Ten USC clubs have donated nearly $10,000 to Homeboy Industries. With the coronavirus pandemic greatly reducing student clubs’ operating costs, club leaders have been left with extra funds which they have chosen to donate to the worthy cause.
Homeboy Industries, located in downtown Los Angeles, provides job training for formerly incarcerated and gang-involved men and women, helping them to redirect their lives towards becoming contributing members of society.
Marshall Entertainment Association’s (MEA), an entertainment business club, decision to donate to the organization created a reactionary response from nine other clubs.
So far, MEA, The Consulting Club, LavaLab, USC Interfraternity Council, Trojan Real Estate Association, Sports Business Association, Trojan Consulting Group, Marshall Women’s Leadership Board, Marshall Real Estate Finance Association and Black Business Student Association have all made donations to Homeboy Industries.
MEA President Gavin Doyle, a senior studying business cinematic arts, first learned about the charitable organization in high school and became passionate about their mission.
“Homeboy Industries is an incredible organization that supports the local community surrounding our school,” Doyle said in a phone interview. “After we decided to help their organization, I was thrilled by the response of my fellow club presidents who joined us in donating. I felt that our club had delivered value for the amount of money people paid in dues and rather than refunding a part of member dues, a nonprofit would benefit more from the support.”
Gregory Boyle, S.J., the founder of Homeboy Industries, is thrilled by the response Doyle’s initiative has spurred throughout the USC community.
“We appreciate the generous donations of the USC clubs and Gavin’s leadership in spreading our message to the USC community,” Boyle said in an email.
Senior business student Helen Bamgbala, the president of the Black Business Student Association, decided to donate her club’s extra funds because she wanted to help give back to the community.
“Not everyone has the same opportunities, and supporting an organization like Homeboy Industries is a way to give people a second chance,” Bamgbala said via email.
LavaLab president Glory Kanes, a junior studying computer science and business administration, donated for similar reasons to Bamgbala.
“In such a hectic time, LavaLab feels that it is crucial to give back back to the community,” Kanes said in an email. “We know that donating to Homeboy Industries is the perfect way to do that. LavaLab is happy to help in any way we can to assist causes that we care about.”
Doyle aims to spread awareness of the organization and hopes other clubs and community members will consider donating as well.
“We are still looking for other clubs to join us,” Doyle said. “This is a great time of need for all charities and I encourage everyone to pick a cause you are passionate about to help.”