Chaka Pruitt will not have to worry about purchasing groceries to cook for her two adolescent daughters for at least a week thanks to the Clippers and the Salvation Army’s Feed the Community event.
“It helps us a lot and it means a lot to us that the Salvation Army does this,” said Pruitt, who has been coming to the “Feed the Community” event for the past few years.
The Los Angeles Clippers Foundation partnered with the Salvation Army for the tenth annual event on October 7, providing 1,000 families-in-need, like Chaka Pruitt, with bags of food and hygienic products.
At the Salvation Army Siemon Family Youth and Community Center in South Central Los Angeles, “They do it often,” Pruitt said. “You know the saying, ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ they are a part of my village.”
Clippers players joined the village by volunteering alongside Clippers season ticket holders and members of the organization to distribute various supplies from canned goods to fresh produce.
“A lot of the people here may not get a chance to come see us play, so for us to be able to come out here and just spend some time with them is great,” said Montrezl Harrell, one of the newest additions to the Clippers reconstructed roster.
Countless families expressed their gratitude to the Clippers and the Salvation Army for providing them with basic necessities. Mortimir Jones, executive director of the Salvation Army Siemon Family Youth and Community Center stated how imperative it is to continue programs like these in the community.
“Sometimes we can get lost in the fanfare of having players, but we sometimes just need to remember that there is need out there in our community and the Salvation Army does its best every day to meet that need,” said Jones.
The Siemon Family Youth and Community Center provides several program designed to assist, support, and inspire members of the South Los Angeles community and their families. Some of the programs include an after-school youth development service, utility assistance, Christmas assistance, and school supply distribution. The Center is also a safe place for at-risk children, housing a licensed child care center, a dance and performing arts studio, a computer center, a library and more.
“Those days, when it’s this time of the year and you’re passing that red kettle and that bell, give to the Salvation Army because it goes back to programs like this,” encouraged Jones.
The line around the block showed that there are “so many of our families struggling and experiencing things you would not think they would experience in the United States,” according to Jones. Events like these not only provide material resources to the South Central Los Angeles community, but also inspire hope and demonstrate that the Clippers and the community cares.
“We appreciate them coming out and supporting the community here; talking to the kids and them not having to look over their shoulder,” said Pruitt.
For families like Pruitt and all the other recipients, it is the mission of the Clippers Foundation and the Salvation Army to lighten their load.