The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) in partnership with the Mission Continues welcomed over 100 volunteers, 75 military veterans, and local partners to revitalize Nickerson Gardens public housing site located in Watts. Nickerson Gardens was selected for Operation Watts Is Worth It, as part of the third annual Mass Deployment Program by Mission Continues, a week-long program that brings together veterans from across the country to provide services for the communities in need.
“We specifically chose Nickerson Gardens because of the tremendous impact it will have on all of the young people in this community with a rich history. Our projects help the veterans get back out and continue to serve and the same time help the community to be strong from within,” said Austin Moir, Regional Project Specialist of the Mid-West region.
Veterans flew in from around the country, including Puerto Rico and Hawaii, in order to participate in the Mass Deployment event to transform Nickerson Gardens. Once the volunteers broke into groups and started working on their assigned tasks for the day, Nickerson Gardens was booming with action. Several residents and their children as young as 6 years old signed up to volunteer as well. In addition, volunteers from companies such as Disney, Target, The HomeDepot, Wasserman Foundation and other organizations came out to participate and give back to the community of Watts.
“The welcoming spirit of teamwork and community inclusion that The Mission Continues volunteers bring to their days of service make them a wonderful partner for the Housing Authority. The commitment to community service and leadership that all the volunteers show is a wonderful example for everyone, especially for our youth,” said Debra Amenson, Assistant Director of Housing Management at HACLA.
After 8 hours of teamwork, common and play areas of Nickerson Gardens and on-site Boys and Girls Club areas were completely transformed. Volunteers re-serviced the softball field, restriped the basketball court, added walking paths, built benches and picnic tables, added color and function to play spaces by painting the skate park, handball court, basketball and roller hockey court, and planted drought-resistant plants and shrubbery around the gym. Volunteers did not forget about the children. In addition to including the neighborhood youth in their efforts, volunteers built 3 art easels, 2 kid benches, 2 chalkboard tables and 1 reading loft for the children to enjoy.
Watch ABC Channel 7 News clip here.
About the Mission Continues
The Mission Continues is a national nonprofit organization that empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. Our operations in cities across the country deploy veteran volunteers alongside non-profit partners and community leaders to solve some of the most challenging issues facing our communities: improving community education resources, eliminating food deserts, mentoring at-risk youth and more. Through this unique model, veterans build new skills and networks that help them successfully reintegrate to life after the military while making long-term, sustainable transformations in communities and inspiring future generations to serve.
To learn about the Mission Continues, visit missioncontinues.org/deployments
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