I am a member of the watts community and recent candidate for the California State Assembly. I met HRF,for the first time, almost 3 years ago. During a moment I personally needed inspiration I was invited to the camp where 92nd Street Elementary, from Watts, was visting. I remember feeling loved from the moment I stepped inside the camp, but more importantly HRF was providing kids from my community an experience of their lives. Children were laughing until they burst into tears and held each other with extreme compassion. I remember thinking that that moment was remarkable and how well behaved the kids were.
I was later invited back to learn more about the programs offered by HRF. I stayed an entire weekend this time. I learned that many of the children coming to camp started the weekend off reluctant to get involved and often times untrusting. The well behaved children I mentioned before, i quickly learned didn’t start off that way. It was HRF’s energetic and caring staff that made it possible for children to be children.
My greatest experience is when I partnered with HRF to host a weekend that was intended to unite all off Watts. This would include law enforcement, students, parents, clergy, activist and the camp. Children laughed and shared stories of hope and relief. Parents became friends with each other and Law enforcement. HRF had created magic. HRF wasn’t just a camp in that moment, it represented restoration, family, and future. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD51ZwI5Yg0)
Lastly, HRF has demanded that everyone around them step up and do their part to change humanity. I can’t wait until this model is shared nationally. For now I am happy that a community with so much need has a great ally. Watts thanks you HRF. The greatest organization fighting daily, in the community and at camp, to change children lives.