Winds of Change

Whenever the Santa Ana winds start to kick up here in Southern California, it’s always a strange experience for me. I grew up in the Midwest, so if the winds ever got this strong it was generally a sign that there was a big thunderstorm or tornado rolling in.

Leaven - Gwen-9But here in Southern California, strong winds are just a part of life. They can cause problems and destruction, but generally not at the level you’d experience as part of a Midwestern tornado. Still, when the winds kicked up late last night, I couldn’t quiet that old sense within me that always gets a bit nervous when hearing such strong winds.

At the same time, I’m feeling pretty excited with the coming of these winds as they are a sure sign that Southern California winter is on the way, meaning some cooler temperatures and hopefully some much-needed rain.

We often hear about winds of change, blowing into our lives to inspire us upon a new path, and for many communities, that’s what The Leaven is. From the moment we begin talks with government and community leaders, it’s a sure sign that change is already underway.

When communities work together to create change, it can impact everything for Leaven kids. Not only do they learn how to succeed in school, but their communities become safer places to live, and these neighborhoods become more than just a residence — they become a true home.

These changes help kids grow up to be happier, healthier and more successful. They are less likely to join gangs and more likely to succeed in their future education. As the children grow and change, they inspire hope in their families and neighbors, helping to ignite even more change in the community, beginning the cycle all over again.

And that is how we’re helping kids and communities rise.

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