This holiday season, we continued our Random Acts of Helpfulness for those who needed it most. Throughout December, we granted holiday wishes from our big, blue Random Trees of Helpfulness; rolled out our free holiday treats truck; brought holiday cheer to hundreds of families, kids, and homeless adults during our annual Helpful Holiday week of giving; and once again helped SoCal residents ring in the New Year with free snuggies as they camped out for the Rose Parade.
To kick off December, we rolled out our free holiday treats truck and surprised residents across the Southland with free holiday treats including popcorn balls, bags of chocolate coal, lollipop lights, krisp kringle cookies, and more. We stopped by various community activities, parks, and sporting events every week in December to surprise unsuspecting residents with complimentary treats. At Spark of Love in Cerritos, a local resident explained how special it was to see our treats truck out during the holidays: “What a blessing it is to see you at this special donation event! You guys always find a way to spread some real Christmas magic.”
The helpfulness didn’t end there. We also placed big blue holiday trees at local malls and sports centers across SoCal and encouraged anyone passing by to write their holiday wish on an ornament and hang it on the tree for the chance to have their wish fulfilled. We granted numerous wishes, including holiday dinners, new furniture, a vacation for a recovering cancer patient, a date-night for new parents (complete with a babysitter), and more. We even hosted a holiday pop-up shop the day before Christmas Eve at a laundromat in the Westlake area of Los Angeles. The laundromat manager requested help with his holiday wish for toys to give back to less fortunate families and children in his neighborhood. We brought hundreds of gifts and turned his laundromat into a free toy store for the kids in his community. Residents were so grateful for the gifts and for the manager, Mario Buendia, who requested this holiday surprise: “This will be the best present I can give my daughter this year. I can’t thank Honda and Mario enough for this.” “I can’t believe what’s happening here. This is magical.”
We also hosted a week of holiday celebrations for deserving families, adults, and children across the Southland. We kicked off the helpful holiday week of giving and brought a bike building event to deserving youth at the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana. Each child got to take home the bike they helped to build, and enjoyed a party with pizza and holiday crafts. On that same day, celebrations continued for children and families of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) in Bloomington, where we treated the Bloomington Grove residents with a special holiday meal, complimentary gifts, carnival activities, a photo station, gift-wrapping, and more! Then, we hosted a holiday lunch for JWCH Institute Inc. clients in Downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row to recognize the clients’ dedication to JWCH programs. The holiday celebration was complete with a warm holiday meal and gifts of winter essentials and toiletry items. The following day, we treated families to a special holiday shopping celebration at Foothill Family Services in El Monte. The families entered a pop-up holiday shop where parents and children were given tokens to purchase holiday gifts for one another. Families then enjoyed a free gift-wrapping station, gingerbread house building, holiday arts & crafts, and fun photos with a huge snow globe and the Helpful Honda mascot! Lastly, we hosted a holiday party for local homeless adults in Santa Monica complete with a warm holiday meal and helpful winter essentials, such as socks, rain ponchos, and toiletries.
To finish up the year in helpful fashion, we helped those braving the cold for the Rose Parade with complimentary blue snuggies. We surprised thousands of dedicated campers with free snuggie blankets along the Rose Parade route to help keep fans warm overnight. One camper was hopeful and excited to see us: “We were hoping you guys would be out here tonight! We heard about last year and really wanted to get snuggies.”
So what’s next for the New Year? We’ll be back at the courthouses and chapels this Valentine’s Day to surprise lucky newlywed couples with a dream honeymoon.