Dandy & friends: Live strong in serving others

GOD channels His works and blessings to individuals whose hearts are kind, compassionate, generous and selfless. This holds true to Dandy De Paula, a resident of La Carlota City, who currently lives at Hawaiian Gardens in California, Southeast of Los Angeles Country for 17 years now, doing God’s works to other people – adult and children alike.

He is the son the of a former chief of police of La Carlota City, the late police senior inspector Eddie De Paula and former public school teacher the late Nelia Gerzon De Paula who was raised well by them along with his other siblings namely Theresa, Cherry, Louie, Eddie, Jr., Sirdynel.

Two of his siblings are working in the US, one in Australia and two brothers are in Negros Occidental.

Having a name Dandy, which means “superb and excellent”, he finds joy in serving others. Currently, he works as a Program Director of Covenant Kids Preschool.

“Having lived here for 17 years, this has become my home away from home. I grew up in La Carlota City and watching my parents, my father who was a former Chief of Police and my mother who was a public school teacher, I had witnessed their passion and compassion for others. They took every opportunity to help someone in need. Little did I know that as I get older, I have become more like them. They loved God above all else, and as my dad would always say, “you can serve God by serving others,” he shared.

He said that, he strives to make his parents proud even after their passing more than a decade ago. His parents are his angels.

“My parents taught us the value of hard work and efficiency because we just have enough when we were growing up. Our only choice was to strive hard and be the better versions of ourselves. La Carlota is home to us. We went to public schools and proud graduates of La Carlota North Elementary School and Doña Hortencia Salas Benedicto National High School and every Christmas, we have an outreach project in La Carlota, “he said.

Dandy is privileged to have lived a blessed life in California with the wealth of great friendships and wonderful extended families.

He had gone there in the year 2000 with a purpose.

“My desire to serve God had led me to unchartered territories and greater opportunities to experience His goodness and blessings. I have organized a group called Dandy & Friends and for four years now, we have been serving the community of Hawaiian Gardens by providing resources to children and families through the generosity of wonderful friends and the assistance of government agencies, the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, Speaker of the California State Assembly Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, LA County Library, churches and non-profits. Every year, we give out children’s books to local elementary school children, toys, healthy snacks, free haircuts, school supplies and uniforms, and have organized outreach events like Community Art Project, food deliveries on Thanksgiving and Christmas. For more than a decade, I have assisted individuals in finding jobs and guided them by making their résumé, coaching them on job interviews and celebrating with them when they get the job,” he said.

On occasions that they do not meet the qualifications, he stands by them and motivates them to do better. He has assisted teens by providing an avenue for job training and internship at their childcare center.

“I have provided part-time janitorial and custodial jobs to individuals who were formerly incarcerated and former gang members and had paved a way for their reentry to society. I regularly deliver hot meals and food to families and individuals who are experiencing homelessness and give them personal hygiene, warm clothes and blankets during winter and I have become a mediator to the service providers until they get permanent housing,” he said.

He further said that their efforts have been recognized by the City of Hawaiian Gardens and were awarded twice for ‘Standing Ovation’ by their local school district for excellent community service.

Just recently, Dandy was awarded by a local elementary school their “Superhero” for his year-round support for the students and the school programs.

“I give God all the glory!” he declared.

Dandy subscribes to the words of Spurgeon to quote: “I am a pilgrim in the world, but at home in my God. In the earth I wander, but in God I dwell in a quiet habitation.”


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