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The Compton Initiative


January 2018


For our January volunteer event, we joined thousands of volunteers to paint, clean and heal homes, schools, and street blocks in Compton with The Compton Initiative!


7am on a Saturday!? I was concerned that the 7am start time would deter people from volunteering. While the needs of the organization are always top-priority, it’s important for me to choose and create events that people can realistically attend. But I decided to go for it… Let caffeine and the power of community compel you: I chose THE COMPTON INITIATIVE!


The Compton Initiative is a non-profit organization with a commitment to bringing hope and restoration to the City of Compton by painting homes, schools and churches on quarterly workdays in partnership with individual volunteers and other organizations. TGI's tagline is "Just Do Good." Simple. Powerful.


I chose The Compton Initiative because I love large-scale volunteering events. There’s something electric about thousands of people coming together to make change happen. It’s also important to me that we serve ALL of Los Angeles, and resisterhoodLA hadn't yet served the community of South LA.


Our carpool to Compton was gifted an epic sunrise. [If you think Sunsets are cool, check out Sunrises!] After organizing volunteers for 10+ years, TCI has it down to a science. As you arrive at Compton City Hall, you’re led through check-in, to sign a volunteer waiver, and then given breakfast. Our group of 40 volunteers was a small-but-mighty fraction of the enormous group gathered in a sea of yellow Compton Initiative t-shirts ready to Just Do Good!


After an inspiring kick-off event lead by TCI and Mayor Aja Brown, we headed to our assigned worksite: A home! We rolled out the drop cloths and set up our paint trays… But, blink and you’ll miss it - 40 volunteers swarmed this house with paintbrushes and rollers and you’ve NEVER seen a home get painted so fast. Volunteers effortlessly navigated around one another to cover every square inch: Kelli Jo was focused on the window trim. Ben was committed to taping off the garage. Thuy-Van, on the ladder, devoted to making sure we didn’t miss a spot... "Many hands make light work."


As we paint, we talk and laugh and get to know each other. And, selfishly, this is my favorite part of resisterhoodLA. Because I am excited to know more about the people who show up at 7am on a Saturday to do something nice for other people. Because it’s not always easy to make volunteering part of your life, and that’s what makes it great. Because this morning, Jen’s son was not feeling well, but she volunteered. Because Haley has to go to her Law School Orientation later this afternoon, but she volunteered. Because I prefer sleeping in to doing pretty much anything, but knowing I would get to hang out with these people and #JustDoGood, I volunteered.

On Saturday, January 27, 2000+ volunteers painted 11 homes, cleaned up 4 blocks, created 4 murals, painted 1 transition home, beautified 5 school buildings, painted 1 church, beautified 2 non-profits, cleaned 1 park, and planted 1 community garden.  Amazing. I should also mention that our group donated $540 to The Compton Initiative. Small but mighty, alright!

The Compton Initiative's next beautification day is April 21st, 2018. Register at

Contributed by Mary Kenny, Executive Director of resisterhoodLA.

You can find Mary on twitter and instagram.

The Compton Initiative is a non-profit organization founded in 2006 with a 40-year commitment to restore the City of Compton by painting homes, schools and churches on quarterly workdays in partnership with individual volunteers and other organizations. Starting with a small group of volunteers eager to show love and inspire hope, we’ve grown to thousands of caring workers of all ages and backgrounds in yellow shirts who serve across the city. We offer community organizations, service groups and non-profits an opportunity to make a sustainable impact in Compton by instilling a sense of care and pride within each neighborhood.

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