On Saturday, April 14 at 10 a.m. Together We Rise had an amazing day at McKinley Children’s Center in San Dimas. We were blessed to play free-for-all dodgeball with 40 boys who live on the McKinley campus. The boys did not stray away from playing with our team; instead the moment they saw us they were excited and wondered what activities we had in mind for them. When Danny, TWR’s founder and CEO, announced that we would be playing dodgeball and gave everyone the rules, the boys started running around throwing balls at everyone, forgetting all the rules just given. The first few rounds were brutal as some of us got hit in the face with balls, while others did their best to dodge any ball that came their way. The excitement could be heard through the children’s laughter and shouts of “Hey! You were out!” or “Yes! I’m back in!” The excitement of the game went on for 2 hours before it was time for lunch. As tired as all of our volunteers were, the boys wanted to continue to play. One boy named David said, “NO! NO! NO! Please can we play another round?” Unfortunately, we had to get the boys ready for lunch.
We served the boys hamburgers, hot dogs, and ice cream courtesy of McKinely Children’s Center chiefs.
The Executive Director of McKinley Children’s Center Foster Care and adoptions, Julissa Castillo, shared her thoughts about TWR and its’ founder. “I really do appreciate everything you guys do. It means so much to these boys to come out here and have days like this. I don’t think you guys know how much of an affect you guys make. It’s an organization like Together We Rise that allows me to feel hope and believe that this is a good thing. I cannot wait to see the what the future has in store for Danny and Together We Rise”
ABC7 also joined TWR at McKinley Children’s Center for the day to congratulate Danny on receiving the Jefferson Award. His work has empowered many young adults to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.