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In addition to providing merchandise and services to our customers, Via Trading is increasingly active in the Los Angeles community participating in local events and donating to local charities and organizations.
Below, you will find links to Via Trading's latest community contributions and event participation.
For donations to a local organization or to invite Via Trading to participate in a Los Angeles event, please email email@example.com
Goals Soccer Tournament Sponsorship
For the last several months, Via Trading partnered with Goals Soccer Centers in sponsorship of their local annual Goals Soccer Championship.
Based in South Gate, Goals Soccer's mission is to provide state-of-the-art turf fields and world class facilities to youth and adult soccer teams in and around the Los Angeles area.
On November 10th, 2012, 8 teams battled for the Grand Championship Prize in a day-long tournament.
The teams played for the crown, $1,000 and a chance to watch a live soccer game from a VIP box at the Home Depot Center.
Second place winners took home a $250 cash prize and the winning team's MVP too home a nice 40" flat screen TV.
Congratulations to Goals Soccer's winning team Leones Negros and 2nd place winners Inc. FC!
School Donation Project
In light of increased budget cuts to arts programs in the nation's public schools over the last several years, Via Trading recently began an outreach effort to equip local South Los Angeles public schools with supplies to help support the development of creative projects within the classroom.
In September 2012, Via Trading partnered with the LA Unified School District to provide several thousand pairs of arts and crafts scissors to schools in our local area. Recipients of the scissors included Wilson Elementary, Abbot Elementary, Helen Keller Elementary, Mark Twain Elementary, Rosa Parks Elementary and Thurgood Marshall Elementary schools in Lynwood.
We at Via Trading encourage you to find out how you can contribute to your local community. Our children are the future of this nation and it is our duty to contribute however we can to help improve the quality of their education, both academic and/or creative.
Thank you to Wilson Elementary school for sending us photos and notes of appreciation - we loved hearing from the kids and hope they are enjoying the scissors!
Bringing Shoes to the Union Rescue Mission
On September 1st 2012, Via Trading partnered with the Force of Hope/Bishop Clarence E. McClendon Ministries to bring over 200 pairs of shoes to the homeless population of Skid Row in Los Angeles.
Volunteers reunited at the Union Rescue Mission in LA in the morning, and welcomed hundreds of homeless individuals for a warm meal and a free pair of shoes to prepare for the fall and winter months.
As part of a community effort entitled "The Covering Conference," the McClendon Ministries brought their words of worship to the Union Rescue Mission, speaking to the needs of hundreds of people living on the streets of downtown Los Angeles in an effort to empower this community.
Hundreds of people convened underneath tents mounted specially for the event, and men, women and children were handed a pair of new Avia athletic shoes.
We look forward to partnering with this organization once again to help improve the qualify of life for the less fortunate members of our Los Angeles community.
In June of 2012, Via Trading had the honor of partnering with The Shoe Crew in their efforts to collect and donate much needed new athletic shoes to underprivileged kids in the greater Los Angeles area.
Founded in 2012 by a team of approximately 20 teen volunteers, The Shoe Crew's mission is to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged youth by providing them with shoes at the end of the summer so they can begin the school year on a good note.
"All kids deserve to have comfortable, nice-looking shoes for school," said volunteer and young actor Gabriel Welch. "We really wanted to do something productive with our time this summer," added the 16 year old captain of The Shoe Crew.
The Shoe Crew's hardworking volunteers have partnered with two additional organizations in Los Angeles: A Place Called Home and Shoes That Fit, dedicated to providing underprivileged youth with essential necessities to improve the quality of their lives.
The Shoe Crew's current mission is to collect 2,200 pairs of new athletic shoes before the school year begins, and to distribute them to A Place Called Home and Shoes That Fit as soon as possible.
To meet their goal, The Shoe Crew has held (and is continuing to hold) several shoe-raising events in LA this year, including a gala in Malibu that Via Trading attended in June. Hundreds of teens showed up to the party with their shoe donations, adding a great volume of shoes to what had already been donated by separate organizations.
