#TextGen Episode 8 Interview with Laura Cieslukowski

James Martin
Published on | 
May 11, 2021
#TextGen Episode 8 Interview with Laura Cieslukowski


In this episode, Laura Cieslukowski with We See You San Diego joins us to share what she has learned in her journey to launch a nonprofit with her husband, Kevin.

We See You San Diego is an incredible charity with an amazing story.

Since 2017, thanks to the help of hundreds of compassionate families & individuals from the community, churches, & local businesses, We See You San Diego has served a hot home-cooked dinner every Tuesday on a budget of zero and has continued to grow (well above Laura's expectations or belief).

Join us as we hear her passion and love for people and what she is learning along the way.


#TextGen Podcast

James (00:08):

Welcome back to #TextGen. In this episode, I'm going to introduce you to a good friend, Laura Cieslulowski. Now Tracy, the kids and I, have had a great pleasure of working alongside Laura, Kevin and her family as they've started We See You San Diego. We See You San Diego is really a unique experience where Laura has had the vision to create a five-star experience for the unsheltered here in San Diego, really serving meals really weekly. It's been really fascinating to watch how the compassion and the work of Laura has really transformed her, both personally, her family, and just the change from a vision and an idea really, to an opportunity really kind of thrusted upon her, for lack of a better word, in a moment when she said, "Hey, you know what, I'm going to take this opportunity that's been given to me and build something", and really live out a calling that she's had. It's been really neat to watch and I've enjoyed getting to know Laura and her husband. I look forward to our time together with her today. I'm excited to introduce you to her and hear her stories of We See You San Diego. Here is Laura. Enjoy this episode.

James (01:12):

Welcome back to #TextGen. I'm here today as your host with Laura Chez. I'm very excited. It seems like Laura open every one with ''I'm excited.'' I don't know if I'm easily excited or if I'm just always excited. I am truly excited for Laura. Laura is a friend of our families. She's the founder of a non-profit called We See You San Diego. My wife, Tracy, and our kids, actually serve with you. We used to a lot more than we do now, but we've actually started alongside you, Laura. Welcome to #TextGen. I am glad you are here.

Laura (01:48):

Thank you. I'm honored to be here. Love your family. Saw Tracy and the fam on Tuesday night. She was there bringing stuff, helping us out as she does, but I also am a fan of your podcast, too. I'm learning as I listen because I'm new at this and you have seasoned veterans on, so thank you.

James (02:08):

Well, that's the key to run a good podcast is, you have really smart people and then you just ask them questions about themselves. So that's what I'm going to do with you, Laura. I'd love for you to introduce yourself. Tell us about you, your family, and what brings us up to today.

Laura (02:22):

Okay. so my name is Laura Chez. Yeah, I can't believe I'm saying I run a non-profit called We See You San Diego. We serve members of our homeless community here in San Diego. Our mission is to see life change and lives transformed, but we see that through relationships that are cultivated at a weekly dinner that we host every Tuesday night. It's like a big dinner party with 150 of our closest friends from the homeless community. But, well, I know we'll talk about that, but my husband and myself, and our three daughters, moved across the country all the way from Queens, New York four years ago. It was just believing that it was the right move for our family, and it was a big step of faith for us. But serving the homeless community was something that was on my heart back in Queens. I thought that it was on my heart to specifically work with the homeless community in New York, because it is the number one city where there is a crisis of homelessness, but the Lord had other plans and brought us to San Diego. So this is where we wound up finding this opportunity to love on people that are really in need. I'm so passionate about it. As I was mentioning to you, James, I'm new at this. I can't believe I'm doing it in a capacity where it's my job. It's what I'm doing full-time. My background is broadcasting, 18 years as a radio morning show host. Never thought that I would be stepping out of that and just doing this, but I know that it's what I'm designed to do. It's a call for sure.

James (04:15):

I love it. You know, when I first met you and your husband, I thought, ''Wow, what a great family. You'd come from New York, you're in radio. '' I was just absolutely impressed. Tracy and I got to know you, guys, and hear your story. But has it really been four years? Is that what you think?

