I've known Lisa Schultz through The Whole 9 Gallery for at least 5 years. She carries my jewelry in the gallery, put on one of my favorite art shows - Affair of the Arts, and runs The Peace Project that has done amazing work around the world.
When the Safer at Home order hit she pivoted to work with the Culver City community to turn the gallery in to a food bank. With the help of lots of generous donors, volunteers, local businesses and a heck of a lot of hard work from her she pulled together the first offering within a week.
I jumped in right away to volunteer and brought Pat along with me. We've been helping out for the past 4 weeks and it's truly helped me stay sane and keep perspective while my own business screeched to a halt.
I learned from a young age the importance of taking care of your neighbors and my family often volunteered, but also received help when we fell on harder times. I also learned to look for the helpers and to pitch in whenever you can.
It's easy to feel stuck in the quicksand of fear and the unknown. When I see the long line of people needing help each week my heart breaks. But then it heals a little with each story of hope and kindness we exchange. I cry almost every day for all the hurt and pain this pandemic has caused. But I also find some good news each day and cry at the kindness of people. These emotions keep me motivated to keep trying to find ways to help.
This pandemic has highlighted just how broken so many of the systems are in this country and around the world. But it's also shown us how we can work together and help out our neighbors when government programs are too slow or run out of money too quickly.
Here’s how you can help:
1. FRUIT FROM YOUR TREES. You can drop fruit off from Thursday through Saturday at The Whole 9 Gallery, 3830 Main Street. If the door is locked, just leave by the front door or walk through the alley and leave by the back door (look for the murals).
2. HEAVY PLASTIC & PAPER GROCERY BAGS. If you’ve been collecting ’em, we’ll take ’em! We need clean paper grocery bags with handles and heavy plastic bags like the ones at Target, Smart & Final, and Pavilions. Please…no produce bags or the lightweight bags at most grocers.
3. GIVE US 5. Add five items to your grocery list every week that are hard for us to buy wholesale — this includes low sugar cereal like Cheerios and Corn Flakes, canned tuna in water, and gallon zip lock bags.
4. Pitch in some cash. Any amount is appreciated — each $30 provides two bags of groceries to help feed a family for a week.
Let everything you do, be done with love.
Check out more about Culver City Shares and The Peace Project here.
May you be safe, may you be healthy, may you live with ease and happiness.
Sending out the biggest virtual hug to you all.