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  • Karina Monique

5th Annual Back To School Supply Give Away

What a beautiful event that took place yesterday for our youth - an event for the community, by the community! With the help of volunteers, friends, and several contributors we were able to provide students with 750 supply bags full of school supplies and essentials. We also purchased tablets and inserted them at random in different backpacks and bags as a surprise! Hoping this may be of help since not all students have access to their new online, virtual classrooms. This year has brought upon so many unknown occurrences for all of us. We felt it was vital to do everything possible to make this annual give away event possible. Not only to inspire kids to prepare for the upcoming school year, but to give them and everyone else a glimmer of hope during these unusual times. 


Thanks to the city we were able to accept walk-ups along with our drive-thru on both sides of the street. In front of McArthur Park, and in front of the library. This helped to maintain social distancing, make lines go faster, and better ensure that we could help as many local hearts in need as possible. Lines started forming before 8am and by 9am they wrapped around the whole block on both sides. Well before the event was to begin at 10am, volunteers had already arrived hours beforehand and began setting up. We are in awe of all the Local Hearts volunteers and we cannot thank them enough for they are the backbone of the foundation. 


Photos by Local Hearts photographers: Alex Brand and Jon Nakamura

The evening before the event, founders Tito Rodriguez and HJ Chong worked into the night with other teammates and volunteers to pack supply bags for the next morning. An assembly line of notebooks, pencils, highlighters, socks, t-shirts, masks, and more was created in Tito’s yard. We are so grateful to our partners, sponsors, and donors for making it possible to include these items and others in supply bags for the youth. Thank you so much to our partner and sponsors Diamond Supply Co., Grizzly Grip Tape, Dr. Squatch, Big Sleeps, Rodco Plumbing, Bombas, Supacolour, Creative Flow, and Overcast Printing, and Passions Just Like Mine. Special shoutout to Ms. Hood Santa, Patrina Rodriguez for giving endless amounts of time and effort to make sure Local Hearts events run smoothly. We thank Heather and her team at McArthur Park for all their help, support, and accommodation during yesterday’s event, as well as other events over the years. A special thanks to Hillda for helping us secure the library so we may do walk-ups. Hillda and her team from the Census Bureau also attended the event to collect data and help those who may not have filled out their census information yet. This information is essential as it helps determine which parts of our community, and who in our community may receive federal and state funding. Please fill yours out if you have not gotten a chance to do so as we all need all the help we can get.  Over the next week we'll be making porch drop offs to students who are not mobile or unable to leave home/engage with the public during the pandemic. This will be done using personal vehicles. Our current goal is to attain official Local Hearts vans in order to transport more supplies and reach more local hearts in need. Especially with our next annual event around the corner: The Thanksgiving Drive, where we hand out whole turkeys to the community. We will make it happen nonetheless but it would be incredible to not have to rent a few Uhauls like usual to transport the frozen turkeys. Please help us reach our goal by donating to our GoFundMe: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/help-local-hearts-foundation-get-a-van

If you would like to participate as a volunteer with Local Hearts Foundation please sign up here on our website under "Get Involved." If you would like to offer your services to the foundation please email us at hello@localheartsfoundation.org

Thank you again to everyone who joined together yet again to help give back to our community!

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