Homeboy Industries changes the lives of gang-involved populations in Los Angeles, aiding them with job training, life skills, and mentorship to help them thrive. Recently, Raul Diaz, an employee of Homeboy, stopped by the Giving Children Hope donation center. He told us the story of David, recently released from prison, and who at a very young age “ran the streets”. That eventually led him to juvenile hall, and then incarceration for most of his adult life. Raul explained that for most of David’s life he hungered for love, and even for food.
Raul shared that upon David’s release he began to turn his life around. David now works at Homeboy Industries and volunteers his time at The Garage Board Shop. This skate shop in Los Angeles brings in kids as part of a skate team, “Sk8 4 Educate”, where they must maintain their grades in order to participate.
David volunteers at The Garage Board Shop every day, hanging out with kids and staying past closing hours to help clean up. His impact has been tremendous, Raul testifies. “When he’s walking down the street, you’ll see kids skating by who suddenly stop to say ‘what’s up’: that’s how much he means to them.”
For the first time since his release from prison, David recently moved into his own apartment. His job at Homeboy sustains him, but is not enough to make his apartment a “home”. Raul knew this and came to GCHope’s on-site donation center to see if he could get help. Raul was able to take a coffee maker, dishes, pots and pans, an iron, a comforter, fan, pillows, utensils, dish soap, and a toaster – all meant to turn David’s apartment into a functional living space and thus bringing comfort to a person who has long lived without it.
Raul let us know that “[David] knows the importance of giving children hope”- it’s something that he does daily. We feel privileged not only to help him with basic necessities, but to join him, along with Homeboy Industries and The Garage Board Shop, to continue our mission of impacting children every single day.