By Shea & Raan Parton
Photos by Becky Trejo
On April 3rd, we (Raan, Shea, and members of Apolis' LA Retail Team), had the honor of volunteering at Union Rescue Mission, which is less than one mile from our flagship store in downtown LA. Founded in 1891, Union Rescue Mission is the largest private homeless shelter in the United States, providing emergency and long-term services to the at-risk population of Skid Row. Each night, around 2,000 people sleep at URM, and by offering food, shelter, clothing, medical care, recovery programs, transitional housing, job training, and more, URM seeks to serve people in both body and soul, helping break the cycle of poverty.
On this particular Tuesday morning, we got to serve breakfast to 500 individuals. That amount was actually low for URM; they usually feed around 1,000 people each meal, and the kitchen staff are happy to say that no one goes hungry around here thanks to the corporate sponsors who provide day-old food to help feed this vulnerable population. Being here was such a refreshing experience, one we felt thankful to be a part of. Whether at Union Rescue Mission or a similar organization in your neighborhood, we seriously recommend this experience to everyone — it’s an opportunity to genuinely serve people, as well as to slow down and realize how much you have to be thankful for.