Los Angeles Collegian Online

Volunteers Support Skid Row Residents During Holidays

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Maxine Sealy is on a mission to make a difference in the lives of people who are left behind.

BY JUAN MENDOZA

On a sunny and warm Thanksgiving Day, Maxine Sealy and volunteers from her nonprofit, Share Love with Others, served hot meals to hundreds of residents of Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles.

Sealy’s goal was to serve 1,000 hot meals of turkey with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving Day to the most vulnerable people: the homeless of Skid Row, an area on the east side of downtown Los Angeles.

Sealy is the founder of Share Love with Others.
Volunteers cheered and celebrated every plate they dished out and made everyone served feel welcome. The good energy of sharing and compassion was palpable at the corner of 5th Street and San Pedro.

There was nothing more important for Sealy and her group than what they were doing on
this special day than feeding the homeless.

Volunteers arrived at 8 a.m. to set up and, they were ready to serve before noon.
“This is our second year,” Sealy said. “And we are prepared to serve 1,000 people today. We are here for the community.”

It was a mini-festival in the sea of thousands of people of the area who are the most hurt in the city, people who are struggling to find basic essential needs, food and shelter.

While standing in line for his Thanksgiving meal, Duante Graham tried to sell a new pair of gloves for 50 cents.

“Thank you to mama Maxine for giving us this special Thanksgiving meal,” Graham said. “And for feeding us every week, rain or shine, she is here. She has a big heart of compassion.”

Sealy started Share Love With Others in March 2019. Since its founding, Share Love has been serving the area every Saturday by serving 400 individuals hot meals, personal hygiene items and gently used clothes.

Once a month, a group of ener- getic volunteers does a cleanup day on Skid Row. Volunteers sweep and clean the sidewalks of the area. This is important work for Sealy who has been organizing this project for the last six months.

The pandemic created an increase in the number of people who needed services and that presented a great challenge because all the goods and resources are donations from people.

“We used to serve from 250 to 300 people,” Sealy said. “But because of the pandemic, we start getting more, and we did not stop … we are here. Now we are serving 400 people every week.”

In an assembly line of production, the volunteers were excitedly putting together the main dish; some were doing the green beans, others the mashed potatoes, the turkey and gravy. A group of young ladies were serving the pumpkin pie, dinner rolls and beverages.

“It’s amazing! Look at all those volunteers,” Sealy said. “I’m so overwhelmed because people took
the time to be here. They could be home with their family, but they decide to come out and be here and help, and I am very thankful for that.”

If you would like to donate or volunteer, go to www.sharinglove-withothers.org, follow on Face- book at Sharing Love With Others, or Instagram @sharinglove2019.

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