On Saturday, October 23, 2010, Shoulder to Shoulder (STS) partnered with the Twin Rivers Unified School District (TRUSD), local businesses, churches and colleges from throughout California for the 4th Annual Because We Care (BWC) school beautification project on six Twin Rivers district campuses: Rio Linda High, Grant High, Rio Tierra Middle School, Madison Elementary, Babcock Elementary, and Smythe Academy K-6.
This beautification effort was the largest in the event’s history. Despite rainy weather, volunteers were able to complete over 52 detailed projects established by TRUSD, including planting trees, laying sod, laying bark, and extensive weeding and trimming. Due to the large number of volunteers and the speed in which the projects were completed, Twin Rivers representatives were able to assign more projects at each site and many volunteers were even able to come back to Martin Luther King Technology Academy (MLK) and provide some clean-up. Community clean-up also took place in the neighborhoods around Grant High and Rio Tierra Middle School with thousands of pounds of trash hauled off by Sacramento County.
While the visual transformation to the campuses is impressive, the personal transformation of the volunteers and transformation to the community is just as impacting.
“My blindness to what’s out there became transparent. Living in So Cal and Irvine, I see I’m really greedy and selfish. This opportunity opened my eyes and teaches me to give back.”
-Tim from UC Irvine
During the event, over 400 volunteers descended on the TRUSD, serving for 8 hours each, providing over 3200 man hours. This event was predominately youth-driven, as more than ¾ of the volunteers were under the age of 21. Over 150 of these volunteers joined STS from Navigator groups from the campuses of CSU Long Beach, Rio Hondo Community college, San Diego State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UCLA, UC Irvine, USC, UC San Diego, and UC Riverside. These students drove great distances and slept on the MLK gym floor in order to serve the North Sacramento area. Students groups also participated from UC Davis, Simpson University, California Baptist University and Jesuit High School. Recognizing the impact they could make for their school district, students from Highlands High, Foothill High, Grant High and various other campuses in TRUSD also joined the effort to clean-up their own school district.
I brought two individuals. They were amazed that college students would, of their own choosing, come up and help to improve someone’s else’s community this way. They also commented about the volunteers just working and working. I think everyone was amazed as they walked the campus at the end of the day just how changed the place was.
– David, STS Site Coordinator
BWC kicked-off at two locations, MLK and Madison Elementary, with breakfast, safety instructions and a group picture before volunteers began work on six designated campuses. After the service projects were completed, volunteers returned to MLK where STS provided a barbecue dinner, encouragement and a fun evening for all volunteers who stayed.
This event could not have been completed without the contribution of many community partners. TRUSD provided project oversight, materials, tools, transportation of volunteers as well as breakfast and lunch for all volunteers on the day of the event. The tool kits they created allowed the volunteers to be highly efficient in completing the projects. Joining Because We Care for the fourth year, Teichert Construction provided equipment and manpower that was crucial in completing several projects, and Sacramento Food Bank provided food items for the volunteers. Sacramento County picked up all piles created in the community clean-up and allowed us to dump for free. These partners, among many others, made the event possible.
Thanks to the efforts of our many volunteers and community partners this event was a huge success! STS sincerely thanks all who were involved in the effort and we look forward to partnering with the community for this event in the future.
See slideshow at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfJHvrnEc-ERead more
Shoulder To Shoulder (STS) is preparing its 4th Annual Beautification project, Because We Care, will be held Saturday, October 23rd from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Please print, fill-out and bring to the event the Liability Release below.Read more
September 22nd “Shoulder to Shoulder” (STS) launched their multi-year campaign to “Break the Cycle of Fatherlessness in Del Paso Heights”. The event, held at First Presbyterian Church in Roseville, was attended by over 120 community leaders who represented different churches and businesses. Assemblymen Ted Gaines was the Master of Ceremonies for the breakfast and shared his support for STS and the vision to equip urban fatherless young men for life, enabling them to become well-balanced, mature men in their family and community, and breaking the cycle of fatherlessness. Three speakers, Bill Coibion, Founder and President of STS; Dr. Sam Huddleston, a member of the STS’s Advisory Board; and Sherwood Carthen, Chaplain for the Sacramento Kings, shared their encouragement for the cause and efforts of the staff and volunteers at STS.
Community leaders enjoyed a delicious breakfast catered by Randy Peters Catering before the day’s program began. STS’s mentoring effort, Freedom Hall, is located on the campus of Martin Luther King Jr. Technology Academy in Del Paso Heights, Sacramento. After an inspiring video about Freedom Hall, which included the voices of 12 different people about how Shoulder To Shoulder, has impacted them, Bill Coibion spoke briefly about the vision, mission and background of STS, followed by a brief message from Sam Huddleston. Then STS’s, Man on the Street, Don Male, interviewed several urban fatherless young men involved in Freedom Hall, grateful mothers, and some of the mentors involved in the program. Their sharing revealed to community leaders the impact Freedom Hall has on young men in 2 to 3 years. In addition, Frank Porter, Superintendent of Twin Rivers School District and Board of Trustees President, Michelle Rivas, shared their support and appreciation for the efforts of STS and the impact it has had at MLK and the District.
Sherwood Carthen then shared an inspiring message about the true definition of success. His message inspired community leaders to more clearly see the opportunity to help bring others along with them as an integral part of success.
Team STS was blessed by the supporters that came to the breakfast. The cycle of fatherlessness will only be broken when people come together and decide to make a stand and assist these young men. Our hope is that the breakfast was merely a spark that begins to ignite STS’s multi-year campaign.
STS intends to reach 1,000 businesses and 200 churches to partner with STS over the next 10 years. The goal is to have each church and/or business provide tutors, mentors or give $1,000 a year ($83.33 a month) to support one of our young men. Meeting this goal will help “Break the Cycle of Fatherlessness” in Del Paso Heights.