Laura (04:31):

Yeah, exactly. I believe we spent Thanksgiving together on our first year, 2017.

James (04:37):

Yeah, we did.

Laura (04:37):

We did.

James (04:37):

We did, yeah.

Laura (04:37):

It's been four years. It's amazing that we can start viewing San Diego as home, and we never thought we would. We thought we'd be going back to the east coast, but we're actually staying here because of We See You.

James (04:50):

Yeah, I love it. You and Kevin have meant a lot to us. Now, let me ask you this, Laura. You kind of inherited a group or a ministry within the church. We were serving homeless before, but never to the scale and capacity we are now, but you really brought a lot of life into it, a lot of passion. And really, I think you and Kevin both really brought it alive. What inspired you to do that? You said you had a heart for it back in Queens.

Laura (05:18):


James (05:18):

What happened, as a catalyst, to launch you into doing this?

James (05:21):

It was a moment, like, it was an actual moment I'll never forget. It was a friend of mine sent me a podcast and it was from her church in random Virginia Beach. She'd been a friend from college. She's like, ''This reminds me of you. I just wanted to send it. It's a series.'' It was about justice, social justice, really for different groups of people. One of the talks was on homelessness. I was at the gym on a treadmill, or it was an elliptical, and I'm sweating and heavy breathing. Then all of a sudden I'm crying, so I had to get out of the gym. As I'm listening to this talk, it was about a man who was a pastor and he left the church that he was in to move to an inner city, I believe in Denver. I can't find this podcast to date. I've asked my friend, she's asked the pastors, it's like gone. I'm like, ''No, it really exists. It changed my life.'' But when I heard about the sacrifice that he made and the impact that just by his obedience of saying ''Yes'' and loving people - it makes me tear up every time - just loving people that are so unloved by society and marginalized, I felt like my heart got pierced that day. I went home and prayed about it. I felt assurance that I would get to serve this community somehow, had no clue how. [I] assumed that because we were in Queens where I could see it in front of me every day . When I would walk to the subway or whatever, and be in Manhattan, I would see it. So I thought, ''There.'' I also thought it would be through -- I worked for radio in radio industry, and a lot of times you get to choose a philanthropy. I thought how cool would it be. When I work in New York at a radio station, I will do that as my philanthropy, because I was in between jobs, in between contracts at the time, but we wound up getting recruited to San Diego. The first thing I did was, I Googled homelessness in San Diego, and I saw that it was the fourth largest community for homelessness in the country. I said, ''Well, I know that there's work to be done.'' Yeah. That's how it happened to be then San Diego.

James (07:47):


Laura (07:47):

There was a moment and I've never forgotten it.

James (07:50):

You must've been a hot mess, right? On the treadmill, working out at that time.

Laura (07:55):

Yeah, crying and sweating.

James (07:55):

You feel that calling. It was some time later before you had a chance to actually start doing it, and then even a time after that, before it kind of felt like a thing. Is that the case?

Laura (08:05):

Totally. I only started getting involved with the homeless ministry at the church that we went to because I thought, ''Well, I'm going to do this in a big way with the radio station'', because the radio station I worked for said, ''Sure, that sounds great. It's a huge problem here locally. That would be awesome if you want to do something through the radio station.'' So I just was at church the first Sunday, and they were going through the different ministries, and one of them was at dinner on Tuesday nights. I said to Kevin, I just tapped him, and I said, ''Go check that out because maybe since I'm going to do something, we should get some experience.'' Well, I didn't know that what the Lord had chosen for us to do was actually really had very little to do with the radio station. I'm not even there anymore. It was all that Tuesday night dinner. The first night, James, the very first night Kevin went, because I didn't know. Was it kid friendly? How big is it? I didn't know anything about the homeless community. So Kevin goes. The family that was running it was moving to Northern California. They were doing a goodbye dinner, and they gave Kevin the keys to the church and said, ''Would you take this over?'' Kevin was like, ''Yes?'' So when he came home, I said, ''Kev, how was it? Can I bring the kids next week? What do we do?'' He's, ''Well, we run it now.''.

