A helping hand

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Gabriela Sanchez, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Clubs and church congregations from different cities, including Downey KIWIN’S, joined together for the Compton Initiative, on Oct. 20, at Vanguard Learning Center in Los Angeles, hoping to beautify the school inside and out.

The event focuses on crowds of people joining together and dedicating time to paint schools in less fortunate areas. Volunteers arrived at 7:00 a.m., and hurried to the breakfast table, preparing for the five hours of hard work that awaited them. Groups were assigned certain tasks, while individual leaders took charge, and volunteers began their laborious day off to a positive start.

One of the younger volunteers, Carla Vente, age 9, shared her reason for being present at the Los Angeles Event.

“I’m in K Kids and I really like field trips,” Vente said.

K Kids is a group from the Downey Kiwanis organization, dedicated to young students who want to contribute to their community and volunteer in order to give back.

The committed helpers created a warm and giving environment and group leaders were given more responsibilities, supervising the workers and making sure the job was done well.

Werner Cotto, a church member of Iglesia Reformada Emmanuel in Paramount, took the duty of leader and discussed his favorite part of the day.

“My favorite part was being a leader”, Cotto said, “it was really fun and it’s something I would do again.”

The clubs and organizations’ helpers were exhausted after the intense working day, painting the peeling walls, from early morning to afternoon, including Downey KIWIN’S member, Jessica Samaniego, 11, who participated and spent the entire day lending a hand, gaining a sense of satisfaction after the day was over.

“ I love helping people,” Samaniego said, “that’s what I love to do, that’s why I went.”

The Compton Initiative gave different groups an opportunity to create something beautiful, and the community proved that with hard work and selflessness, they were able to construct a warm and welcoming environment for the thankful students in Vanguard Learning Center.