By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Palisadian Anthony Pearson and his family have connected the community through the
collection and distribution of donations.
Back in March, the family took notice of books that had been left out in the street and in front of houses getting rained on and ruined. At the time, donation opportunities were not available: Goodwill, the Salvation Army and public libraries were all closed—so they took action.
“My dad loves books and old stuff,” Anthony’s daughter, Delphi, explained. “Sometimes when we are driving, my dad will pull over to look through piles of junk on the side of the road. He can’t stand to see things go to waste.”
Pearson took an idea to Nextdoor, where he offered to pick up donations from people’s homes and take them to Little Free Libraries throughout Pacific Palisades, Brentwood and the Santa Monica Canyon area.
“Once we posted, people started calling and messaging us, and it was this incredible outpouring,” Pearson said to the Palisadian-Post. “We got our kids involved … my kid will drive my mom’s old car and she’ll drive and I’ll hop out and pack these little libraries … it’s fun.”
The family collects books throughout the month and when they have enough compiled, they deliver them to the bird-house libraries or to neighbors who have requested books.
“It’s just for the charitable cause, for fun, for the benefit of our kids and to be able to get out and cruise around,” Pearson said. “Trying to do something productive and safe.”
He said that this has provided the opportunity to meet a lot of nice people and it’s been a great way to get the community involved.
“Everybody was isolated and cut-off, but this has been something safe that we could do from a distance, with a mask, just go by people’s doorsteps or driveways and collect the stuff and have a little conversation and meet some neighbors,” Pearson said. “People are incredibly generous and community-oriented and engaged.”
In addition to the book collection and distribution, Pearson added that his wife, Ramona Trent, has been collecting and organizing food for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to be distributed at RTLA Church.
Pearson said that a line would form at RTLA Church because of the food insecurity and lack of social assistance back in late March and early April. Pearson and Trent were not working at the time themselves, and wanted to give back.
“One of the things we’ve really grown to realize is we live in such an affluent community … we’re very blessed to live in a place where we have so many resources,” Pearson said. “Three or four times a year we’ll donate an artwork to an important auction, a museum benefit … something important, and the artwork will sell for really good money and the money will go to a really good cause.
“But getting involved by-hand, and actually doing the work and driving the books and around and driving the food to RTLA is a whole other level of charitable experience for me.”
Pearson said that his family is committed to collecting and distributing books until the Palisades Branch Library reopens, or until the bookstore and parking lot sales resume.
Anyone interested can reach Pearson at email@example.com to make donations, including books, DVDs, CDs, LPs, publications and even cassettes.
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