Despite all the talk we are hearing in the news about how robust our economy is, The LA Times just reported HERE that nearly 80% of children in LA Unified School District live in poverty, and of those, a shameful amount are homeless. Worse yet is that these statistics are not improving and we have young adults, many in foster care, entering adulthood with little hope of breaking past the cycle of poverty. Here’s where community can lean in and become mentors and positive role models, if even for an evening, but ideally for a lifetime. Everyone deserves a positive role model and mentor, everyone needs relationships like this to succeed, offer advice, support, empathy, respect, and kindness. Let’s do this!
A couple weeks ago, we partnered with Alliance for Children’s Rights to host an event to promote brotherhood. We were informed that young men are least served for events connecting them with role models, and so we got together some business friends and put on a cooking class. As you can see HERE, young men are eager to help Matt in the kitchen so it seemed like a good activity. Next we needed a space, so we asked Alex, pictured above, to use his cool space in Highland Park, Civil Coffee.
And here is Alan. They are brothers and the owners/operators of Civil Coffee who allowed us to invade their coffee shop, and create an event about connecting and having fun.
Additionally we have Micah here, owner/operator of Wexler’s Deli. He was on one of our omelette stations, instructing the french method of omelette making. Everyone coming from his station had light, fluffy, delicately garnished omelettes. They were really pretty!
And Tyler who was one of the founders of Handsome Coffee, and now owns and operates All Time. He was our multi-faceted guy who could teach both coffee and omelettes to our group.
We also had a couple other friends like Rod (left) and Quin (not pictured) who eagerly joined us to bring warmth and positivity to this evening so everyone felt welcome and encouraged.
Learning latte art is a great lesson in patience, and as Demontae (right) pointed out, it was also a great lesson in humbleness and asking for help.
Our own chef, Matt, is big on garnishes and a more rustic omelette. I heard a lot cheering from successful omelette flips happening at his station!
Look at these omelette skills! So good! It was very sweet, about half of these guys asked me if I wanted to share their omelette. I wasn’t sure if they felt bad for eating it all on their own or if they wanted me to taste it, so I tasted about 8 or so omelettes and it was fascinating how different they all were!
At the end of the evening, we opened up to group questions and the first question was a polite inquiry if we could host these events once a month. Oh my heart. There’s such a critical need for us to break down the barriers between the have and the have nots. If we pull those who want to be pulled in, the statistics of poverty can change, but it’s not going to happen without each of us getting involved. It’s great to open your pocket book, please do in the link below, but it’s more impactful to open up your schedule.
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Photos: David Maziarz