LIFT-Los Angeles’ Spring Resource Fair
On Saturday, May 7, 2016, LIFT-Los Angeles held a Wellness Resource Fair to connect transitioning members to community partners for continuous support with their journeys in building their personal, social and financial foundations.
Over 85 community members and their families participated. Members were delighted to begin their day with delicious breakfast treats generously donated by neighborhood favorites. Lucy’s Bakery provided their renowned pastries via owner Octavio Navarro, and McDonald’s donated 100 egg McMuffin sandwiches via local owner, Rahim Aref. Coffee and food sampling goodies were provided by the cool, new neighborhood addition, the With Love Los Angeles Market and Café, which not only offers locally-sourced products and organic produce, but also features a delicious, yet health conscious café and food menu, as well as high-quality coffee, teas and beverages. Macerich, who is one of the country’s leading owners, operators and developers of major retail real estate, provided the grant to cover remaining event expenses.
Members attended an employment workshop presented by LIFTers Francisco Curiel and Gladis Romero in both English and Spanish. This workshop included a presentation on employment trends and tips, interview etiquette skills, dress code, and body language. Members were instructed on the S.T.A.R. (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method, a job interview technique which promotes more comprehensive ways of answering questions during an interview. LIFT members were excited as they practiced, shared stories with one another and gave each other advice—they really collaborated to help one another. The workshop and event embodied the spirit of LIFT, by connecting our members with the tools and support they need to propel forward.
After the workshop, members were invited to meet the partners in attendance which included: The Children’s Bureau Mental Health Services Division, Chrysalis, Everyone-On, Jewish Vocational Services-Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Trade and Technical College, People Helping People, Prop 47 representatives, Recovery International and Work Source California. Our members were able to receive inspiring journals that were kindly donated by Every Child’s Dream Foundation. It was beautiful seeing our members smile gracefully as they walked up to the booth to inquire about the note books. One member said she will utilize her notebook to keep track of reminders for her personal errands.
Then the Helpful Honda Group arrived to perform random acts of kindness as well as provide water for attendees! As part of their partner participation journey, members took pictures with the Honda guys as they embraced them with smiles and hugs.
Members participated in a raffle to win gift cards from CVS Pharmacy. Twelve lucky members were able to take home $10 gift cards. Many members expressed how much LIFT has supported them and ended their day with a heartfelt “thank you.”
The feeling of being cared for was felt throughout this event, as members mingled with each other and gathered resources from each and every partner. It was a bittersweet to see some of our members begin to transition but, nevertheless, a proud moment to see them advocate for themselves and make connections.
We could not have done this without our partners. On behalf of LIFT-Los Angeles, we thank the partners, sponsors, staff, advocates and members for being part of LIFT’s evolution and efforts to measurably make a difference in the community.
This entry was also co-written by Tania Bradkin, Graduate Student and LIFT advocate.
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