James (09:31):


Laura (09:31):

Thankfully, God is kind in the way he hands you something. He handed us a ministry that was -- it was a dinner where eight people were attending, maybe six, maybe 10.

James (09:48):

Or ten, yeah.

Laura (09:48):

So Kevin, ''The only thing I feel really strongly about,'' he said, ''You know, tonight, since it was their last night, they did pizzas and soda.'' He's like, ''But I see whatever we would eat is what I want us to bring.'' So it turned into a couple extra crockpots, and we had that under control. But then it started growing very organically. And that's when I was like, ''Tracy, Martin, help me.'' Then people from the church started answering the call, like, ''Oh, this is growing. We need to support this.'' And it went from eight to 12 to 15. God, in his kindness, grew it slowly because I was overwhelmed with 15. Now, today, serving 150 to 200 sometimes, on holidays and stuff. Actually, at our Christmas party this past Christmas, we had, I think, it was 250.

James (10:49):

Yeah, I think I came to that one, I think.

Laura (10:49):

Yes. Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

James (10:54):

It was busy. Very busy.

Laura (10:55):

Very busy. So yeah, it was a slow growth over the last four years. We've only ever done this on a zero dollar budget. Just crazy.

James (11:09):

Yeah. That is crazy because, you're right, I remember in the early days, I would go a few times and it was 12, 15 20. It was, like you said, it was a nice, gracious, slow climb to 150, for sure. At one point, you had food pantry. You do now, right? You have a food pantry?

Laura (11:25):

We have a a food pantry now. We started during COVID.

James (11:28):

That's right. So we have food pantry. You have clothing still? Because you're doing more than just the feed which, I think, that's what some have called it, right? The feed?

Laura (11:43):

Yeah. They call that.

James (11:43):

Yeah, we have the dinner, but also these other things that you're doing. So walk us through, like, what does a typical Tuesday night look like now?

Laura (11:52):

I always describe it as a really big dinner party, and I love hosting. I felt like the way that it's evolved, it doesn't feel like a soup kitchen. Like, when you may think of like, ''What is a dinner for the homeless?'' They come up with a plate and you serve them. It started that way because that's how we sort of inherited it. But the thing that sort of was impressed upon me is the whole goal is how loved can you make the guests feel when they come? You want to impart, ''You are valuable.'' Obviously, ''We see you; you're loved.'' So it's all about, like, upon entrance of the gate, we want them to feel the lavish love of God, our father, right? So there's a gourmet coffee bar when you first walk in. It's actually a first thing that got sponsored, not by a company, but by a wonderful woman who just saw, like, ''I can do that.'' Now, she brings all the supplies, so it's wonderful. We have we have tables set up. So we do it restaurant style. People sit. Then, if we have appetizers - sometimes we're blessed and able to do that. We always serve drinks. It's like, maybe it'll be water. Maybe it'll be soda. Maybe it'll be juice or something like that, but we serve drinks. Then we welcome everyone around 5:15, and then it starts turning into, like, your dinner is served to you. The idea is to make people feel like it's an experience. We have dessert carts that go around with plated. We pile the desserts high so it feels very lavish. There may be chocolate or donuts and pie - everyone loves pie - and cookies. We just try and make it, ''You choose your plate'', just like at a fancy restaurant. Then, we do raffle prizes, which is so fun. They're like giving gift cards. There's always like socks and treats. I have so many visions to do even more lavish things, but right now, that's what we do. It's turned into this, like, they're so participating in the raffles, telling me I'm calling the wrong number. When it's their first win, they're cheering and like jump up. It's makes me so joyful. And we want to start doing like birthday celebrations and stuff like that, just to make people feel seen.

James (14:28):

Yeah. Is there any wonder why it's not growing? So many of the homeless population and communities just are not even seen. We walk by them, we look down, we look away. So much of our society shuns them because we don't want to be around them. We don't understand them. There's mental health issues. There's challenges there. Addictions. I get that. But to be able to say, ''Hey, at the core of who you are is human. As a human, we see you and we care for you; you are valuable, and we treat you really with white glove service'', it sounds like. I mean gourmet.

