Feb 23 2014

A Perfect Tie – Everybody Wins

OneSkater

My school has competed against Camp Kilpatrick for years, but this year was the first time I personally had the opportunity to be on the field with them, and this was also the first year I had ever played soccer; therefore, the season was more than full of surprises. For those unaware or that are not familiar with Camp Kilpatrick, it is the juvenile detention center that inspired the film, ‘The Gridiron Gang’ from 2006.

My mom is pretty funny – every time she hears that my school is playing Kilpatrick, she goes to the home games and sits on their side and roots for them. This has kind of become a running joke at our school – the fact that my mom never knows which team is which and ends up cheering for the ‘other’ team  – but she knows exactly who she’s cheering for when it’s Kilpatrick.

My school got to play the Mustangs three times for league. We won the first game 7-1, and as soccer goes there were some pretty intense and competitive moments on the field between our teams. During the play, as my Mom sat on the Kilpatrick side of the field, she learned from the coaches (whom are not actually coaches, but are actually the probation officers from the juvenile camp) that this very well may be the last season that the Kilpatrick athletes compete in, due to the pending and imminent closure of both their sports program and camp.
Our second game was actually even more intense than the first and my school happened to lose 4-2. There were some pretty hard feelings coming from our side but what our players didn’t know was that well before our defeat, in fact the night before, we had decided to surprise Kilpatrick with pizza and that both teams could spend a bit of time together off the field and maybe experience the differences between ourselves, but more importantly, discover our similarities as people and athletes.

At first the pizza party was a little on the reserved side of a party, yet at one point everything seemed to change. An athlete from our school and an athlete from Kilpatrick apparently were pretty ruthless with each other verbally during the match, at some point between bites of pizza and very small talk – the Mustang athlete recognized our guy and immediately came over to him and started a discussion – next thing we saw was these two adversaries hugging and smiling. Something amazing had happened. From that moment forward, the party started. we were all telling stories and jokes, we all have quite a bit in common, something that both teams were to talk about for days to come, most likely for years to come. We were comrades and were having a great time hanging out together. I actually think our party would have gone on and on, but at one point the probation officers told us that they had to get the boys back to camp. Before they did, one of the Kilpatrick athletes got up and explained to us why they were in the camp and why the sports program was so vital to them and let us know first hand that this was most likely their last season, that their track and baseball season had already been cancelled for the year.

The series of events that happened next were wild and inspiring, but began with the hugs and the high fives that we ended with that afternoon.

Our third and final game was ever-more emotional. The tone on the field was utterly amazing and I can say that we all felt like we were scrimmaging friends. There was a sense of total comradery. Everyone felt it, including the coaches and the parents that were watching. As God would have it, the game ended in a perfect tie: 2-2. It couldn’t have been better!!  It was bitter-sweet as we and Kilpatrick knew that this would most likely be their last game, ever. As we traversed the field, our teams shook hands, then we all just broke into hugs together. My Mom and I had bought each player Father Greg’s book Tattoos on the Heart, and each of our players handed each of their players their gifts –  it was an incredibly emotional moment. We also presented them a packet of petitions and letters that our team had worked on since the pizza party and we also told them of an online petition that we had started on their behalf and told them how many signatures that we had already raised. With an estimated total of over 400 hand-written signatures and nearly 900 online signatures, along with countless personalized letters opposing the camp and sports program’s closure, we showed the Mustangs that they were not alone in their fight to keep the athletics alive.

Stay tuned for our next blog post in a few days where we will tell you about a very personal and inspiring visit with all of the remaining members at Camp Kilpatrick. Until then, your signature would be greatly appreciated on our petition HERE to save the sports program for not only all of the boys at Camp K, but for those of us that have had the great fortune to be on the field with fellow athletes that are teaching us how to play even when all the cards are against them.

Cheers.


Feb 10 2014

Help us out!!

OneSkater

We are attempting to keep the Camp Kilpatrick sports program alive as they close down the juvenile detention center in March.


CLICK HERE FOR ONLINE PETITION

There is more information in the link provided, where it takes only a minute to sign the petition.
We hope everybody will sign this and we hope to bring attention to the cause.

Thank you. Cheers


Jan 26 2014

Free Hugs Anybody?

OneSkater

Why don’t you take some time out of your day to do something as simple and
heart-warming as this? You can make somebody’s day with a little gesture like this.

Cheers. 


Jan 20 2014

No Matter Whatness

OneSkater

We Love Father Greg and his accepting virtues of ‘No Matter Whatness’

Fee Free to watch his beautifully articulated Thought of the Day HERE.
Cheers.


Dec 30 2013

Take a Look at Homeboy’s 25th Year – Homeboy 2013

OneSkater

Homeboy’s staff photographer Salvador “Pocho1″ Sanchez-Strawbridge put together a slideshow of
pictures taken throughout 2013 – Homeboy Industries’ 25th year.

If you have a moment, please watch this beautiful video that depicts the kinship and bonding
through Homeboy Industries.

Feel free to check out Homeboy’s Site and maybe even donate to help out this wonderful, loving family!

Much Love and a Happy New Years to all!
Cheers.


Dec 18 2013

OneSkater is Staying Joyful!

OneSkater

“We are always happy to see our Father Gregory Boyle happy and joyful. We always stand in awe on how G remains joyful throughout all the struggle we have here at homeboy. We are so happy to be able to follow in his footsteps and be happy, content and joyful regardless, like G says “no-matter-what-ness! Have a beautiful day and always remain joyful through the struggle of this beautiful life!”

