David Stringer, Associated Press Writer
By DIANE TEZENO
Friday, January 23, 2009
It's that time of the year to help the unfortunate ones and collect food. Spanish for Success is collaborating with some local volunteers, markets, shops, and stores to help collect some canned goods for 2008. In the new year 2009 we will try to keep the spirit going by also collecting kids shoes to donate to other poorer countries, plus also go out on a monthly basis to hand out brown bag food to the homeless.
Knock On The Box
What an interesting night to go out and drop off some food to the homeless. Started the project with picking up the gang (Jesse Yamashito, and Paul Kemp) The preparations started a few days ago, when monetary donators gave us some cash to buy some food goods. This day in particular, Wednesday, Jesse was the one that made all the preparation of the food. He trekked from his home to 99 cents store, about 1 mile away, and back, walking. After picking him up around 4 pm, we figured it was a late start, but figured we had to make the push, even if the sun is down.
Ironically, before we went out, I had posted an update on my Facebook, and stated “Russo is about to do another brown bag food give away in skid row. Hopefully no problems arise.” I should have withheld those statements as, incidents did occur.
So as we started our drive around, we figured we can try and find some homeless people away from downtown, and maybe give all the food by then. This way we can try and avoid Skid Row, due to safety at night. Come 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes into it, we were not having any luck. In my eyes, and the group, there seems to be no homeless around. Could it be true that Los Angeles, and the developers have bonded together to ship them out in the outskirts of San Bernardino area? So we pushed on, as we were bound for downtown area, we got stuck in street traffic, hardly even moving, at most 5 mph. As we were trying to figure out on the shortage of the homeless, we suddenly get rear-ended by a white Lincoln Town Car. The impact alone was hard enough, but no one was injured. But a pedestrian had witnessed and heard all of the impact. We pulled into the right to investigate, luckily I was driving my pick-up truck. The guy who struck me, tried to down play that he actually hit my truck, and that there was no damage to the truck. All along the pedestrian was starring and laughing in the side walk. After I checked with the group, and everybody seemed ok, and there was little damage. I figured, we were in good spirits, so I decided to let the guy go, “get out of liability free card”
Continuing on, we managed to arrive in downtown, we made a turn into Los Angeles streets, and here we can across a group of homeless people who actually lived in boxes. So we stopped and started to give out the brown bags, as we handed one out, the first guy we gave a bag to, had asked us to “Knock in the box” of his neighbor. I tried to with held my giggles, as I found that to be somewhat funny, and was not use to it. Sure enough Jesse knocked and left the bag at the door, per say. This very same group, we also handed out used clothes, esp. jackets and pants.
As we went deeper in the heart of Skid Row, we came across more and more interesting people. We drove up into this one street, where they were all line up behind the fence with the shopping carts and boxes. One by one we handed food, and to highlight this part, a man with a cell phone, blue tooth, looking like a bum, manage to get his hands with one of the brown bags. I guess our homeless group is now more sophisticated than ever.
Overall it was a good productive afternoon. It was another feel good side project, which I hope others can get inspired, and make a difference.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.