Celebrating Valentine’s Day, Viacom Hollywood Fills Backpacks with Love and Supplies for the Homeless Youth of My Friend’s Place

Celebrating Valentine’s Day, Viacom Hollywood Fills Backpacks with Love and Supplies for the Homeless Youth of My Friend’s Place

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For Valentine’s Day, @Viacom Hollywood fills backpacks with love and supplies for @MFPLA http://bit.ly/2DAcQyF
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 1:25pm

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The week before Valentine’s Day, the common area of Viacom’s Hollywood office was buzzing with activity as employees volunteered their lunch hour to write out Valentine’s Day cards and fill backpacks with toiletries and water bottles for the young people serviced by My Friend’s Place, a homeless youth shelter up the street from the Hollywood office.

My Friend’s Place was founded in 1988 by Steve LaPore and Craig Scholz, who would distribute sack lunches to homeless youth on the streets of Hollywood. In the 30 years since it was founded, My Friend’s Place has become an anchor to the homeless youth population of Hollywood. My Friend’s Place is a day-shelter that provides services aimed at helping young homeless people lift themselves off the streets. Some of the many services they provide include distributing meals and clothing, helping young people apply for housing grants and fill out job applications, as well as hosting music and arts classes, pet care, and counseling services. In 2018 My Friend’s Place welcomed 1,400 young people through their doors and provided 30,000 meals.

Viacom’s Corporate Social Responsibility branch, also known as Viacommunity, purchased the backpacks and supplies to donate to My Friend’s Place, furthering a relationship with the organization that has included conducting underwear drives and sponsorship of My Friend’s Place’s annual fundraising gala.

“We are extremely pleased to continue to work with My Friend’s Place,” said Patrick Bynum, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Social Responsibility liaison. “Their work is so vital and important to the community, and we’re happy to help our Hollywood neighbors.”

During the event Jeff Katz and Rachel Sanchez, who are part of the My Friend’s Place’s development team, joined the Viacom employees to talk about the work that My Friend’s Place does.

“We love working with Viacom!” said Sanchez. “Backpacks and water bottles are our most requested items.”

Viacom employees wrote out Valentine’s Day cards with messages of love, support and positivity for My Friend’s Place, decorating and giving personal touches to the cards.

“We are so grateful for our continued partnership with Viacom,” said Heather Carmichael, My Friend’s Place’s Executive Director. “The positive relationship we have with our Hollywood neighbors only helps to strengthen our community.”

The result of the Viacom employee’s volunteer work was over 200 backpacks, water bottles, and toiletry bags that were handed out to the young people of My Friend’s Place. Over a fun and engaging lunchtime activity by Viacom employees, a little bit of community and neighborly support was lovingly crafted.