Called to Action—How the LA Corps is Stepping Up for It's Community During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Meet the Los Angeles Corps and discover their mission to support the environment and their community.
annkrishaannkrisha
Apr. 22, 2020
campaign, cherie
Though Cherie is a beauty app for beauty lovers, we also truly believe in our responsibility to stand for important causes. We're celebrating Earth Day all week here at Cherie with our sustainability awareness campaign called "A Breath of Fresh Air". This week, we'll be sharing different ways we can be, and provide, a breath of fresh air to ourselves and the earth. Think doing small activities like walking or biking instead of driving, or purchasing from brands that give back to the earth. After all, everything begins with us! During this time of staying home, staying safe, and slowing the spread of the coronavirus, life has changed a lot. It's scary and daunting and uncertain—and thankfully, the silver lining to all this is we have each other. In times of need, it's our community that we turn to for support. Strong communities are the cornerstone of our humanity, being there for one another so that we can get through whatever, together. It's also times like these where groups like the Los Angeles Conservation Corps step up for their communities in ways most people aren't aware of. In the spirit of Earth Week here on Cherie and talking about practices that bring us a breath of fresh air, learning about groups like LA Corps that actively preserve and maintain our fresh air is incredibly important. I spoke with Jeremy Minter of LA Corps to learn more about their mission and how they're helping the community during these trying times. What is LA Corps north star? Your mission and values that drive you?"Our main mission is to provide job skills and income to young people through conservation efforts. LA Corps works with youth between the ages of 14-17 and young adults 18-24. We help provide them with job skills training and look to give these young people on-the-job experience while providing them an income to help with their day to day life. We do this by conducting environmental projects around the city like tree planting, graffiti abatement, alley and street clean-ups, trail maintenance, wildfire prevention, and more. Through these efforts, young people are building skills that help them join the workforce in the future while providing essential services to the conservation of our local environment." What have you been working to support the community during COVID-19?"Recently for the Corona Virus pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom gave a call to action to conservation corps across the state to act as a sort of 'first responder' to our communities. So lately, we've been helping to provide essentials to our communities. For example, we recently partnered with Baby to Baby packaging diapers, cleaning supplies, and so forth, helping to distribute these goods to neighborhoods in need. We are also working closely with food banks to help support them with facility operations as they need during this time. We're also continuing to do our day in and day out maintenance of the city."How has the corps day to day changed with COVID-19?Keeping everyone safe is our first priority. We are adhering to all ordinances to protect our Corpsmembers and staff while trying to impress upon our young people that the work they are doing right now is so important to the community. They are part of something bigger than any of us and we value their commitment and their dedication. We are honored to be able to help out on the emergency response missions and continuing to work on some of our regular projects that help maintain community health and safetyAre corps members volunteers?The Corps offers young people paid work experience. A lot of our corps members come from challenging situations, so we support them with support services, training and education, professional development opportunities, and more.Why are conservation corps' important for the community and the environment?"We are important to the community because we are an organization that uplifts and empowers our people. We look to give opportunities to young people who may have been overlooked in the past or may need that second chance. With us, they get that chance, and they get the opportunity to look at their community in a different way, in a light of service. We're important to the environment because we do the work that needs to be done. Our corps is such an amazing group of hardworking people, and they're out there planting trees, maintaining trails, cutting concrete—this is tough work! We are maintaining the beauty of our city while mitigating pollution through tree planting and preventing potential wildfires by trimming shrubs. These are important things for both the safety of the community and the wellbeing of the environment. It's amazing to see the way our corps members' work directly benefits the communities they live in and serve."Why is it important for people to preserve the environment?"As people, it's important to be knowledgeable of the environment because we want this to be something to last for generations. We're already finding out that ice caps are melting at abnormal rates, climate change is happening, and that we're even losing natural resources and even some natural landscapes. If we thought they were important to us, we would take care of them for ourselves and future generations. Our corps members step in, so we can do this type of work and advocate for the earth. The earth can't talk and tell us directly to stop harming it, so organizations like us are here to step in the gap and say these things are important for us all, and we do what we can to protect it. We as a community and society should take care of the environment bc it's not just for us, but it's for who is next."What are some ways we can help supplement your work?"First, have a good knowledge of what's going on. You don't have to be a scientist and know everything, but to have an understanding of what's happening to the earth gives you a better idea of what you can do. After that, I think it's little acts that build into bigger impacts. From recycling at home, taking public transportation, and so forth. It's also great to get in contact with your local officials and council members to voice that the environment is important to you and that they should push legislation that supports this. Lastly, donate to organizations you feel are doing a good job in conserving our environment. Take the time to vet the organizations to see if they are doing impactful work in the community."How do people get involved with LA Corps ?- Follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @LACorps. - Participate in volunteer events - Partner with us through your work or organization!
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