Via Trading is happy to have been able to help out with the donation of 100 pairs of athletic shoes.
As of July 23rd, The Shoe Crew has collected 1,804 pairs of shoes and is getting close to reaching their goal just in time for the Back to School season. The crew will be attending the Back to School event at A Place Called Home in August to help distribute the shoes they have collected. They have already collected enough shoes to provide ALL the kids at A Place Called Home with new shoes, and are hoping to collect a few hundred more pairs of shoes to fill the warehouse at Shoes That Fit.
To contact The Shoe Crew or to support their cause by donating shoes, time or financial resources, please visit their website.
It takes a village to support a community. At the Los Angeles Community Outreach Center, this statement couldn't be more true.
On Sunday, May 13th 2012, Via Trading had the honor of attending the LA Community Outreach Center's Mother's Day Lunch, put together by the shelter's volunteer director, residents and fellow volunteers.
The LACOC provides a roof over the heads of men, women and women with children under 12, a food distribution program, a bus token transportation program, clothing distribution, employment and health service resources and hot meals to the community monthly.
Established in 1990 to address the needs of the homeless men, women and children of South Central Los Angeles, the original building was burned down during the Los Angeles riots of 1992. It was then rebuilt by its very own residents and 22 years later, the shelter is home to 21 people among which a 7 month old baby boy named Michael and an 11 year old girl.
A branch of Church on the Move (Holy Temple Missionary Baptist Church on Vermont Ave), the Los Angeles Community Outreach center functions exclusively on the time and care of volunteers and resident members. Each person plays an integral role in feeding, clothing, rehabilitating and caring for the community.
Frances Rodriguez, the shelter's newly appointed volunteer director welcomed us with open arms as we entered the building on Sunday to show our support for their organization and to spend a few hours celebrating Mother's Day.
The long hallway to the community's communal area echoed with the laughter of young and old residents alike. We walked right into a white elephant gift-giving ceremony that had each resident choose an unknown gift out of a basket when his or her name was called. The Pastor held up a woman's swimsuit with an infectious smile, and laughter ensued when the gag gifts didn't quite fit the recipient. We were welcomed with hugs and ample thanks for the donation of cleaning supplies we had made to this heart-warming organization earlier in the week.
We were offered a seat and a heaping plate of nachos with cheese while we all waited for the homemade meal to finish cooking.
As we sat and watched the celebration of motherhood unfold, we were introduced to residents who confirmed that it really does take a village. Each and every day, residents assume the responsibilities that help keep the shelter alive. From cooking duty, food pickup duty, cleaning duty, donation collection duty, passing out of transportation token duty and more, everyone has a job, a purpose to fulfill within the organization and a strong sense of belonging. It felt more like a big, loud and animated family than it did a place where people turn when all other options are exhausted.
The resilience of the human spirit shone brightly as we listened to each individual's story and celebrated with the generous community that makes this shelter possible.
Via Trading encourages you to get involved in your local community, in Los Angeles or wherever you are. Whether you are able to donate funds or material goods to help clothe and feed, or a few minutes of your time to lend a caring ear, we urge you to join us in counting our blessings and paying it forward.
The Watts Life Lanes Project Hot Meal & Toy Drive
On Sunday December 18th, 2011, Via Trading had the honor of participating in a community event in our local area of Watts, to bring a hot meal and toys to the disadvantaged families of the area before the holidays. The event was held at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) center, a non-profit, community-based, human social services organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of South Central LA residents.
This event was put on by the kind people of the Watts Lane Life Project, a program created by the East Side Riders Bike Club (ESRBC) and the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) in collaboration with the California Highway Patrol, the Sheriff's Department an LAPD, with the purpose of creating a Community Outreach program and a Bike Safety Project.
At 11:00 am, the event was kicked off by an impressive procession of motorcycles by the East Side Rider's Bike Club, as throngs of leather-clad men and women arrived to help serve food and distribute toys.
Hundreds of families lined up outside the WLCAC's facilities awaiting their pre-holiday meal and festivities.
