MAKING A DIFFERENCE:
WATTS — Robin Daniels and her sisters grew up in Watts and she remembers all the fun things that they were able to do. They lived across the street from Ted Watkins Park, and their mother, a single parent, found ways to keep them busy at the park where they could swim, participate in drill team and basketball, enjoy a free lunch, or just play in the park.
For Daniels, those were good times, and one day she, her sisters, cousins and friends were reminiscing about their childhood memories and the idea for “Sisters of Watts” was born.
“What I don’t see happing today are kids playing outside like we use to,” Daniels said. “We don’t see parents with their kids outside playing. Programs that are available have a lot of stipulations as to who can be a participant of the free programs based on where they live.
“We want to do something that would bring families together and get them involved in their community where everybody feels welcome.”
For the past three years, Sisters of Watts has dedicated its efforts to promoting the empowerment of exploited, ignored, disadvantaged underprivileged communities in South Los Angeles, offering assistance to families in need of school supplies and basic hygiene. The organization also has a boys mentoring program that connects youth with men from the community and also teaches them etiquette and dressing for success.
“We want to empower youth towards lifelong personal growth and to be productive citizens in their community,” Daniels said. “(Our) youth … are our future leaders. It is our obligation to make sure that we help build up that confidence in them that they need, to let them know they matter and can make a difference.”
Sisters of Watts is in a new phase of expanding programs, seeking funds that will help offer more direct services that help youth, families and veterans find solutions to homelessness and employment challenges. In addition, they would like to purchase a mobile van for the disabled and a 15-passenger van that will not only provide transportation for their youth and family on field trips, but provide transportation for older adults who need to go to the grocery store, doctor appointments, or just want an outing for a fun day and relaxation.
The organization will also provide transportation for youth who parents that are incarcerated.
The organization believes that the key to its success is family and community building and takes pride in the relationships it has with other community-based organizations.
“What makes [us] unique is [that] we believe it not about us but, it’s about our community,” Daniels said. “We are team players. We don’t look at our nonprofit as what we only have to offer. We love partnering up with other organizations.
“Many people say it takes a village to raise a child, but do they really believe that? When other organizations are having events for the community, we always extend a helping hand. Whether it’s greeting people, passing out food, sponsoring a booth or making a donation. Whatever it is, we are here to support what’s best for the community. If we say we are going to do, we do it,” she added.
As for the future, Daniels hopes that that one day Sisters of Watts will be in a position to expand its services all over the world and spread love and support to as many people as possible.
“I hope that each [person who participates] in our program feels the genuine love, care and respect that we put into giving back to the community,” Daniels said. “We want them to feel like they are a part of Sisters of Watts and that there is always an open-door policy for them to come and get help.”
Organization: Sisters of Watts
Founder: Robin Daniels