The holidays are in full swing — and with them come the traditional images of the season: presents under the tree, stockings on the fireplace, family and friends gathered together to celebrate and reflect. Yet this time of year also brings something else — a rush of generosity and a renewed spirit of giving.
The Getty House Foundation takes that spirit to heart year-round. But to ring in this period of joy and goodwill, we opened our doors to neighbors and friends for our second annual holiday market, where attendees could get their shopping done with vendors that work directly with the homeless, employ the formerly homeless, or donate 20% of their proceeds to organizations fighting homelessness.
It was an extraordinary event, and a powerful reminder of just how diverse the face of this fight is — one made up of artists and bakers, students and seamstresses, the homeless and the housed. And as we look forward to the new year, it’s an inspiring testament to the difference we can make when we come together as a city.
A special thank you goes out to the 26 vendors who donated their time, talent, and passion to this event — including Mayor Eric Garcetti, who autographed and sold his framed Instagram photos to benefit the Downtown Women’s Center.
Baked T’Shuvah ⬩ ChocoVivo ⬩ Concrete Geometric ⬩ EVERYBODY.WORLD ⬩ FreeForm ⬩ Homeboy Industries ⬩ Immaginare Press ⬩ Los Angeles LGBT Center ⬩ L.A. Original ⬩ Made by Downtown Women’s Center ⬩ Maya Brenner ⬩ Paper Chase Press ⬩ People, Places & Things ⬩ Piece by Piece ⬩ Project Angel Food ⬩ Safe Place for Youth ⬩ Skid Row Denim Academy ⬩ Tea Drops ⬩ The Corner Collective at My Friend’s Place ⬩ The People Concern ⬩ Vena Vena Handcrafted ⬩ With Love Market & Cafe ⬩ Wolfum ⬩ Would Works ⬩ The YWCA Greater Los Angeles Digital Learning Academy
Our Thanksgiving luncheon is a special annual tradition for the Getty House Foundation, where we open our doors to a group of our neighbors in need of a hot meal and a helping hand.
As in the past, we welcomed veterans and formerly homeless families for a feast and a chance to share their stories with a community of their fellow Angelenos. This year, we were also fortunate to be joined by residents of El Puente — L.A.’s first bridge housing site under Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “A Bridge Home” program. For the first time in months or even years, El Puente residents have a place to shower and sleep, a roof over their heads and a pillow underneath them, and the support they need to make a fresh start in life.
Mayor Garcetti, First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland, GHF Board Members and their families were on hand to serve meals, while the Skid Row Choir brought down the house with the healing power of music.
Click here to learn more about ways you can help homeless Angelenos this holiday season.
Do you remember your first time on a plane? How about the first time you wandered the streets of another country, or found yourself face to face with a wonder of the world? These are some of the stories we heard from an extraordinary group of community college students who traveled abroad this summer — free of charge — through the Mayor’s Young Ambassador Initiative (MaYA), at a launch event hosted by the Getty House Foundation.
Established by Mayor Garcetti’s Office of International Affairs, MaYA’s goal is to connect young Angelenos with the international community, and expose them to global opportunities at home and abroad. To kick off the program, 23 students who qualify for free tuition under L.A.’s College Promise spent a week in Mexico and Egypt zip-lining over waterfalls, riding camels among the Great Pyramids, volunteering at an orphanage for children with disabilities, and making friends from all walks of life. But traveling abroad left them with more than great memories — the Young Ambassadors returned to Los Angeles as confident, engaged representatives of our City, with a new international perspective that will guide them for years to come.
MaYA’s debut comes two years after stakeholders and student leaders gathered here with the Getty House Foundation to celebrate the launch of L.A.’s College Promise, an historic pledge to make community college tuition-free for every hardworking LAUSD graduate. While the program so far has been a tremendous success for the Garcetti Administration, it’s always had a two-fold mission: to put higher education in reach for every Angeleno, and to give L.A.’s students all of the life-changing opportunities that accompany a college education. “Traveling abroad shouldn’t just be for students from certain economic backgrounds,” said First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland. “All young people should have the chance to be exposed to new ideas and innovations,” — and experience the unique languages, cultures, and societies that exist beyond our borders.
There was plenty to celebrate, but also so much to look forward to — in January, the next group of Young Ambassadors will head to Japan, as part of MaYA’s goal to send 100 College Promise students abroad in 2019. American Airlines has also graciously stepped up to become MaYA’s official airline partner — sponsoring flights for all trips for the next five years.
For more information, and to apply future travel programs, visit LAMayor.org/MaYA.
Young Ambassador Student Panelists:
- Griselda Mendoza, Los Angeles City College
- Elizabeth Lopez, Pierce College
- Iman Elijah Zeinali, Pierce College
- Cassandra Camorlinga, Los Angeles Valley College