THIS GAMECHANGER IS ALL FOR LOVE
"We've been given the opportunity to bless families in need with brand new cribs with the support of others."
- Walter Ko, founder of 3XL Cribs Ministry/Program
It's Jasmin! Our next Gamechanger, Walter Ko founder of 3XL Cribs Ministry/Program, is someone who is truly passionate in helping the less fortunate in our community. From his life stories to his mission, you will find yourself amazed with the work he does with 3XL Church.
Their Cribs Ministry strives to provide low-income families with cribs, one of the single most expensive items for a new born baby. The work 3XL Church is doing in our community is changing the game in all ways. Read our interview with Walter below.
Tell us a little about your background and how you got involved with your nonprofit.
Walter (3XL Church): I grew up mostly in Brooklyn, New York and in the San Fernando Valley, CA. Early in my life, my family was pretty poor and couldn't afford much. I remember when I was 4-5 years old, my sister and I didn't get anything for Christmas because my parents couldn't afford anything. We woke up on Christmas Day and ran to the Christmas tree to find nothing. She started to cry and then my parents came out and started to cry too, apologizing to us for not being able to get anything for us. They had chosen food over presents, and couldn't afford both. I also remember the Thanksgiving dinners where all we had was bread, sliced turkey deli meat, and water. That was all we could afford.As I grew older, in junior high, I got mixed up in some wrong things, gangs were in my neighborhood, and I often got into fights. I almost committed suicide at that age. But then, God changed my life drastically. I learned that He loved me through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit worked in my life and changed me dramatically. Shortly after that, I felt called to be a pastor and to share the good news of Jesus Christ, to help people love God and to love people by helping others realize how much God loves them. And by God's grace, 3XL Christian Church came to be about 4 years ago.
What kind of impact does your nonprofit make in our City Heights community? (What do you envision?)
Walter (3XL Church): Our 3XL Cribs Ministry/Program blesses single moms and families who are struggling financially to obtain brand new cribs. Cribs are usually the single most expensive item for newborn babies that many can't afford. We send out a team of at least three people, with at least one female, to deliver and setup cribs for these families. The cribs are convertible cribs, so they can turn into day beds that kids can sleep in until they are 4-5 years old. This allows for the families to get a good use out of it. We also have a Thanksgiving Meal Drive where we bless families with full Thanksgiving Meals that include a whole turkey and some traditional fixings that they can prepare at home.We hope and pray that one day we will have our own establishment (we are currently renting places) so that we can become a resource center for families with babies and provide them with formula, baby food, diapers, wipes, etc. We would also like to start a food pantry for anybody who needs food, and other services like free tutoring. We just want to help people in our community until they can get back on their feet.
What core values inform and shape your team’s culture and how you operate?
Walter (3XL Church): 3XL means love, love, love: God's love for us, our love for God, and our love for people. Our message is based on Bible scripture, specifically John 3:16 and Mark 12:19-31:
John 3:16 - For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Mark 12:29-31 - "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'LOVE your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.”
Our vision is to be used by God to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, through our speech and actions, by making disciples who live a life loving God and loving people Biblically. We just want to love God and love people Biblically.
Walter (right) and his beautiful family: Karie, Psalm, and Exodus
Who’s your personal “Oprah, Michelle Obama, or Ellen” (aka personal role model or inspiration?) Why?
Walter (3XL Church): Jesus would have to be our number one role model and inspiration. He loved unconditionally, sacrificially, and ultimately. Nobody loved more with so much compassion, care, and grace; so much so that He died for our sins so that we may live eternally. Our second role model would be Paul in the Bible. While studying the book of Acts, we saw his example of setting up churches which did three important things: 1) shared and lived out the Gospel of Jesus Christ, 2) prayed for miracles, and 3) helped the poor and less fortunate.
Can you share a personal story that motivates you to continue making a difference in our community?
Walter (3XL Church): There are so many incredible stories to share, but I’ll share three quick ones. We were able to help a woman whose husband died in a car accident while she was pregnant. She could no longer afford many things, so we blessed her with a new crib for her baby. There was also another woman who got pregnant after being raped. Her pregnancy was unexpected and she could not afford a crib, we were able to bless her with a crib as well. We also helped a couple who had recently adopted five of their nieces and nephews while they were expecting their first child. They could no longer afford many things, so we were able to bless them with a crib and a full Thanksgiving meal. We feel blessed for having lived these experiences first-hand, and they continue to motivate the work we do today.