LOS ANGELES – Bright lights are a symbol of hope and cheer during the holidays, and Richard Marshall is hoping a Christmas tree brings some joy to the homeless in the Fashion District, just blocks away from Skid Row.
Marshall helped put a Christmas tree where he and others place gifts people in need can pick up.
“This is instant,” said Marshall. “This is ‘I need jeans now. I need a t-shirt now.' It is for you underneath the tree. Every single night these items are gone.”
As the good news spreads across social media, those walking by the tree stop and look. As people learn about the tree on Instagram, they visit and place gifts under the tree, from clothes to books, food, and more.
“We had no idea, it was going to take on a life of its own,” Marshall said. “It’s really been a beacon of hope for this community in the city of Los Angeles.”
This is just part of the community outreach Marshall is doing along with hip-hop artist David Sebastian. They have a clothing company called Skid Row Fashion Week, and some of their staff includes people like Brian Beasley who lived on the streets.
Thanks to Marshall and his company, he now has a job and a home.
“I have a Section 8. I’m living comfortably,” Beasley said. “When this opportunity came along, when these good brothers and sister gave me this opportunity, I was lit up and I’m still lit up. I’ve learned to have gratitude in my attitude.”
“It makes me proud to know that we are vessel to help those who want to help themselves,” Marshall added.
Whether it is giving the homeless a job or providing them with just a little more than what they had before, Marshall is hoping others will do the same and give freely – embracing the spirit of the holidays.