Story by Eddie Zhou
Photos by Sophie Yeung
Black Lives Matter South Pasadena, Care First, and the Anti-Racism Committee distributed cold weather gear and hot food to around 40 unhoused locals in a holiday donation drive at the South Pasadena Public Library and the Arroyo Seco Park on Thursday, Dec. 24. In total, volunteers distributed 40 meals, 50 slices of pie, 80 cookies, and over 40 gift bags containing cold weather clothing essentials to people experiencing homelessness.
“We were so glad to be able to see [unhoused community members], wish them a happy holiday, and provide meals and essential items,” drive volunteer Phung Huynh said. “To be able to extend the holiday spirit we share with our own families to our unhoused neighbors was a really meaningful experience.”
Each person received a hot meal and dessert — courtesy of Cookie Chaos and San Marino Cafe and Marketplace — along with a personal Christmas gift, clothing, and hygiene products. Shelter materials like tents and tarps, in addition to non-perishable foodstuffs, were also available. The participants’ appreciation and the public’s support moved volunteers, helping to create a successful event.
“[The drive] was wonderful. We had more people at both locations than we had at Thanksgiving. But we had enough of everything to distribute,” drive coordinator Anne Bagasao said. “It was so heartwarming to know how much support we had from the community.”
The community groups hope to continue helping the local unhoused population in the future and plan to distribute more winter gear in anticipation of the cold weather.