“In all things, I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35

Nothing is nobler than giving, and Homies Empowerment Program, a community organization in East Oakland, is doing just that. Led by an energetic group of youths, the group has endeared itself to the community. They are providing food to the local community and also giving essential goods.

Talking to ABC 7 Rogelio X., inventory coordinator of Homies Empowerment Program said, “We are just doing what the community should do when times are tough.”

Giving Back

The program was in existence much before the start of the COVID-19 epidemic. It started as a storefront and provided books and clothes for their East Bay neighborhood. However, their mission became more critical after the pandemic. The group has taken a new task. Donations, food, and toiletries are collected by the group to be distributed free for the underprivileged.

“We want folks to shop for free and grab what they need,” said Rogelio X.

Every Tuesday, the large storefront, aptly named the FREEdom store, opens for all from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We have a formula and hot food. We respond to what the community needs and what the community asks for,” said Reena Balvani, volunteer at Homies Empowerment.

The Freedomstore found that the need for food was greater than anticipated. The volunteers and community organizations fan out the city and collect eatables, canned food, fresh vegetables, and personal hygiene products. They are distributed among a thousand people every week.

Charity With Solidarity

More heartening is when volunteers from all over have joined the drive, offering their time to get this done. Rogelio X feels that more than charity, it is solidarity, which counts. How true to give back to the community of which you have been a part of. This is such a truly noble venture. What do you think about it? Give your comments in the box below.


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