July 18th is not only Nelson Mandela’s birthday, it is now known as ‘Mandela Day‘. The day is a call to action for people everywhere to take responsibility for making the world a better place, one small step at a time, just as Madiba has always done. The idea is to spend 67 minutes (or more!) on something that helps your community or another person – something that changes the world just a little bit for the better. 67 comes from the fact that Mandela served his country, community and the world for 67 years.
We at AAC wanted to make a difference this year for Mandela Day and researched opportunities to make positive change in our community here in Denver. We connected with Lambuth Family Center, a short-term transitional housing facility for families in need in the Denver metro area. Lambuth is run by the Salvation Army, and has capacity for housing 20 families. Residents may stay for up to two years as long as they meet the requirements (must have children under 17 years old, no drug or alcohol use allowed), and the facility provides counseling, job search assistance and life skill training. The program is designed to help people successfully move out of homelessness.
We spent our time cleaning out and reorganizing some of their storage areas – a job that took our crew just over an hour. It would have taken an individual in the center a full day, and that kind of time is a luxury they don’t always have. We were pleased to roll up our sleeves as a team to do something for the community in honor of Mandela Day – we encourage everyone to do the same!