This past Thursday during our class at Youth Policy Institute (YPI) I took a moment to look around the packed room –with kids and adults standing in the door way hoping to get in, with our LAPD officers squeezing in where ever they could find a space and the laughing kids in the room sharing chairs so that everyone could fit.
I was sitting on a table (because there were no chairs left – chairs are for sitting kids ;)) and as I watched our older kids from PAL Hollywood joking with one of the female LAPD officers about Fortnite and took a second to enjoy our PAL Hollywood board member talking with LAPD officer the YPI kids and our professional artist about the ‘Legacy’ they were going to create with their art piece, my heart was filled with that kind of joy that can only be felt because of true friendship and personal human connection.
This is our new family- these faces and hearts, these moments of true connection – this is the true magic of ABG. It is because of the partners, the team mates and the FAMILY that have all come together that we are able to improve the lives of our kids and their communities and it is beautiful to behold.
ABG was started to create life long, deep change in the hearts and minds of our most vulnerable kids and their communities. To create true, unwavering change it takes showing up time after time in their lives – happily; It takes hours of building foundations of trust, friendship and understanding; it takes real listening, empathy and sharing; it takes believing in them with all of our hearts and showing our commitment to them with love, kindness and patience. These aren’t things one of us, or three of us can do alone – it takes a team, it takes a family and it takes all of our partners coming together the way I witnessed on Thursday.
To all of our partners – THANK YOU!!! I love our cities children with more love than can fit in one heart ( standing room only inside of my heart too it seems ;)) And to have met other hearts who share that love, that have chosen to serve and believe in a better future for them it makes every day more magical and more fun and it makes Arts Bridging the Gap’s vision and our belief that a brighter future for all children is possible feel possible – thank you!!
This month I want to take a second to acknowledge and thank our most active partners:
Our LAPD: have become not only our incredible partners but truly some of my dearest friends who I now turn to in moments when I need a little extra strength and understanding. Thank you for the hearts with which you protect our city!
PAL team: thanks for believing in our crazy vision and going on this ride with us with laughter and love!
YPI team: some of our newest friends and we love your belief in ,and commitment to, these kids and their community!
United Way thank you for saying yes to all humans being valued and seeing the power that our youth have to make that vision possible.
ESA Foundation: thank you for knowing the power that our at-risk girls have to change the world and putting your faith in us to create that magic for and with them.
The City of Los Angeles: thank you for your patience, persistence and faith is us. We appreciate the challenges you face every day and so love that you keep keeping in on the name of a better future for us all!
To our wall owners, schools and other amazing nonprofit partners who’s walls we have been busy painting: thank you for taking a risk with us and allowing us to learn about your incredible work and add a dash of color to your community’s day.