About 100 USC volunteers flocked to a local Boys and Girls Club to paint, clean and otherwise improve its grounds as part of “Christmas in April,” a national day of volunteerism and community service.
Joined by 50 students from Manual Arts High School on April 26, the volunteers repaired a baseball back stop, planted daisies and other flowers and painted the Boys and Girl’s Club at 2635 Pasadena Ave. in Lincoln Heights. The center serves youngsters age seven to 17, providing a place for games and supervised recreation after school.
“It was amazing to see the building before and after,” said volunteer Sharon Kasper, administrative coordinator for USC CARE.
“It really needed a lot of work, but the whole place was painted and washed and cleaned and by the end, it really looked like a nice place kids could spend their time,” she said.
“Children from the neighborhood would walk by and wave and watch us work. It was so nice and to see our hard work pay off. We ended the day with sore muscles and sunburns, but with a really good feeling. There was a smile on everybody’s face.”
Tammy Capretta, vice president of clinical services, has participated in the annual event for several years, but said this year’s efforts were especially enjoyable because for the first time they were directed toward a facility in the neighborhood of the Health Sciences Campus.
“All of us who participated had such a positive experience we hope we’ll get an even larger work force next year,” she said. She added that much of the event’s success was made possible by the preparation work and direction provided by members of USC’s facilities operation and management staff.
USC was a major partner of the local sponsoring organization, Christmas in April/South Central Los Angeles, which has rehabilitated 75 homes, five schools and seven community centers since 1993.