Laura (15:00):

We do our best. I mean, when we start getting grants and doing things at a bigger level, we have the budget for it, I can see taking it really far with the lavish treatment.

James (15:13):

I love it. I love it. As a result, it's grown, right?

Laura (15:17):


James (15:17):

We got a lot of people coming. We've had a few small little scammers, there's nothing really major, but we've not really had a lot of clowns work, have you?

Laura (15:25):

Four instances in four years.

James (15:27):

That's amazing.

Laura (15:29):

There's so much respect. There's so much respect. Yeah, it's one of those things where we bring our kids, you brought your kids. There's such a level of respect for what we do and the way that people are treated. I never have even considered not treating people with respect, so I just assume you're going to respect me back. That's been our experience, for sure. Often, it's just boyfriend and girlfriend getting into it, mad about something. I mean, that's relatable.

James (16:03):

Yeah. I think I know the couple you're talking about. Yeah, absolutely. [Laughter].

Laura (16:07):


James (16:07):

We've got childcare. You've got some life security detail. The things are in place to make sure that there's an order and safety. But the number one, I think, to turn for a mini riff-raff, if you would, is just treating people with respect.

Laura (16:21):


James (16:23):

We had one time, I remember, there was a little slight little skirmish and everybody was like, ''Hey, no, no, no, no, no, no. Let's not mess this up. This is a good thing.''.

Laura (16:28):

Right? Yes, exactly.

James (16:31):

A little bit of peer pressure, right, from the community.

Laura (16:35):

Yes. Oh, yeah.

James (16:35):

I love it. Well, one of the things that's really cool about the location that you're at in San Diego, and if you're wanting to get involved, it's weseeyou.com or weseeyousandiego.com, yeah?

Laura (16:45):

Uh-hmm, weseeyousandiego.com.

James (16:47):

Good. So weseeyousandiego.com. It's right next to trolley stop down around Napa street in San Diego, kind of Vista area. Is that right? Yeah.

Laura (16:57):

I think it's Marina Boulevard. It's right in that area. Mission Valley is where we are. There's a Mission Valley YMCA, a police station next door, and Resolve Church graciously allows us to use their parking lot and facility that night. It's so, so kind.

James (17:15):

Yeah, very. It's a great location. It seems like it brings a lot of people in from both the river, as well as the trolley and, of course, the [00:17:21]. It's really neat to see people gather. How has the overall experience been for you and Kevin, the kids? How has it changed Laura?

Laura (17:33):

Oh, man. In so many ways. I feel like a new person now that I have done this serving. For me, it's built my faith in ways that are almost indescribable, except if I gave you examples of where I always felt this weight of, ''It's on me'', but it's really, ''I trust my Heavenly Father to provide every need.'' I can give you an example of the way it's changing me today. So I got a call yesterday from a friend that will often donate to us, and they're another non-profit. When they have extra, they give to us. He said, "I have some stuff for you for the dinner.'' I said, ''Okay'', not knowing what it would be. At the end of every month, we do barbecues, because they love the cheeseburgers and we can do toppings, and we do hotdogs, which is fun, and we grill. Every end of every month.

Laura (18:31):

So last month, we had some extra refrigerated hotdogs leftover. My friend that hosts another dinner on Thursday night, said, ''Hey, could I take those? I can use them at our dinner, and I'll replace them.'' There was something in me that felt like, ''No, I need those. I need those. I'm going to freeze them and I'm going to use them.'' That's what I felt, but I outwardly was like, ''Of course. Yes, take. Go ahead'', blah, blah, blah. So then I made a little spreadsheet. People sign up for what they're going to bring. That's kind of how we do it every week. That's how it runs on a budget of zero, is people donate a pack of hotdogs, a pack of buns, of potato salad for 25. That's how it works. It's not a potluck, it's a cohesive dinner.

Laura (19:20):

So now we're at the end of the month, right? So it's time to do another barbecue. And I opened the freezer. Of course, there's no hotdogs because I had given them all away. Today, I go to pick up the the food that this other organization has for us. He's like, ''I have four cases of frozen chicken for you.'' I'm so overwhelmed walking to the car, being like, ''Wow, we're going to be able to like do chicken sandwiches on the grill. It's going to be amazing.''.

