Community Development – One Kid at a Time

 

A couple of weeks ago, RSG had the tremendous privilege of volunteering at the Illumination Foundation’s Santa Ana after-school program. The Illumination Foundation is a non-profit organization working to break the cycle of homelessness using a multi-pronged approach, including housing placement and rental assistance, employment coaching, children’s enrichment programs, and medical outreach.

For one afternoon, our employees walked 12 minutes from our office to a cheerful yellow house where 35 children meet every day after school to eat, do their homework, and play alongside caring Illumination Foundation staff and volunteers. Below are some photos from our meaningful afternoon.

 

Every day, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County provides a meal for the students.   We brought fresh fruit on skewers to supplement that day’s meal.  The students loved eating the fruit…  

Every day, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County provides a meal for the students.   We brought fresh fruit on skewers to supplement that day’s meal.  The students loved eating the fruit…

 

…and pretending the skewers were alien antennae!

 

 

 

With fresh energy from the meal, we were ready to tackle homework.  

With fresh energy from the meal, we were ready to tackle homework.

 

Homework was much more fun than we remembered!

Homework was much more fun than we remembered!

 

 

After homework was all done, Evanne and Jeff gave a creative and fun presentation about RSG’s passion, community development.  

After homework was all done, Evanne and Jeff gave a creative and fun presentation about RSG’s passion, community development.

 

And of course, we played lots of games!

 

 

 

RSG had just as much fun as the students!

RSG had just as much fun as the students!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Human pretzel was a huge hit with the younger children…and Dima!  

Human pretzel was a huge hit with the younger children…and Dima!

 

In the spirit of community development, we also led the students in a craft– using paper bags to create buildings you’d find in a city.

 

The students came up with incredibly creative ideas, like this Pokémon business!

The students came up with incredibly creative ideas, like this Pokémon business!

Who would want to live in a city without a Disney store and a pizzeria?

Who would want to live in a city without a Disney store and a pizzeria?

Everyone’s participation resulted in an impressive paper bag city!

Everyone’s participation resulted in an impressive paper bag city!

Thank you for allowing us to spend the afternoon with you, Illumination Foundation! We had a blast!

Thank you for allowing us to spend the afternoon with you, Illumination Foundation! We had a blast!

Written by Dominique Clark, an Associate at RSG