October 1, 2014
The Charlie Class of 2014 reported for duty on Saturday, September 13th at the Good Shepherd Shelter (GSS). Veterans in blue t-shirts from all over the country poured out of their buses to embark on what the GSS staff called “Project Zowie.” The sun beamed down on Los Angeles, showing no mercy, but the Mission Continues Fellows were ready and eager to get to work.
Believe me, there is always something to do at the Good Shepherd Shelter. Within a day’s work, hedges needed to be trimmed, a sand box needed to be moved, benches, windows, gates and basketball poles needed to be painted, and rocks needed to be put down. The veterans were up for the challenge.
Diligence, efficiency, and determination created an atmosphere of strength and zeal. From the heaviness of moving a ton (literally 2,000 lbs) of sand to the delicacy of painting windows and gates, there was nothing that the veterans could not do. They endured the heat, and the sweat to make sure the mission continued at the Good Shepherd Shelter. The passion and energy displayed that day was an inspiration and motivation to continue serving the battered women and children at the Good Shepherd Shelter.
Many of the veterans of Charlie Class of 2014 reported for duty after 9/11 – a day in history very close to the hearts of Americans. They responded with courage and valor to fight for freedom and safety. During their transition from the battlefield, these incredible men and women are responding to the need at home, in our communities. Their commitment to service goes beyond their uniform. Each person who visited the Good Shepherd Shelter that day could feel the compassion, enthusiasm and love that each veteran had for their country, their service and for their communities – it was transformational for us at Good Shepherd Shelter and hope it was for those who participated.
This year, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd are celebrating 110 years of service in Los Angeles. The Sisters are committed to serving the women, adolescents and children who have experienced violence. As a domestic violence shelter, the objective is for healing and rehabilitation toward independence and a violence-free life. These goals come with challenges but the sisters have demonstrated their commitment to the community that they continue to serve. We are so grateful that the Charlie Class of 2014 shared that spirit of service and justice with us at the Good Shepherd Shelter.
The Sisters of the Good Shepherd, the GSS staff and the families are so grateful for all the improvements done to the campus. We appreciate everything that Mission Continues has done for us. It was an honor to be a part of an amazing day of service. There is so much that could be expressed but all that’s left to say is zowie.
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Astrid Quinones is the Advocacy, Outreach and Social Media Liaison at the Good Shepherd Shelter. She recently graduated Fairfield University and has committed a year of service as a volunteer with the shelter.