James (19:46):


Laura (19:46):

He goes, ''Hey, Laura, come back.'' And I said, ''Oh, what's up?'' And he goes, ''Could you use a case of hotdogs?'' And I was like, ''Oh my goodness, we're going to be grilling this week. I don't have them yet.'' He's like, ''Give her the whole case.'' I just got in the car and I just started crying. Not that my husband and I couldn't go buy them. Not that we don't have any money in the organization so we couldn't, but it was just this, like...

James (20:14):

You don't have to.

Laura (20:14):

it's going to be provided. I just love that because, ultimately, what we're trying to do -- so my faith has grown. It's just grown that our God will supply all the needs. These are the people He loves. We See You is not necessarily just about the people that are serving; it's about their Father in heaven sees them. He knows every need. Every hair that's on their head, he knows. It's like He allows us to participate with Him. I just get to be this small part of what He's doing.

James (20:50):


Laura (20:50):

I'm like, ''Why am I not relying?'' It just showed me, like, ''Be generous in your heart to give to other ministries'', because that's how I'm receiving. Even today, I'm challenged, I'm changed. My faith is strengthened. I've understood that homelessness was never something that people set out to do 100% of the time. There is pain, the levels of which I've never heard before, in each story. There's abuse of every kind. There's the things they've witnessed and the things they've endured. If you saw it in a movie, you'd be like, they took it too far. That's the kind of stories I hear. So there's so much compassion. My heart just aches. I asked God to break it more, because these are the people He loves and He wants redemption and wholeness.

Laura (21:44):

So the big thing our heart is to do is to see people's lives restored. While we do this dinner, the heart is to take people's hand when they're ready to get off the street and connect them to recovery. We were able to do that last week. My husband thought of this great idea called Recycle for Rehab, and we pay for people's recovery with aluminum and plastic. What we get from people donating their recycling, we cash it in and we save it in an account. So then when someone's ready to get off the street, we're able to make sure that its cost doesn't get in the way. Some of the faith-based recoveries are like $700 a month, $750 a month. We have one for $450 a month. That's where my heart just burst with joy. because I've seen people go from death to life.

James (22:44):

Absolutely, and you've seen those transformations. There's been people who were successfully pulled out of the streets and has been changed. It can be tiring because it feels like it's not often enough.

Laura (22:56):


James (22:57):

But we're playing the long game.

Laura (22:59):

That's it. I was saying that today, sometimes you do feel like, ''Well, I don't see the fruit. I don't see what I want to see.'' But the word that we always get is just be consistent and be in prayer.

James (23:13):

One hundred percent, yeah. I was talking with one of our wonderful homeless folks that were there. We always give side hugs. We're not afraid to make contact, to look them in the eyes, to extend a hand. It's just fun to get hugs. It's just an amazing experience. But this one person said, ''You know, I've been on the street for 15 years. I'm not going to change in four. I know I'm not. Thank you for being consistent.'' It's just that kind of consistency that you recognize, that you just have invest in the long game, and that's okay. That's helpful.

Laura (23:49):

Yes, exactly. Exactly.

James (23:49):

That's a worthy struggle. Good for you. So Laura, where from here? You just got a new website up. I was complimenting at the onset of our call with you before we hit the record button, but website looks great. You've formalized the non-profit. Where do you see it going in the next year or two?

Laura (24:09):

Yeah. I mean, there's a space right next to the location where we serve the dinner. The lease is up and the tenants that had rented it out, they are only using it as storage. With COVID, they're not using the space. But I think we may get that space. So I'm really excited about that, because I see things like coffee and prayer, or coffee and Bible studies, or getting people counsel to help them get to to recovery. So we have a vision for something called prehab. It's exactly what it sounds like. It's the steps it takes to get into rehab, because sometimes there's a lot of annoying hoops to jump through. People don't have computers, phones, licenses, half the time and they don't even know what resources are available. So I think it's offering those kinds of things.

