easily forgotten. Thank you once again for allowing your children to experience something that they have grown from and will hopefully cherish for the rest of their lives!

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Have we piqued your interest? Explore our 10-day21-day or 28-day tours and community service projects for teens in California. Start planning your own adventure with Westcoast Connection. It will be the travel experience of a lifetime!