When I was CEO of Rescue Mission in LA we had the benefit of many meaningful volunteers . One of them set the mark for us. His name was Don Lacus. Hanging around and sharing with the street people sitting in our large Chapel was a great pleasure for him.He loved being in the chapel and mixing with men ad women in a supporting and cheerful way.
Another volunteer contribution was given to our people by music students studying at UCLA. The young musicians were very gifted and skilled. They seemed world class to me for sure. They would play for 45 minutes to an hour.
Some of them said they were performing The same program they had played for their Masters recital. I often came down to the chapel to hear them play. Once as they were playing a street man seated in the chapel said to me “Hey George, Thanks for thinking we have a brain”. I now wish I had told the music department at UCLA how much their student musicians meant to our folks.
Another volunteer was Sam Palmer. Sam was a very high powered attorney. Once he said to me ” I think I will use the fee I got from my last trial to buy an avocado farm in Ventura”. He was representing very large corporations at trials.
Sam had been to a Episcopalian Cursillo retreat. He had been very moved and had had made a powerful commitment to service. He had offered to work at a number of down town homeless facilities and had been turned down. By the time he came to me he was visibly desperate to find a place to serve.
He said I found out the God has a prejudice in favor of the poor. If I don’t find a place to serve I am afraid I will lose what I got at Cursillo”. He asked me what was the lowest job at the Mission. I said “Delousing our guests.” He said “Let me do that. That’s I need to be”He worked there faithfully. I he.
He once defended one guy that had his hotel seize his property when he was in the hospital for three weeks. The hotel is required by law to on the the front desk said I will be back Wednesday. If you do not have a check for $500.00 for me I will file this lawsuit. Our program man got his money.
And then there were the of hundreds of people wgave and helped raise money for our new building led by Mayor Bradley. The new building came in on time paid for and won national awards. Special thanks to Linda Johnson who led the fund raising efforts. Linda you worked so hard on getting things done. Part of why you were so successful was everyone, including me, knew it was a labor of love for you. We are friends forever. George