Dust off your cozy winter blankets and jacket, winter is coming. Although leaves rarely change in San Diego prepare yourself for chilly 60-degree nights drinking hot chocolate by the fire. Sit back with your warm drink as I recap our November events. The month was filled with giving thanks and service. Reality Changers youth gave back to orphans, homeless families, and cleaned debris in Los Penasquitos Canyon.
At the beginning of November, Reality Changers teamed up with Beyond Events for its annual Carerra de los Muertos (Race for the Death). Students cheered on athletes young and old the during the race. Participants were decked out in their best Dia De Los Muertos attires. In Latin culture, Day of the Dead (or Dia De Los Muertos) is a week-long celebration where relatives and friends visit loved ones who passed with food and music. Carerra de los Muertos concluded the week-long celebration by shedding light on child abandonment in Baja, Mexico. Proceeds for the event benefit an organization called Corazon de Vida. A for-purpose organization that provides life-changing support for orphaned and abandoned children in Baja, Mexico. They are on a mission to end child abandonment by breaking the vicious cycle of poverty. For more information please visit: http://www.corazondevida.org
Students continued their service by cleaning Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. Its mission is to repel these forces, slowing and reversing their infiltration into Los Penasquitos Canyon. Our native habitats are under attack! But our work helped enhance native plant species recruitment, erosion control and moisture retention within the biotic communities. We concluded the day at one of your favorite schools, Monarch Schools at its 14th Annual Thanksgiving event called Project Connect. Monarch Schools served San Diego for nearly three decades, beginning as a one-room education center and expanding into a K-12 comprehensive school designed to educate homeless youth. At Monarch, it give students the skills and tools they need to overcome these odds. Project Connect provides homeless youth and families a hot meal with all the fixings. After dinner, attendees enjoyed carnival games, won prizes, and drank hot chocolate!
Together we completed over 550 hours so far this year. Our students made an impact from Los Penasquito to Mexico. Thanks to our community partners Monarch Schools, the City of San Diego, and Beyond Events! With your support, the Southwest coast to the canyonlands are cleaner and safer. Our gratitude for our volunteers, supporters and sponsors is as wide as our service footprint. In this time of giving thanks we want to recognize Jose Dominguez, Nina Shmorhun, Karina Torres Chavez, Crystal Avila, Dan Honigfort, and Rob Knox for their outstanding dedication to our mission. Another special dedication goes to our volunteers who represent outstanding consistency. As the saying goes, “showing up is half the battle,” and they did! These exemplar leaders include Camille Santos, Esther Wang, Jen Keli Bautista, Kevin Wong, Miguel Gamo, and Neya Suresh Kumar.