Five young adults decided to make the most out of the holidays and packed a car filled with blankets, water and pizza boxes to give out to the homeless.
“We’re just giving back,” said 19-year-old Aaron Garcia. “Any little possible way that we can.”
Project Pizza started three years ago when a group of local high school graduates decided that a trip to Los Angeles to pass out pizza before Christmas would be a great way to give back.
“We thought it was going to be a one-time thing,” Ruben Jimenez said. “We went down there and handed out pizza. Unfortunately we all were a little unsatisfied. We saw that there was so much more people that needed to be fed.”
Jimenez said that he has seen his own family members become homeless and forced to live in Skid Row, an area in downtown Los Angeles with a heavily concentrated homeless population.
“If my family members can end up on Skid Row being good people and just taking the wrong turns in life, I wonder how many other people are there for the same reasons,” Jimenez said.
The first year Project Pizza was a go, the group showed up with 15 boxes of pizza purchased with money from their own wallets.
This year on December 20, they loaded up with about 50 homemade blankets, hundreds of water bottles and 45 boxes of pizza and gave out every item.
“People are always posting pictures of their Christmas presents, but people out there have nothing,” Devin Guggenheimer said.
“They have no one to help them out.”
The group of five spent about three hours passing out supplies to those on the streets. While they did feed the homeless, those involved with Project Pizza hoped that they dished out a little more than slices of pizza.
“I feel like I’m not just feeding the homeless food and water,” Jimenez said. “I’m also feeding them this ideology that there are people that care about them.”
Funds for the project was raised through a GoFundMe page and this year the group received about 500 dollars in donations.
“Next year our goal is to make enough money to rent a van,” Jimenez said. “We’re running out of room in Devin’s Volvo.”
While the group passed out more boxes of pizza this year than they ever have, they’re eager to go back next year with even more to reach as many homeless people as they can.
“A slice of pizza is going to last a couple minutes,” Jimenez said. “But if they get the feeling that people care, maybe that ideology will last a lot longer.”