REALITY: California is 49th in the country of books per student, 80% of families living below the poverty level, 53% of Adults in LA County are illiterate, and last in National Ranking in Access to Libraries.
By Freya Pruitt
When you look at the future of America, you must look at its children. The best place to start this process is in one of the largest cities in the country: Los Angeles, California. With the statistics listed above, one must take into consideration that L.A. County is also one of the wealthiest in the country, housing too many billionaires to count and home to megastars with mega-money.
The bottom line is there is no excuse for these statistics, and it is a sad day in America where we have to tirelessly fight to save the lives and well-being of our children.
For over two decades, president and CEO Lori Neville has walked the streets of downtown Los Angeles and surrounding areas to help save our children. Lori: “With our world turned upside down, I want to Pay it Forward for a Better L.A. to be the gold standard for giving the underserved a hand up. Our children are suffering. The future of our community depends on our community standing up and giving back.”
“P.I.F. is here to help, but we can do so much more. Despite what we have accomplished, there are so many more opportunities for us to make an even bigger impact in the future. With our wealth of resources and powerful connections, P.I.F. has the ability to truly turn nothing into something, to be the cathartic change, a change that is real and everlasting.
Starting with a shoestring budget, we’ve proven over the years, that our programs work. Lives have been saved and personal futures have been turned around for the better. With working capital, we can secure deals for pennies on the dollar, supplying children with mandatory items to secure a healthy life as well as the opportunity to create happy and successful futures. We make sure not only the kids have what they need, but entire families have everything they need to thrive as well.
We are a children’s charity looking to make a big difference. We’re looking at all the underserved children not only in Los Angeles but the surrounding areas.
Partnering with some of the biggest children’s charities in the city, P.I.F produces events year around. From food drives to clothing drives and providing needed supplies, P.I.F also builds libraries in schools and centers that don’t have any books left at all! Their biggest partner, A Chance for Children, Run by Tai Collins, stands up in a powerful way to ensure their projects reach their final destination and completion. We conduct events year-round, from food drives to clothing drives and supplies. Children cannot learn without books. Building libraries in schools and centers is paramount to getting the tools into the hands of children so they can have a proper education.
P.I.F. has handed out more than five million books in the last 25 years! Twice a year they hand out school supplies, run summer programs, including sending kids to camps, fishing, and their Christmas in July event. For 20 years, P.I.F. takes 300 underserved kids to the Santa Monica Pier for a day of fun, games, food, and backpacks. Most of these kids have never seen the ocean!
P.I.F has rebuilt many of the charter schools while providing athletic equipment, basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, art supplies, and all the necessities that schools just don’t have money to buy anymore!
Lori: “It takes an army to run a charity like this and I’ve been lucky enough over the years to have some of the best volunteers in the city. People finally are realizing when they do something at one of our events, it has an impact on the entire city. We partner with A Chance for Children who send kids to colleges. They help them get through high school and set up different summer programs for continued learning.”
“We work with the LAPD very closely for the areas where kids don’t have a chance to move forward: We give them the tools they need to do so. We work with a Little League making sure that kids have a place to play ball year-round to keep them off the streets.”
One of P.I.F’s most powerful programs is The Little Free Libraries that put libraries in Police and Sheriff Stations! The shelves are filled continuously as kids are constantly coming in needing books to take home for studying and homework.
P.I.F. is currently building the new library in the new LAPD Museum; due to open the first of 2022.
P.I.F. is making the impossible possible and is faith in action. Coupled with staunch determination, they have always had the ability to take any and all donations to find homes or trade with other organizations for items needed. P.I.F has proven that with a little extra work, you can make something out of nothing. We have such a waste of resources in America, it seems unfathomable that children go hungry each night, don’t have a bed or a home, or proper care. If we do not step up and take care of our own, the desperate circumstances of today become the nightmare dysfunction of tomorrow. The genuine need of innocent children can easily be filled, if we individually, and as a collective nation, take responsibility to step up, stand up, and give a hand up to our children. After all, they ARE the future of this country!
We need to realize that a little work with someone who has nothing, can quickly become someone’s treasure. The gift of giving can wind up becoming the much-needed paradigm shift in their lives. A hand-up is not just throwing money at someone. A hand-up provides the provision for a new community, a new nation, and a new world. Your contribution could be the reason a child with nothing could be afforded the opportunity to become a solid, contributing citizen. In the end, we are all just people, we are all the same, with the same needs and desires. There is no room for judgment. There is only room for change, and sometimes change needs a little help!
THE PROBLEM: Covid-19 hit hard; businesses are closing, offices are being vacated and they are leaving all their furniture behind because no one wants it. So why not look at the loss as a surplus and put it where it can be utilized to enhance and enrich lives!?
THE SOLUTION: P.I.F rented large trucks, put out the word, and if people had furniture, they needed to get rid of, they called and P.I.F picked it up and got it to families in need
Even during COVID, their volunteers (staying safe), we were able to furnish more than 200 homes in underserved areas! These families had very little furniture, tables, chairs, appliances, or more. If you think about it, even if they HAD food, how would they cook it without a stove or microwave!? With the help of LAPD, P.I.F picked up trucks loaded with furniture and appliances and quickly delivered them to families in need. Working alongside LAPD, families were told to put their old stuff in front of their apartments. The city got involved and offered to pick up their old stuff, carry it away before their new “lifestyle” was delivered to their homes! They even set it up for them! These families were so thankful because they suddenly had a lovely place to raise their kids. Lack was replaced with provision and provision quickly translated into a grateful, respectful manner of living! It took a lot of work, but the end result was spectacular.
Just imagine trying to get up and trying to find a job without a shower, clothing, food, and no transportation. A hand-up gives the person the break they need to leave the past as they pursue renewing their future! If you help one person it quickly impacts another, then another, and soon the village is stable, happy, and moving towards contributing to the very hands that helped them!
Hollywood International People is proud to present and support this great charity and congratulates its founder, Lori Neville. The three-time recipient of the Humanitarian of the Year award, this great woman bases her success on hard work, humility, and the power of helping America save our children.
As she expands Pay it Forward for A Better LA to Corona Ca, she continues to work with schools and families in need. Being graciously and gratefully received, Lori was met with great support and is continuing to set up other cities to do the same thing.
Lori: “This is just another way we can start rebuilding our country, states, and communities. Every child deserves a chance in life.
“With our communities coming together as one force, we can help stop the violence, racial profiling, and strive for equality for all. We are all Americans, and we should be proud to live and thrive in The United States of America. Please be kind to your fellow Americans as we all need to work together to recreate common ground once again.”
“People are in need. There is a drug epidemic in the USA and Mental health needs are off the charts. Homelessness is at a record high, and this is the moment we must all step back and figure out a way to help.”
Lori: “Pay It Forward is about a hand up not a handout!! It’s about giving back and holding the recipients of our help to a high standard so they can continue to Pay it Forward. Progress and moving forward is the only way to rebuild our cities and bring Americans back together. America is America because we care, we must take care of our own. The child you help today will become the America of tomorrow. Their future depends on your help. We thank you for caring about our children and caring enough to help.
God bless our children”!
“Success is not how high you have climbed, but how you make a positive difference to the world.”
“Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey”!