"If we want to reach the people that no one is reaching, then we've got to be doing the things that no one else is doing." - Andy Stanley
Populated with piles and piles and piles of trash (contributed to by the residents of the street AND the local businesses), Downtown Los Angeles, and more specifically the Skid Row neighborhood, is a place that is often avoided.
But what if we didn't avoid? What if we went in to help?
We don't always need to stamp our passports to make an impact. Sometimes, all it takes to make an impact is to show up in the neighborhoods that everyone else is avoiding.
Do you know what it takes to change a life? Showing up. ACTION. We were not placed on this earth to be served, but to serve others.
I was really impressed with how Skid Row Cleanup is organized and run. Protective gear is provided; sanitary gloves, guards to wear over your mouth, orange vests to highlight your group from any vehicles, traffic cones to mark the area while you cleaned, large trash bins and trash bags, and supplies to pick up the trash with so you never touch anything with your hands (as that is a breach of safety, due to whatever could be hiding in these piles).
It's only for a few hours every Saturday morning, and an incredible project to do as a group (whether it's work, team-building, Bible Study group, etc).
Let's put it this way..... If I can do, YOU CAN do it!!!
Because they explain it better than I ever will be able to, here is a snippet from the group's Facebook page (please check them out to learn more for yourself!):
"Beside the sanitary benefits, we believe a clean living environment restores that innate sense of order and goodness that has been lost by many due to their unfortunate circumstances in Skid Row. This loss is one of the causes of abuses and neglects including one's health and living condition. Much like how Mayor Rudy Giuliani turned around New York City with its Anti-Graffiti Task Force in 1995, once this sense of order is restored, people's sense of well being improves because trust has been restored.
We believe the act of cleaning is one of the purest, most fundamental expressions of love we can give to those in this environment. Unlike simply giving out materials as commonly witnessed here, one has to humble oneself and labor through the process. Much like the act of feet washing by Jesus, it requires great humility, strength and courage, definitely not for the faint of heart. It communicates the message: "I'm sacrificing my body to serve you" better than anything one can hand them."