On June 30, 2021, on the eve of the 4th of July holiday, a blast rocked a residential neighborhood in Historic South Central Los Angeles. Centered at the intersection of 27th Street and San Pedro, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officials seized over 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks, many of which were unstable, homemade explosive fireworks. The stockpile of illegal fireworks detonated following attempts by the Los Angeles Police Department’s bomb squad to destroy the explosives.
The force of the blast destroyed the department’s armored truck, injured 20 people, and displaced over 100 residents affecting the livelihoods of hundreds of residents in the area. As members of the Emergency Network of Los Angeles, BAPS Charities and its volunteers were asked to assist in recovery efforts to support the affected residents. BAPS Charities youth volunteers contributed over 40 volunteer hours entering relief and recovery intake forms provided by the various partners providing services to the blast victims. Youth volunteers took the opportunity to use their summer vacation to meticulously enter over 200 forms in English and Spanish to ensure the right agencies have the most accurate data to provide recovery and relief-related services.
Krisha Patel, student, and BAPS Charities youth volunteer donated her time to support the affected residents. “What this community experienced is devastating. As we entered the data and processed the needs of the families, many are struggling due to the pandemic and on top of that, they now have to deal with this. Keeping the spirit of service in mind, we did all we could to help the community affected by this incident.”
BAPS Charities is a proud member of the coalition of agencies and organizations that continue to support the affected community. Partner entities include Los Angeles Emergency Management Department, American Red Cross – Southern California Region, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, IsraAID, Salvation Army – California South, Volunteers of America, Team Rubicon, United Methodist Committee on Relief, United University Church, West Valley Counseling Center, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – Los Angeles, D’Andre D. Lampkin Foundation, Compton Veterans, African Coalition and the Los Angeles Region Community Recovery Organization.
BAPS Charities would like to also thank California State Senator Sydney Kamlager (SD30), who represents the area where the blast occurred, for presenting certificates of recognition to the volunteers. Thank you to the BAPS Charities volunteers who continue to channel the spirit of service to serve their local communities.