Families were then invited into the auditorium where they were served a hot meal that they enjoyed at picnic tables inside and outside the auditorium. Children played as parents finished their meals, and the WLCAC regulars showed off their skateboarding skills at the Watts Community Skate Park within the WLCAC's fences.
Once the meal was over, lines formed outside the main hall where thousands of toys were stacked up on tables, generous donations of nearby companies and local supporters including Via Trading.
Children were ushered to the tables that contained age-appropriate toys. Each child was able to pick a toy and a stuffed animal to take home.
Smiles abounded and the warmth that was felt by all those present - volunteers and guests alike - really made it feel like Christmas despite the sun shining in LA, like it often does over the holidays.
The Watts Life Lanes Project hosts several community events throughout the year, and Via Trading looks forward to participating in more events and supporting the program in their efforts. The spirit of this organization is warm, bright and inviting. We're honored to have been a part of it.
El Grito Mexican Independence Day
In September of 2008, Via Trading participated in the El Grito event in Huntington Park, California along with hundreds of other companies and thousands of individuals to celebrate the Mexican Independence Day.
We welcomed hundreds of people to our booth and educated them on how they could start their own business and achieve financial independence with a minimal investment.
Our team members spent time speaking personally with visitors to our booth who were able to gain an understanding of how Via Trading can help them better their financial situations, and visitors walked away with freebies from a few Health & Beauty Aid pallets as well as give-aways, balloons and more.
Walden House is an organization in California dedicated to providing care, clothing, education and more to individuals with socio-economic hardships, those suffering from AIDS, the homeless, those recovering from substance abuse and others. Via Trading is honored to have been able to participate in Walden House's donation acquisition efforts in 2010, and look forward to helping them help our community for years to come.
A Gift for All Seasons
Walden House always works to “Give Hope, Change Lives,” but it is at Christmas time that we work to transform two Walden House locations from warehouses to Winter Wonderlands. We here at Walden House set up a sort of West Coast outpost for Santa, filled with games, puzzles, books, clothing and other items so each Walden House member can pick out outfits and gifts for his or her family – ensuring that everyone will have something special for the holidays. It is part of a concentrated effort to show our clients the power of community, family and caring through events like this and others, not just in December, but throughout the year.
The best part of Walden House’s Christmas activities? “For me, it’s knowing our children get that feeling they are loved; a child is so easily influenced anything we can do to maybe help them avoid some of the mistakes we’ve made. For our older clients it’s the feeling that someone actually cares,” said Dave Dayter, a team member at Walden House in Southern California. “A lot of the clients I hear talking, sometimes suggest that this is their first time receiving, and for the most part giving without ‘strings’ attached.”
One group of clients credited Walden House for giving “5 second chances” in their rendition of the “12 Days of Christmas,” during our Christmas dinner this year. Although the line got plenty of laughs, that is exactly what Walden House does – give people a second chance, no matter how many they need. Walden House sees the value in people until they can finally see the value in themselves, and we want to thank you for being a part of that effort.
Everyone loves picking out presents! “The shopping is very important it’s a great way for me to come and get something’s I would not be able to afford, and a way for me to shop for clothes and feel comfortable about who I am. … I like the dinner it’s nice to see the staff treat us like equals,” said one client. However, sometimes the best gift isn’t something that can be bought. “Walden House saved my life and helped me see that I was on the wrong path. Today I have my children back and whenever anything goes wrong my first reaction is not to snap, and go into self defense mode,” he added.
These activities are all part of the healing process. “Being away from home while in treatment is difficult enough, and being offered the opportunity to enjoy the Holidays with our peers gave me a very warm feeling and took a lot of the sadness away,” said Mary Larson, our Donations Coordinator, who herself was once a Walden House client. “Today, I am no longer selfish and know the meaning of having a family during the Holidays!”
We served over 2,000 individuals and families this year! Amid tough economic times our partners still pulled together to bring this wonderful, positive experience to our clients through their donations. Thanks to Via Trading and other community donors for giving hope and changing lives with us this year, and hopefully many more to come. We couldn’t have done it without you.
145 W. 22nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Fax (415) 970-7567