PLAYA VISTA, Calif. – Lance Stephenson’s participation at the Clippers’ annual Teamwork at the Table event, passing out food, clothing and books to local families in need, wasn’t the end of his charitable Thanksgiving efforts.
Stephenson spent Saturday afternoon at One Incredible Family, Inc.’s 22nd annual homeless feeding and banner creation, helping pack Thanksgiving meals at the Westchester Masonic Center to be delivered to homeless shelters.
“It’s always good to give back and be thankful for what you have and always try to make other people feel happy,” Stephenson said. “Doing stuff like this makes other people happy and makes me feel good about myself.”
Stephenson said his father, who was also in attendance, told him about the event, and Stephenson wanted to help.
“I just came out to support all the families out here helping others,” Stephenson said. “My dad really likes to give back. I thought this was a good thing to do.”
Stephenson said it gives him energy to help others out with his off time. That’s what all the volunteers were doing at the center, preparing the meals and getting them ready to be delivered.
It’s one of the many events throughout the year for One Incredible Family, Inc., which put together 1,455 meals and made 24 banners for 21 shelters.
“We were absolute nobodies 21 years ago,” said P.J. Schumacher, executive director at One Incredible Family, Inc. “We formed this charity as an outreach of spiritual discipline we have, and the fourth part of that spiritual discipline is helping others.”
Schumacher said the banners that are created are even more important than the meals, because once the food is eaten, it’s gone. The banners go on the walls of the facilities and help the people at the facilities remember they’re part of a larger family, and it’s not about the artistic value of each banner.
“It’s about coming from the heart and making a difference,” Schumacher said. “For us, it’s about the service.”
One Incredible Family, Inc., is a California Non-Profit Service Corporation providing services which benefit disadvantaged sectors of the community. It also presents educational workshops designed to provide psychological and emotional healing. Part of the work of the organization is putting together service projects to help others.
Schumacher said the volunteers are trying to change the balance of energy on the planet.
“Every one of us is one job loss away from being homeless,” Schumacher said. “Homelessness is not something for alcoholics or drug addicts. Most of these homeless people are intelligent people, meaning that unfortunately the universe just didn’t deal them a good hand.”