Lot318…“Loving Others in Truth” from 1 John 3:18…ministers at risk youth and their community by empowering them to see their worth and purpose in this world. LOT318 holds various events and service opportunities throughout the year. They use VolunteerSpot's free online signup sheets to organize their volunteers while they help at the homework center, feed the hungry, and help out at their summer camps. The goal is to give at-risk youth opportunities they may never have had, and to become a positive influence and force in our world.
Today, our spotlight shines on Letty Gali, Co-founder of LOT318. Letty challenges students to focus on their studies and encourages them to improve their attitudes in their homes and community. Having grown up in Brooklyn, NY, Letty can relate to the students, which in turn allows the students to be vulnerable, honest, and teachable. Letty's goal is for students to believe in themselves and to reach for the stars. She challenges them to dream big, give back to the community, and reach their goals.
Tell us about the volunteer needs of your organization.
LOT318, which stands for Loving Others in Truth, comes from the scriptures 1 John 318 which states "Dear Children, let us not love in words or speech but with actions and in truth." Our organization is not just about telling people we love them, but showing them. Our volunteer needs range from feeding the homeless in the summertime, to working with kids in our summer program on math, reading, and science. Our current needs are for volunteers to help with our afterschool homework club. During this time, the kids have 20 minutes of required reading time, either to themselves or out loud, and we need volunteers to listen to them read, and then discuss with the kids what they read, to help them recall and understand the material. We also have monthly community events, which help to empower the community.
How did you get started with this organization?
After serving in the community for about three years, I co-founded LOT 318, which is a non-profit organization. In 2004, I was introduced into the community by a middle school principal who asked me to help one child who was having problems with gangs and drugs, because he didn’t think he had any alternatives. I met with him and eventually we helped transform his life so he could move in a more positive direction. We then challenged him to work with other troubled teens, which grew into working with the parents and other adults in the community. We then realized there was a strong need for something larger, so we launched a community wide effort.
It’s all about relationships. We showed one child that he could be loved and accepted for who he is, and that he does have worth and a positive purpose in life. We helped him find his true voice, so he could then make decisions in positive ways.
Are you involved in other volunteering activities?
I have been a full time missionary for 19 years. My local church was looking for community service projects, so as a missionary I was able to bring these students from the church into the community to help develop the LOT 318 program, so I have been primarily focused on that. Previously, I was Chaplain for a Div 1 Softball Team (ULL) where I lead Bible studies. Before that, I was involved with Athletes in Action, which is a Christian Sports Ministry, part of Campus Crusade for Christ. I work with these groups and whoever else God puts in front of me to share the hope of Jesus.
How did you find out about VolunteerSpot?
We were doing volunteer signups through the church’s website, and we wanted to bring in people from the community who might not belong to the church, so we searched for a way to do that. Our web designer did some research and found VolunteerSpot . We don’t have a budget, so since VolunteerSpot was free, and could provide the support we needed, it was a perfect fit. When we started using it, we loved it! Although our volunteers did go through a transition period, especially the older ones...once everyone got on board, we had very positive feedback regarding how easy it was. The reminder emails that are sent out a couple of days prior to the event really helped us so we could stop worrying about the administrative part, and really focus on the event. As a result, 1,500 meals were served on Thanksgiving!
Aything else you'd like to share?
The biggest thing I want to share is that we are all human beings, and we all have a purpose in life. No matter where we go, or where we are, there will always be people in need, and there is always a chance to serve someone, and to bring a smile to someone’s face. Something as simple as a pat on the back or a smile or just saying hi can make someone’s day. My challenge to everyone out there is to look around you, find a need, and help meet that need. Try to focus a little bit more on needs of others. Love others in truth...it’s that simple. If you can go outside of your comfort zone, you will be able to see that you are blessed, and you have the capacity to bless somebody else.
For learn more about LOT 318 and how you can help, visit http://lot318.com.
We salute Letty Gali and all the other volunteer community leaders out there making a difference in our world. If you're using VolunteerSpot, write and tell us about what you're doing and give us a chance to shine our Volunteer Spotlight on you!! Just email us at VS@volunteerspot.com.