Laura (25:06):

And we have vision to do a lot of fun stuff, too. Like, I don't know if you've ever seen the show ''The Chosen''. It's a series.

James (25:14):

Oh, yeah.

Laura (25:15):

I mean, I can not say enough. So we want to get one of those blow-up screens so that we could start doing movie nights on Fridays in the fall and just having, like, ice cream Sundays and show ''The Chosen'' and go through the series. Then, who knows what beyond that? There's a lot of great things. We could do movie nights. We could do all that stuff. But it's really engaging with people on a deeper level outside of Tuesday nights, that's the heart. And I know that the space thing will happen. It's definitely going to happen. I'm hoping sooner than later, we think, by the fall. So that is something we're really excited about.

James (25:57):

That's great.

Laura (25:58):


James (25:58):

It sounds like you're in a great -- I love the idea of kind of the step before rehab. prehab, you said?

Laura (26:07):

Yeah. prehab, yeah.

James (26:07):

Yeah. I think that's fantastic because, you're right, it's a process, isn't it? Transformation?

Laura (26:13):

It is.

James (26:13):

And it's a process of redemption. That doesn't happen with one meal a week; that happens with a lot of contact, a lot of trust, and a lot of time, and having the resources. So what does We See You need from the community, if you're listening, and want to be more involved? What does We See You need in the way of resources and how does one get involved?

Laura (26:34):

Yeah. I mean, helping can be coming on a Tuesday night and serving in any way that you're gifted. There are jobs behind the scenes. Some people come and what they do is they get a plate of food, and it's always a home cooked meal, and they go and take a seat and talk to people. And that is serving. But then we have different -- we have the Heritage Girls. It's like Girl Scouts. Also, we have Trail Life Boys come with their families. They'll serve in, let's say, giving out clothing. It's kind of like being a personal shopper. You could do that. You could be plating food, you could be cooking for us. That is one of our biggest needs, for sure. Or you could buy a pack of hotdogs and be helpful. There's just so many ways to get involved and use your gifts. If it's on your heart to give financially, because you don't have the time, and that is some people's situation, you could give to us on Venmo or go to weseeyousandiego.com. Our Venmo information is there. It's weseeyou-sandiego. Honestly, when we get funds, we save it until we need it to help people get into recovery. And we will need it when we're paying rent for our space. So yeah, there's a lot of ways to get involved and help.

James (28:00):

I love it. And I think one of my favorite ways to get involved with just come participate, if you're in San Diego. Just come, bring the kids. There's childcare, if want to leave him behind the scenes or if they're old enough to serve and want to be part of the community. I know our kids really -- it's very, very impactful. Some of the conversations we've had around our dinner table on a Wednesday, as a result of being there on a Tuesday, were phenomenal. You can't pay for that kind of coverage as a parent.

Laura (28:24):

No. With my kids, it was our own like drug program that I've had to explain. People come. Sometimes, they'll see somebody that is clearly has used a substance, whatever it is. If we're going to expose our kids to it, the communication has to be around it, like you said, at the dinner table. I talk to my kids every night when we leave. They pray for people that they'll get into recovery. They pray for people in recovery. Just for people by name that are battling addiction. That's real. But it's also a lesson about humility, and serving, and loving people well. It's tangible. It's something you can do. It's a family-friendly thing. We've made it that way. Then there's like little projects you could do, like collecting recycling or making treat bags or hygiene bags for people. Giving is something I see the kids absolutely love to do - getting to be the one to go give the goodie bags and stuff like that. So there's lots of ways to get involved.

James (29:31):

Yeah. That's been the theme in our household is, you love people. No matter what they do or who they are, they are still lovable and they are worthy of love, no matter what choices they make, no matter what challenges have been thrown at them. You don't have to clean yourself up or be a certain way or act a certain way or hold societal norms to be lovable. You are lovable. As a parent, to send that message to my teenage daughter, my teenage son, and my pre-teen sweet little Noelle, to be able to communicate that, have the essence of humanity, even though we're marred with our challenges, our sin, those are things that, I think, are priceless. How else, as parents, do we get that message across?

