As 2015 comes to a close, the Foundation would like to extend our warmest wishes to our grantees, partners in service and the Shinnyo-en community. We are thankful to all those who share our mission for peace through service.
We finished off the year hosting four Family Service Events, gathering Shinnyo-en practitioners to make donations for local social service organizations. The Chicago temple came together for its second event of the year on November 1st! This time, the Kenneth Young Center, one of the nonprofit organizations that has been a recipient of handmade blankets from each of these events since 2012, opened its doors and hosted the event in their beautiful meeting space.
The Los Angeles temple community held back-to-back events on November 21st and 22nd. Over 70 volunteers participated over the course of the weekend, and we almost ran out of projects for volunteers to do! The last event of the year was our 2nd Annual Family Evening of Service in Nevada on December 11th. Many young children came with their parents making it a true family affair – they learned about the importance of giving and that small gestures of kindness can go a long way.
We often speak about the ripple effect of the Foundation’s support, which can sometimes be difficult to measure and capture. However, we recently heard a testimonial from one of our Annual Retreat participants that touched our hearts, and reminded us of the impact our work has. Gustavo Lozano is a high school student intern from Brothers on the Rise in Oakland, CA, and he shared this:
Attending the Shinnyo-en Foundation Retreat was an amazing experience. . . . Meeting adults that were happy in their work was inspiring. They have inspired me to help out the community and so I am now applying to colleges and I plan to study sociology so that I can come back and help my community. To this day I can still picture everyone’s smiles. Those smiles came from happiness of their careers. Not a lot of people can say they are happy in their jobs, but they can. . . . At the end of the retreat I was mind blown. I never really thought about helping people in the community but they helped me realize how meaningful and important it is to give back.
Here is a quick look back at the year. We wish you the very best for 2016!