By Nick Antonicello
I spoke with Bruno Hernandez, the executive director of Be Creative/STP Foundation as well as The Venice Art Walls project that paints the iconic images at Venice Beach and is an influential community advocate for the neighborhood, he is also a member of the Venice Neighborhood Council.
He cares about our community and the people who live here.
He practices what he preaches and we need more good people like him.
We spoke about the current state of Venice and the community outreach that is needed moving forward to bring the community back together in wake of the ongoing pandemic.
It was a positive and productive conversation.
We talked about potential community events and he invited me to the Oakwood Day of Giving that was being sponsored by Councilman Mike Bonin and Food Cycle LA, as well as Athens Services & Cookies that was held Saturday at Oakwood Park where there was a free turkey giveaway, food boxes and additional items as well as free doughnuts, Gelato, and Arts & Crafts for the kids kicking off this holiday season.
A fun time was had by all.
I had the opportunity to man one of the food stations and assist in the distribution of the items which included bringing supplies to their cars and wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving.
I want to thank Bruno for the opportunity to serve my neighbors.
About 250 people came through Oakwood Park and it was an event that helped our residents and ensured they too would have a thanksgiving meal with their friends and family.
It is holidays like Thanksgiving that can bring all segments of the community together, to do good for those who can use a helping hand.
I have also volunteered for the NOURISH LA food bank many times this year which is headed up by Mar Vista restauranteur and entrepreneur Demetrius Mavromichalis, who also stopped by at the event to remind locals that if they needed additional items or a turkey, they could stop by Sunday at his pickup station located at the corner of Inglewood and Washington for all types of fruits and vegetables too.
For helping others does matter.
The NOURISH LA food bank is open to all with no questions asked and has two locations, one on Saturdays at Saint Mark’s in Venice and at The Wood, a shuttered restaurant once owned by Mavromichalis that was converted into this Sunday food stop that has dozens of dedicated volunteers for the past 18 months.
For as we enter this holiday season there are many individuals and organizations that are helping and being helpful to those who need a lift, a helping hand so to speak.
I saw the faces of the kids who stopped by yesterday and they were delighted to know they too would have a holiday dinner with all of the trimmings.
For the Oakwood neighborhood of Venice is a special place that has absorbed many challenges in the face of the economic downturn, COVID-19 and wholesale gentrification over the last several years and it was good to see they are not forgotten this holiday season.
Activism and community action is alive and well at many levels, both political and social. But to see this kind of community spirit thriving is important and special.
It signifies the most important principle in life and that is, I am my brother’s keeper.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and good wishes to you and your family.
The author is a member of the Outreach and Oceanfront Walk Committee’s of the Venice Neighborhood Council (www.venicenc.org) and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 621-3775.