In June, GO Campaign gave a grant to Loving Hands Community Care for $7,000 to support their mentorship program in Watts.
At the start of the grant, our Local Hero Kathy Wooten explained what a successful program would look like to her. Her response was, “honestly, if none of the kids die and none of them get shot”. The grant directly benefited 60 youth and indirectly benefited 80 other community members. Many of these youth are children of murder victims, children at-risk of being involved in gangs, and children of drug-addicted parents. In the program, they learned to put gang affiliations aside, build trust, and make positive life choices. It gave older youth an opportunity to act as a big brother/big sister, allowing many of the younger youth to open up about goals, relationships, and drugs.
Throughout the summer, Loving Hands held workshops for the youth dealing the topics such as health and wellness, obesity, bullying, self-care, teen violence, sex-trafficking, and sexual abuse. One facilitator brought special guest Serena Williams to talk about the importance of school, how to not let a boy get in the way of goals, and how violence is never ok.
With the GO Campaign grant, Kathy was able to work with kids she had never met before. She is most proud of the fact that she was able to bring youth from different communities together because they have been divided for so long due to gang issues. Kathy states, “without this program, most of the kids would be in trouble.” #givingopportunity #localheroes