Archive for December 2009

Thanksgiving feast called ‘Feed the Beach’ in Venice 2009

 “The Fruit Gallery on Westminster Avenue organized the community-involved 3rd Annual Thanksgiving “Feed the Beach” on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26, 2009.

200 volunteers served turkey with all the trimmings, desserts & beverages. Other volunteers did clean up, made and held signeage, brought donations, and helped out in caring ways. 

 There was also a free clothing table and talented guitar musical  accompanyments to the generous and ample food serving.

[our comment sent to the SM Mirror newspaper is below:]

 “This was a fabulous event, from the home cooked special generously shared foods to the sweet presence of each volunteer who was courteous and helpful to all. We had a great time working, eating, talking, staring, wanting “more” and knowing when to stop eating the delicious feast goodies.

The organizers were kind and worked hard, and the list of participants who also donated food or some money for permits is on their website. All deserve commendations and appreciation, including the SM Mirror photographer, Margaret, who seemed to take it all in with a huge smile of her own.

over 700 people partook of the feasting, mostly homeless or home-free, or van-car-living ones came and it all  felt like part of the Real  Venice community,  [as it was years before the disparateness and flea market encroachment has shifted the place and it’s people and attitudes therein].

This excellent Day of Giving and feasting was a brief but healthy example of how Venice can be, a place of sharing, caring and artistic living.”

The organizers – James and Nina Merced – wrote a prompt thank you to all who helped them, tho they did the majority of the heft  of lifting up others to join them..and made the whole scene magically work effectively and smoothly.   They had over 200 volunteers and plenty  enough food to extend the event from 2 to 3 constant food-serving hours. 

700+ hungry people were fed , but most importantly they “were able to feed and nourish the souls of many. ”

In addition,to the  200 plus volunteers, Nina and James said : ” please know that your contributions no matter how small or big really served its purpose and everyone should feel very proud of themselves for a job well done. Every last tray of food was served, every dish washed, every piece of trash picked up, every table wiped down and every last trash bag taken out.”

They also again acknowledged the generosity of the  the Rotary Club of Venice, who have partnered with them for the past three years and made Feed the Beach a tradition.  There were others who also donated food, cooked food in small or larger portions and brought them down to the site on Westminster Ave by the Boardwalk to share with everyone there.  A few donated cash for permits and insurance. Others donated other items. All was done without publicity or promotion of the donors, which is unusual in this day and age of overriding promos everywhere overriding the beauty of    just GIVING.

This was a great example, the 4th year and growing, of how a small set of dedicated and loving people can expand and give so much more TOGETHER with others to those who have much less, at least once per year, at the time when Thanks is given not for food or presents but for our being able to come together and be PRESENT TOGETHER, strangers, and friends, families and loners, heavy backpacked or just strolling thru…Venice.

May we all do similar and more of these gatherings where sharing is more important than taking and where being together is more than just the eating of good food.

(c) veniceactivist 2009

Rotary Club Of Venice  gave  $1300 in 26 complete turkey dinners


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