Seven year old Luke shuffled his feet and looked uncertain for a moment, then reached into the container of juice boxes and pulled out several.  He took a few steps and hesitated.  A homeless teen approached him and held out his hand.  Luke said shyly, “This is my first time,” as he handed the teen some juice. They both smiled. Luke’s aunt Jean Kerr had brought her nephews to the La Mesa Sunrise Rotary’s Friday evening event. Under the leadership of Ms. Peggy Davis, her Rotary club had teamed up with Urban Street Angels to distribute servings of chili, home cooked corn bread, and juice among homeless teens, as well as bags of dog food for their several canine companions in Ocean Beach, a community in San Diego.  That evening in March, more than a hundred bowls of tasty chili were distributed. 
 

 

 

 

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)  2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, southern California remains home to the largest homeless population in the country.  Urban Street Angels is a non-profit organization that works to address the needs of the homeless through inviting other volunteers to participate in providing meals on a regular basis to homeless teens.  Peggy Davis has coordinated their efforts with our La Mesa Sunrise Rotary on two recent occasions, and she plans to continue this collaboration.  Our Rotarian families participate, creating community for themselves and trusting connections for and with the homeless, an essential first step in creating change.

 

The gathering of generations in the La Mesa Sunshine Rotary brings together people of all ages in an effort to model service and community as an integral part of life. Family members are included in Rotary activities and sometimes into membership itself.  We hope to take experiences such as seven year old Luke’s “first time” with feeding the homeless and expand that type of action exponentially throughout future generations of Rotary families.