G-DOG

G-DOG. What happens when a young, white Jesuit priest walks into the most violent Latino, Asian, and African-American gang neighborhoods in East LA? If that priest is Father Greg Boyle, a 70% success rate for having gang members swap violence for community.

And what’s his radical method?

Boundless, restorative love.

This documentary follows Father Greg or G-Dog as the homies call him, through a year in the life of Homeboy Industries, the largest, most successful gang intervention and rehab program in the U.S. In 1986, Father Greg was assigned to the poorest, most violent parish in East LA, Boyle Heights. With his belief that nothing stops a bullet like a job and his intense focus on jobs not jail for the kids he saw planning their funerals instead of their futures, he began building Homeboy Industries — a café, silkscreen shop, yoga studio, retail shop, catering service, tattoo removal, job training, anger management training, parent training, etc, business – in downtown LA. In the year the film memorializes, Father Greg and the homies face a tough economic decision about Homeboy Industries, but they face it together and with boundless, restorative love.

Father Greg saw a need in his community and he worked to meet that need. As a result, Homeboy Industries serves as an inspiration for helping to kids at risk in Toronto, Manchester, Hamburg, Rio de Janeiro, and many more communities.

It’s easy to see why a Jesuit priest would be so loved in one of the poorest communities in LA when you embrace the truth delivered in his commencement speech at Occidental College:

“So, I’m in a car with a homie named Manuel and we’re driving to give a talk and he gets a text and he looks at it and he kinda chuckles and I said, ‘What is it?’ And he goes, ‘Oh, it’s dumb. It’s from Snoopy back at the office.’

I said, ‘What’s it say?’

‘Oh, hey dog, it’s me Snoops. Yeah, they got my ass locked up at county jail. They’re charging me with being the ugliest vato in America. You have to come down right now. Show ‘em they got the wrong guy.’

I nearly swerved into oncoming traffic and then I realized that Manuel and Snoopy are enemies. They used to shoot bullets at one another. Now they shoot text messages. And there is a word for that and the word is kinship.

There is no longer us and them. It’s only us.

The measure of your compassion lies not in your service of those on the margins, but in your willingness to see yourself in kinship with them.

Oxi [Occidental College] is not the place you come to; it’s the place you go from. And you go from here to create a community of kinship so that God might recognize it. And good for you. And congratulations.” ~ Father Greg Boyle

G-Dog a brilliant film by Freida Lee Mock.

My 2 Sentence Christmas Story

blood-of-jesus-christ

December 24th

The giant doors all lined in a row, propped open as one hundred, two hundred, eighteen hundred people dressed in their new coats, ties, dresses, hats, scarves, boots and so on passed through on their holy pilgrimage to find a seat in the vast auditorium to hear a 10 piece band and a 50 member choir sing praises to the Lord and to learn from the great builder of this mighty building which had no debt  teach of the humble prince who came to feed the poor, heal the wounded, and mend the broken hearted, but was born in a manger because there was no room for him at the Inn. Meanwhile, across town, a window breaks, a muffled cry is held in and a homeless young child, now heavily bleeding, painfully crawls into the under-funded-not-yet-open-for-the-day runaway center, the only safe place he knows where he is welcome to feed his ever-so-hungry stomach and seek shelter from the bitter cold, and as he makes himself a small sandwich he tries not to bleed, but he cannot help but shed his blood.

OPERATION: Homefront

OPERATION: Homefront

ORGANIZATION: Up with Billings!, a Billings Kiwanis satellite group

SUBJECT: Holiday Gift Boxes for Homeless Children in Billings

DATE: NOW – December 14, 2013

BOX COLLECTION SITE: Rock Creek Coffee Roasters 124 N. 28th St. Billings, MT

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/events/606083512788742/

Did you know that on any given night, as many as 100 homeless youth in Billings are sleeping outside underneath bridges, in ‘camps’ near the river or inside a cave along the Rims? Billings School District 2 identified 503 homeless youth enrolled during the 2012 – 2013 school year. Tumbleweed’s Street Outreach Program identified an additional 150 homeless youth who were not enrolled in school.

Fashioned after Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child, OPERATION: Homefront is a local holiday gift project sponsored by Up with Billings!, a Billings Kiwanis satellite group.

Up with Billings!’ mission is to collect 500 individual shoeboxes with gifts for students identified by School District 2 and Tumbleweed Runaway Program as homeless or at risk.

The shoeboxes will be distributed the week of December 16, 2013 by School District 2 and Tumbleweed.

Please join OPERATION: Homefront and learn what a difference a shoebox can make!

 

INSTRUCTIONS

SHOEBOX

Use an empty shoebox (standard size, please) or a small plastic container. Please wrap the box and lid separately with holiday paper.

BOY, GIRL or TEEN MALE, FEMALE

Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl or a teen male or female and the child’s age category as listed below. Create a label designating the appropriate gender and age category and tape the label to the top of the wrapped lid of your box.

AGE CATEGORIES

Primary Girl or Boy

K – 3rd Grade

Intermediate Girl or Boy

4th – 6th Grade

Early Teen Girl or Boy

7th – 8th Grade

High School Female or Male

9th – 12th Grade

FILL WITH GIFTS

Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child or teen. Please include at least one item a child can immediately embrace such as a stuffed toy, doll, ball, or toy truck. Including a handwritten greeting is encouraged.

DROP OFF

Place a rubber band or removable ribbon around each wrapped, closed shoebox and drop it off at Rock Creek Coffee Roasters by December 14, 2013. (Rock Creek Coffee Roaster is located at 124 N. 28th St. Billings, MT 59101)

GIFT SUGGESTIONS

Boys/Girls

School supplies: Pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, notebooks, ink pads and rubber stamps, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, reading books, etc.

Toys: Small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A-Sketch, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky, etc.

Hygiene Items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, brush, wash cloth, etc.

Other: T-shirts, socks, gloves/mittens, winter hats/scarves, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc. Clothing items for winter weather are encouraged.

Teens

Age appropriate items for school, recreation, clothing, and hygiene products. Clothing items for winter weather are encouraged.

For All Boxes Do Not Include: Used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out of date candy;  medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

THANK YOU!