Laura (30:16):

Right. Oh yeah. It's so true. It's like proving it. It's showing it.

James (30:21):

It's showing it.

Laura (30:21):

Yeah. I've seen your kids with such compassion. Noelle, your littlest one, loves animals. And she raised money to buy like pet supplies. That's the kind of stuff. I can't think of everything, but it's, people's passions, like Noelle's passion for animals. She bought us all our dog supplies, and it was so sweet.

James (30:43):

Homeless dogs. Yeah.

Laura (30:43):

Homeless dogs are a thing. Homeless dogs are thing. We'll love all them, too.

James (30:49):

To this day, she talks about that and she's like, ''Hey, I wonder how the homeless dogs are doing. We should run another fundraiser.'' I'm like, ''Yeah, you should. Let's do it.

Laura (30:54):

Sweet. Sweet.

James (30:54):

Absolutely. Well, hey, you know, Laura, after this week, they can also text, WE SEE YOU to 24365, right?

Laura (31:05):

Yes. I'm so excited.

James (31:05):

I know. Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. Homelessness is a very real thing. We ought not just look away. We get an opportunity to actually look towards these beautiful people and see them where they are and meet them where they are. So WE SEE YOU 24365. Anything else that you want to wrap us up with as we come to the end of our time here, Laura?

Laura (31:26):

I'm just so thankful to get to share. I could talk forever. I love doing what we do. Like I said, it's changed my life; it's changed the life of my kids and my husband. Honestly, sometimes, I just see the fruit in those who serve. They'll be sitting and loving on people. Like you said, James, it's such a tangible way to show love, be loved, in action. Then every people always say, ''I leave so full. I give so little and I leave so full.'' I feel like that's my story.

James (32:00):

Yeah. The surest way to really feel your heart filled with love is just to give it first. I think it comes to us, it go through us, for sure. One of the things that you said, I do want to hit on as we wrap up here, I love your heart towards connecting a network and you are a networker, and it's one of the things that I think makes you really, really good at what you do.

Laura (32:21):

Thank you.

James (32:21):

But I love that we're working with other non-profits in San Diego. We don't see it as a competition; we see it as collaboration. We're supporting other homeless meal programs across the city. Some of which have different basis of faith, and different motivations and different you know, different reasons for being at the end of the day, we all believe the same thing, and that's that people are worth loving and caring for and humanity is worth saving, and our job is to do that in any way we can. I love that you are networking and and doing that.

Laura (32:53):

Yes. Thank you. Thank you for having me. This is a joy.

James (32:56):

Good. Absolutely. Well, hey, thanks for being here. If there's anything else that comes to mind, circle back. As you know, we, in the #TextGen community, if you want to join us on Facebook or LinkedIn, have people connect with you there. I'm so excited about the progress and work that you and Kevin are doing, and thank you for your leadership and love for our community.

Laura (33:15):

Thank you.

James (33:15):

Bye. Thanks.

James (33:16):

Cool. There you have it. There's Laura with We See You San Diego. Compassion breeds compassion; kindness breeds kindness. What an amazing gift to be able to connect people with people. As founders of non-profits and those that are raising funds, it can just be a tiring experience, and exhausting, if you feel like all you do all the time is ask for help or ask for money. But remember, as philanthropists, our job is to connect people with the passion that they already have, and that's to be fully human, and fully alive, and fully loved. What better way to do that as a founder, as a director of a non-profit, as somebody in development role, whatever capacity, whatever size, whatever work that you're doing. Just remember, at the end of the day, you are about creating the pathway for people to care for people. What an amazing gift that is and an opportunity. So let's re-frame our days and our time as Laura has as just to see the opportunity to let the works that we do changes at our core and to help others join us in that journey to mobilize them, if you would, to move towards action and to take action. And I'm so grateful for Laura and her family and her work with We See You. Thanks again for joining us in this episode. I'll see you in the next one. This is James with #TextGen, and I'll see you later. Have a great day.

Text WESEEYOU to 24365 to learn more about Laura's work and to make a donation.


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