Deploy With a Team of Veterans and Build a Stronger Community

MASS DEPLOYMENT 2018

OPERATION WATTS IS WORTH IT

LOS ANGELES, CA | June 23-27, 2018

Operation Watts Is Worth It, our third Mass Deployment, connected over 500 volunteers including veterans, corporate partners, and local organizations for a week of community impact in Los Angeles’s Watts community. From June 23-27, the team, led by veteran volunteers from across the country, took part in five consecutive days of high-energy, physically demanding projects.

Our service in Watts has been steadily growing since 2016, and in the year leading up to Operation Watts Is Worth It we amped up our engagement in a significant way. To ensure that the impact achieved would directly benefit the community’s needs, we attended regular meetings led by city council members, community leaders and local police enforcement. Out in the neighborhoods, our Los Angeles service platoons expanded existing partnerships and planted seeds for new service projects.Operation Watts Is Worth It is a culmination of all these efforts and realized by our veteran leaders.

“I have been able to stretch way beyond my comfort levels. Layers of discomfort have fallen off  and I feel so much more confident in my skills and abilities.” – Chetkeila Greene, Ambassador, Houston, TX

WHY LOS ANGELES?

A community with a history older than the state of California, Watts has been called the most powerful neighborhood in Los Angeles. As with many urban areas in America, residents face daily trials related to under-resourced schools, de-population, disinvestment and under-employment. The capacity and resources of social services organizations in the area are spread thin, so those who most need assistance find it hard to access help. Through it all, Watts has maintained a unique and vibrant identity and its residents deserve a brighter future.

Now more than ever, reasons to hope abound. City officials, corporate leaders and philanthropic organizations are coming together to make investments in the neighborhood and positive progress is on the horizon. Local community groups have been actively engaged in creating a better tomorrow for themselves and the families who live there. Now, veterans are responding, too. By reporting for duty alongside The Mission Continues, residents can take part in creating solutions to address these challenges and ensure positive progress continues.

“I’ve been able to give back to a community that reminds me of the one I grew up in.…The experience and the people I’ve met have been amazing, and seeing a project from start-to-finish is so rewarding.” – Karen Hernandez, Crew Member, Chicago, IL

Great Streets
June 23, 2018
Great Streets
June 23, 2018

We kicked off our first of five project days on a central corridor in the heart of Watts. Veterans, community members and Target volunteers fanned out across four blocks branching off from 103rd Street. The area is part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative, a city-wide program that aims to re-imagine neighborhood centers by activating streets as public spaces. Our mission: to help restore and revitalize the blocks with an overhaul of color, greenery and activities. A local mural artist guided volunteers in their painting of butterflies, wrapping block after block of cement planters which were cleared of debris and filled with sustainable plants. Within the corridor, we added sidewalk games and chess tables for all ages to engage in together. The project’s high-traffic location at Great Streets set the tone for the coming week’s service projects in the Watts community, and the beautification of a local shared space for passerby to enjoy.