On December 18th 2013, Via Trading had the privilege of participating in the Century Station’s chapter of the Los Angeles Youth Foundation‘s Christmas celebration. The Los Angeles youth Foundation is made up of 17 Youth Activities Leagues in Los Angeles County that are committed to mentoring youth and promoting a positive relationship between law enforcement and the community. YALs are dedicated to providing a safe haven for youths growing up in gang-impacted neighborhoods. For some, the YAL is a place to go to meet friends and get homework done after school while for others, it is a refuge for support, life education and a healthy sense of belonging.
The YALs of Los Angeles welcome children ages 7 to 17 and offer an impressive range of free activities including arts and crafts, dance, homework assistance, karate, basketball, volleyball, sewing, boxing and more. The facilities often include computer labs, game rooms, outdoor sports courts, dance & karate studios, a library and a full sized kitchen.
YAL programs are staffed by a mix of deputies, civilian staff and dozens of volunteers who are committed to making a difference in the lives of kids with fewer opportunities. For many children, the YAL is literally a second home. The facilities operate during the crucial hours of 3 pm to 7 pm when many parents aren’t home from work and there is trouble to be found on the streets. Kids come to escape troubled home environments, neglectful parents and the dangerous lure of gangs lurking right outside their homes.
Via Trading had the pleasure of supplying some of the giveaways for Century Station’s YAL Christmas party and enjoying an afternoon of laughter and celebration with the 65 children who frequent that location. The kids gathered at the YAL after school, performed a play, sang Christmas carols, ate a Christmas dinner and each received three toys to take home. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with a community organization that enriches young lives in this way and look forward to further cooperating with the YAL in years to come.