By Brooks Hubbard IVJanuary 30, 2013
LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District Black Employment Program honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with a day of service by delivering more than 100 pounds of collected toiletries and toys to local shelters in the downtown Los Angeles community Jan. 22.
The BEP began collecting toiletries and toys at the end of the Christmas break and District employees dropped off toiletry items and toys in a collection box that was located in the District's EEO office.
"Our team wanted to do something different this year in observation of the King holiday," said Arnecia Williams, District Black Employment Program manager. "I am extremely happy with the large donations of toiletries and toys by our District employees and our BEP team members' support in getting them out."
Williams and BEP program team members Matthews Turner, Lashawn Richardson, Brooks Hubbard and Debra McCree delivered the items to the Downtown Women's Center, located one block away from "Los Angeles' skid row." Team members handed out about 70 toiletry kits to residents of that center.
The DWC is a nonprofit organization providing permanent housing and other services for homeless women.
"We are happy to have received your donations," said Carla Guirriero, DWC communications coordinator. "Our center provides about 150 hot lunches per day and offers shower facilities for homeless women and residents of this center who need them."
After the distribution of the toiletries, Guirriero provided team members with a tour of the 71 apartment facility, one of two facilities that provide a total of 119 apartments. The tour also included a visit to the center's retail store, named "MADE by DWC." The store features items made by women at the center with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to the DWC.
"I actually enjoyed giving our packages to the women at the center," said Richardson. "It surely made me feel like I fulfilled my day of service."
The team then proceeded to the Union Rescue Mission in the heart of downtown Los Angeles' skid row where they distributed toy gifts donated by District employees.
"I enjoyed the opportunity to distribute our District's gifts," said McCree. "I will surely look into returning and volunteering."
The DWC opened its doors in 1986 as "the first permanent supportive housing program for women in the U.S." Jill Halverson founded the center providing homeless women an alternative to homelessness and giving them a foundation to rebuild their lives.
For more information about the DWC, please visit their website at: http://www.DWCWEB.org