Feeling helpless in a world where hate’s come to the streets where we live?

It’s going to take more than a day to eradicate the virus of violence we’ve seen recently spread into our once peaceful streets, but in one day the Skid Row Carnival will spread love to thousands. It’s a guarantee, tried and tested since the carnival’s inception.

Skid Row Carnival 2016

Homelessness has always been an issue that’s tugged at my heartstrings. Growing up my family would be matched with a family living in a shelter each holiday season and take them out for the day. No better way for parents to teach their kids a lesson in gratitude, giving and compassion…That stuck with me and I’ve always been a sucker for whoever asks for money on a street corner – although experience has taught me to be more cautious with who and how I help (I tend to give food or blankets over money), but there’s a whole lot of people who are homeless out of circumstance and hard luck – not choice – and LA has the biggest homeless population in the country.

I don’t know the answer to solving the problem, but I do know we have the power and the privilege to make life better for LA homeless, if just for one day – and, I’ve learned from a grandmother who’s begun to get dementia, sometimes all we have in life are happy days, or moments, so create as many of these moments for ourselves and others as we can.

Which brings me back to the Skid Row Carnival of Love. The brainchild of my friend (and “Jane the Virgin ” star)  Justin Baldoni, for one day DTLA is transformed into a party for the people who live in the tents and on the sidewalks of Skid Row. For one day, whether they’re a single mother who lost her job, then her house, then her hope or a drug addict caught in a cycle of abuse, these people are treated like – people. They’re not inhabitants of streets you’re afraid to walk down, they’re not invisible people you try not to make eye contact with, they’re not any different or worse than you – if just for a day. And, a day treated like an equal, a day with food to eat, a place to wash their feet, a person who wants to help them improve their situation – or just offer them a smile rather than a scowl – can be all it takes for a person’s hope to be restored. Treat a person with respect and they’re more apt to act like someone deserving of respect.

Every year the carnival gets bigger, with more streets blocked off, more services offered and more volunteers. What started at the mercy of donations has grown into a beautiful event that requires a bit more money and infrastructure.

So, I’m asking if you could donate whatever you may have spent on a lunch you probably don’t remember to my fundraiser to contribute to making this a day thousands of people won’t soon forget.

The first time I went it was just weeks after I tore my ACL, before I got a new one, and one of the guys from Wayfarer (who host the carnival) carried me like a baby to the table from which I’d serve up cupcakes and a smile that day – because we can all always use a hand sometimes. Or, in my case that day, two.

Fundraising page here.

Thank You! 🙂