By Christopher LeFall
Photos by Christopher LeFall
On Saturday, May 16, 2020, Cars lined up in front of John’s Incredible Pizza, located at Westfield Plaza Bonita Mall 3030 Plaza Bonita Rd in National City California. Paving Great Futures, a local non-profit, which focuses on mentoring marginalized youth of San Diego teamed up with The Westfield Group (developers of Westfield Plaza Shopping Malls) to provide 350 hygiene packages to San Diego residents.
Cars rolled up one at a time and were greeted with a thumbs up. Volunteers put packages which included toiletries like toilet tissue, shampoo, baby wipes, deodorants, lotion, and toothpaste in their trunk. Some participants even held thank you signs up in their windows to show appreciation. Since lines outside local markets have become excessive while practicing social distancing. Armand King, The COO of Paving Great Futures, with the help of his team and sponsors at The Westfield Group was eager to reach families in need of a helping hand.
The non-profit made sure to include nursing homes and members in the community who are unable to travel. Providing the unable bodies with hygiene packages in which were delivered personally. “We wanted to provide support for families in need and those who may not be able to get out of their house”, said King.
Although the hygiene relief package give away is scheduled as a one-time thing, the organization has been giving back on a regular basis. This is one of many community givebacks by the non-profit.
With the continuous help of local community groups of San Diego like My Brothers Keeper, weekly distribution of food packages to families in need is made possible. Food has been provided to over 4 thousand families in just two months during the pandemic. “In these times it’s important to give back and think of others besides yourself”, also said King.
Keith Baham, financial manager for Paving Great Futures, says” support is very much needed in our community and what’s going on today makes me feel as if I’m in the middle of the civil rights movement of our time.”
Ryan Anthony, a local musical artist of San Diego, says” Paving Great Futures has been giving back during this whole pandemic. As long as we stick together as a community we’ll bounce back with no problem.”
Paving Great Futures continues to support the community with the help of many sponsors and community groups. Food giveaways are every Tuesday at the Jacob Center located at 404 Euclid Ave. in San Diego.