Father Greg is the kind of person who will love you “no-matter-what” and he truly shows that.
I remember going down to Homeboy one afternoon and he hugged me. Father Greg has the touch that just
makes everything better. He is a joyous inspiration and a true testament to life’s beauty.

Cheers◊


Dec 8 2013

Tattoosontheheart.org is now online!

OneSkater

Will Lopez’s inspirational transformation story from Tattoosontheheart.org

“My name is Will Lopez and I am 28 years old. I was raised by a single mother of five in the San Fernando Valley, in Los Angeles. I was an honor roll kid in elementary school and played soccer.
At ten years old, I met my father for the first time, just three months before he was murdered.
I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was in December, and at Christmas when everyone else was opening presents, I was looking at my dad in a casket. I can remember my brother standing over the coffin and saying, “Daddy wake up.”
I fled from the feelings of abandonment, masking the pain and intimidating my community. I started looking for something that I had lost, and I found it with my homies. I started gang banging at the age of 11, and was first in a juvenile hall cell that same year for purse snatching. I dropped out of school, got my first tattoo and was jumped in as a full-fledged gang member by 13.
At 15 I was sentenced to juvenile life; at 18 I was moved to adult jail. I was released from prison at 23, but I wasn’t ready to change—if anything I thought I got slicker, smarter and wiser through those years. I moved out of my neighborhood, but my neighborhood was still in me. I kept going in and out of jail for parole violations.
Around this time, though, things began to change. My wife was pregnant, and I made a commitment to never be like my father. I want to be a father that is there, not in prison.
In the back of my head this whole time was Homeboy Industries. Father Greg would come to do mass at Camp Gonzales, and at the end of every mass he’d stand in the back of the room and pull out his stack of business cards. He gave them out, one by one, to every kid in the room, saying, “Come see me when you’re ready.”
Father G gave me my first card when I was 12, but I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready at 21 either, or 23, or 24. At 25, I got out of Wasco State Prison and was at rock bottom. I didn’t have anything.
I walked in the doors of Homeboy Industries 3 years ago, and I haven’t looked back. I fell in love with the place, and the place fell in love with me. I’m a completely different person now—supporting my daughter through daycare, a loyal husband to my wife, a student…I wear a lot of hats.
At Homeboy I am now a domestic violence, anger management and restorative justice facilitator. I teach creative writing and help manage the parenting class.
One of my favorite things to do here is to be a mentor to young guys. My life is good today, and I can do the things I never imagined—have a job, be a good father, go to the beach. And it’s all thanks to this program. Homeboy teaches me life skills, it teaches me to treat people differently, to treat myself differently, to accept who I was in the past and who I am today.

Homeboy Industries is a place of second chances, and I know I’ve had my second chance here—and my third, and my fourth. People like me would not achieve the great things that we do without the support of people like you. We are so grateful, and I hope you have some idea of how much your support means to us every day.” – Will Lopez

For more transformation stories of other Homeboy Members and an opportunity to donate to the community, visit www.tattoosontheheart.org


Dec 1 2013

Homeboy’s Virtual Dinner Party

OneSkater

Join us December 3rd at Border Grill Downtown or Santa Monica locations and they’ll give 15% of the proceeds directly to Homeboy Industries. Just tell them you are with the Homeboy Dinner Party.

Host your own real or virtual dinner party on or before Giving Tuesday and ask your friends to contribute to Homeboy as part of their RSVP. When you do, we’ll give you the bread and coffee to serve!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE


Nov 27 2013

Homegirl “Hungry for Life” Cookbook

OneSkater

 

Founding Homegirl Chef Pati Zarate opens up a whole new side of Mexican cuisine. “Hungry for Life” is a cookbook about so much more than food. Cooking together, breaking bread, and sitting down for a meal —these are some of the most ancient and enduring ways of communion and connection with each other.

ORDER YOUR COPY HERE
All proceeds go directly to Homeboy Industries.
“Hungry for Life” is a cookbook like no other. A project of one of Homeboy Industries’ social enterprises, the Homegirl Café. The cookbook’s light, colorful, healthy take on Mexican foods is grounded in family traditions, cultural roots, and personal stories. The recipes are unexpected and delicious – using apple salsa atop a carnitas taco, mangos in salsas, caramelizing hibiscus.

To cook for someone is to share your gift with others. At the Homegirl Café, Pati Zarate has given her heart to the girls, the trainees who learn to cook the dishes that make up the stories and memories of her life. As the young women learn to prep, slice, season, and taste, they begin to find them and add their own struggles, stories, and triumphs so when a meal is delivered-with-care tableside to those who make the trek to the Homegirl Café in downtown Los Angeles, the experience nourishes the patrons on many levels. Hungry for Life is filled with stunning photographs, enticing recipes, and compelling stories about the trainees’ experiences with and love of Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries. Pati Zarate and Alisha Ruiz, one of the young women who changed her life working in the Café, contribute so much to “Hungry for Life,” a cookbook to be treasured, used and shared as gifts with family and friends.

All proceeds from the sales of the Hungry for Life Cookbook go to Homeboy Industries. The proceeds support the free services and programs available to Homeboy’s trainees and community clients. Programs and services such as tattoo removal, case management, mental health and legal services, job development, solar panel certification & training, and a robust education and curriculum department. The services and programs the trainees receive are critical components for the trainees as they strive to change and transform their lives, leaving their former gang ties behind them and breaking the cycles of incarceration in their lives.


Nov 24 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from OneSkater and Homeboy!

OneSkater

Click HERE for a quick video clip/news article on Father Greg and Homeboy Industries.

Here at OneSkater, we wish you the best and hope you all have a great holiday!
Cheers!