December 1, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

It’s A New Day at the West LA VA: Party Time! Excellent!

By Marcie Polier Swartz

Indulge me while I take the time to look back to February and to tell you about this year’s Super Bowl Sunday 2018.

Welcome Center at the VA Campus: This was our third year and it was ‘the charm’. Corey Morris was there early getting the word out on campus and taking pictures. We served approximately 75-100 meals to Veterans. It was a mix of homeless, temporarily housed, and permanently housed Veterans with some Vets from campus dropping in to attend the event. Staff was welcomed and they were a big part of the day as well. This is where words fail, as it is so hard to describe the questioning approach some Veterans had to entering the building to ask if the party and free food was really there and were they indeed actually welcome to come in.

Huge and special thanks to Village for Vet’s Jeff Vernon and Pam Dawber. Pam brought the decorations, came early to set up the room along with Michelle from the Welcome Center so the room looked fun and festive. Pam also arranged for specially prepared lasagnas to be donated from Vincenti no less. Maureen Vincenti generously made three huge trays for us including one incredible vegetarian version. Maria’s Italian Kitchen delivered the rest of the hot meal which included trays of Chicken Marsala salad and bread.

But the real surprise of the day was supplied by Pam Dawber who brought 10 Coats that turn into sleeping bags. Carrie Gray, who runs the Welcome Center and who brought her two darling boys to volunteer with mom at the party, suggested we raffle the coats. As we were preparing to do that, a man approached us. He became fixated. He could not take his eyes off the coat. He gently asked if he could have one. As he and I got busy examining the coat and learning together how to assemble and disassemble it, the staff got busy checking his name in the system which indicated that indeed he had been noted and counted in the Homeless tally just a few weeks before. When they said “Yes, you can give him the coat” he took it from us with reverence. As a result we nixed the raffle. Carrie and staff at the WC will be giving the remaining coats out as Homeless Vets qualify.

If you want to see something special, look at the 90 second video of the party which is posted on our website and on our new YouTube channel. There are not many faces here as the VA requests to show faces only with written permission.

A note about the coats: Pam’s friend makes them in Detroit. I’m hoping we can create a program for them.  This is the letter I got from volunteer Marisa Miller the next day:

“…what you are doing for the vets is so special. Seeing their smiles and how happy they were to have such a wonderful meal brought them so much happiness. I have been thinking lately of how important it is to live a “purposeful life”. Today I felt that I was doing something “purposeful” and it sure felt good.

(From left to right) Marisa Miller, volunteer, Marcie Swartz and Pam Dawber, Village for Vets, Cory Morris, Ret Lt. Colonel US Army; Outreach, Community Engagement & Reintegration Services (CERS)
Related Posts

Local Restaurants Burger Named Best in the Southland

November 30, 2022

November 30, 2022

Hank’s Palisades’ burger named best in the Southland by the LA Times Hank’s restaurant in the Pacific Palisades and Executive...

46 Samohi Orchestra Students Chosen for CODA Honors Orchestra

November 30, 2022

November 30, 2022

Students to play in two San Diego concerts this weekend Santa Monica High School (Samohi) announced that 46 orchestra student...

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel Celebrates the Holidays

November 29, 2022

November 29, 2022

Head to the beach this December to experience the hotel’s seasonal family-friendly activities This year, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel...

Free Holiday Events In Downtown Santa Monica This December

November 29, 2022

November 29, 2022

The Santa Monica Place hosts weekly events throughout the month of December, learn what is happening in this video sponsored...

Santa Monica Issues Moratorium on Parkway Ordinance After Public Dispute

November 29, 2022

November 29, 2022

Move comes after backlash from residents By Keemia Zhang Santa Monica has placed an indefinite moratorium on a previous directive...

Police Seek Suspects Wanted for Santa Monica Jewelry Store Burglary

November 28, 2022

November 28, 2022

Four suspects wanted in connection to November 20 incident  Police are searching for four suspects wanted for robbing a Santa...

Vehicle Drives Over Palisades Park Bluffs

November 28, 2022

November 28, 2022

Driver cited for DUI following Saturday incident By Sam Catanzaro A car drove over the bluffs at Palisades Park in...

More Than 1,000 Food-Insecure Santa Monica College Students Gifted Thanksgiving Groceries

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

3rd Annual GIVING THANKS(giving) event returns By Sam Catanzaro As college students across Southern California continue to struggle accessing basic...

Nourish L.A Feeds Thousands Each Week With Excess Food

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

Local organization Nourish L.A turns excess food into groceries for those who are food insecure in our neighborhoods and the...

Local Boy Scout Leads Effort to Fix Termite-Infested Trail Handrail

November 22, 2022

November 22, 2022

Ari Candela leads community service effort on a Beverly Hills hiking path By Keemia Zhang Last month, Ari Candela, patrol...

Pacific Park Presents An ‘A-Maize-Ing’ Ferris Wheel Thanksgiving Celebration With 90-Foot-Tall Turkey And All The Trimmings

November 22, 2022

November 22, 2022

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier presents an “a-maize-ing” Ferris wheel Thanksgiving celebration with a fun, festive light program...

ICE Grand Opening Welcomes over 1,300 on Opening Day

November 22, 2022

November 22, 2022

ICE Santa Monica has returned for all day skating and fun for the whole family learn about what’s changed after...

SMMUSD Superintendent Leaving Post

November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

Dr. Ben Drati to become Superintendent of the Bellflower Unified School District By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District...

Two People Hospitalized in Ocean Front Walk Stabbings

November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

Jamal K. Lampitt arrested in connection to November 17 stabbings Two people were hospitalized following stabbings on Ocean Front Walk...