Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

The Giving Spirit & Whole Foods Market Brentwood Partner to Help Homeless


On Wednesday, April 2, The Giving Spirit (TGS) and Whole Foods Market Brentwood are partnering to help Los Angeles' homeless women, children and families. Whole Foods Market Brentwood is hosting a Community Day with five percent of the store's net sales for the day being donated to TGS.

At the end of May, TGS, which is 100 percent volunteer run, will hand out 1700 summer survival backpacks each containing over 30 items that help the city's homeless survive the heat of an LA summer. Money raised at the Community Day will help fund the cost of this outreach. Each backpack that is given free of charge to a homeless person costs TGS $35.

Twice yearly, in May and December, The Giving Spirit's volunteers get together at Brentwood Presbyterian Church to assemble the kits and hit the streets of Skid Row, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, the San Fernando Valley and the greater Los Angeles area to distribute these kits to those in need. The December survival kits contain more than 60 weather-appropriate necessities to help the homeless survive during the winter months.

TGS was started in 1999 by founder Tom Bagamane and since that time has raised $1.75 million in financial support and in-kind donations; enough to provide nearly 29,000 survival kits to homeless men, women and children.

"By year's end we will reach a TGS milestone with 30,000 kits distributed. This is made possible through the generous support of the public who donate funds as well as over 1000 volunteers who help us do this critically important work," said Tom Bagamane. "There are approximately 17,000 beds in shelters in the greater Los Angeles area and over 50,000 homeless people. This means over 30,000 homeless are sleeping on the streets every night. These are the people that The Giving Spirit seeks primarily to help - one individual at a time," he concluded.

Shop at Whole Foods Market Brentwood on April 2 and help The Giving Spirit fundraise for this important effort. The store is located at 11737 San Vicente Los Angeles, CA 90049.


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