• Since opening day, A Million Drops has been growing in visits and new visitors! Thank you for all your help and support!

  • Besides Our 5th Anniversary Celebration coming up this Saturday, December the 8th, we have a bunch of stuff going on at the center this week between 2pm-6pm (regular hours, Monday through Friday), as well as a workshop after hours at 6:30pm to 8pm on Wednesday. Also, P.A.T.H. will be coming in this Wednesday at 2:30pm to do a special presentation on a new shelter opening up for both men and women!

     

    Gardening Workshop with Charles – Tuesday, December 4th, 3pm – 4:30pm
    We have another gardening workshop with Charles Malki of IV Organics! Come learn how to grow and tend to your own food in our edible garden this Tuesday!

     

    The Schrader Project Presentation by P.A.T.H. – Wednesday, December 5th, 2:30pm
    P.A.T.H. will be coming in to discuss a new shelter opening up near The Blessed Sacrament which will offer shelter to both men and women! P.A.T.H. will also be handing out ID vouchers for those who have had proper ID, who no longer have ID, so they may obtain new ID for free!

     

    Acting Workshop with Robert Galinsky – Wednesday, December 5th, 6:30pm- 8pm
    We’ll be opening up after hours for this special acting workshop! If there isn’t enough room inside A Million Drops for those attending we are planning to open up the church auditorium (the double doors to the right of A Million Drops from the outside)!

     

    Movies & Film Workshop with Anton – Thursday, December 6th, 2:30pm – 5pm
    Come watch a movie and take part in group discussions! Are you interested in directing, acting, media? Please come enjoy yourself and bring your input!

     

    Poetry Workshop with Megan – Friday, December 7th, 3:30pm
    Megan is set to lead us through another poetry workshop this week! Do you enjoy creative writing? Are you just interested? Come try it out!

     

    We are looking forward to seeing all of our visitors this week!

  • It’s been five years since A Million Drops was granted non-profit status and six months since we opened the Learning Center. This calls for a celebration! On Saturday, December 8 we are going to have an Open House & Christmas Bazaar.

    Visit us to get a tour of the Learning Center and Edible Garden, and learn about Real Good Stuff with Scottie, a weekly podcast hosted by us.

    Explore our bazaar where you can shop for Christmas gifts handmade by our young clients – cookies, poetry, art, and much more – and help us raise money, so we can keep our doors open and continue to offer our programs and services. Or just enjoy a snack, mingle with old friends and make new ones.

    Saturday, December 8, 3 – 7 pm  •  Family friendly  •  Easy parking

    A Million Drops Learning Center – 1711 North Van Ness Ave. – Los Angeles, CA 90028

     

  • Last Tuesday at A Million DropsCharles J Malki of IV Organics helped lead a class to pot an Assorted Succulent Arrangement & California Native Poppy Plants which will be for sale at our 5th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday the 8th (3pm – 7pm)! Thanks to Charles J Malki, those who attended and also to Sheila Irani for donating the plants from her own personal garden!

              

  • The A Million Drops Center has been open for 15 weeks and it’s going strong. We are open Mondays – Fridays from 2 – 6 pm with an average of 14 to 20 people coming to spend time to recharge batteries, the ones of their phones as well as their own.

    We offer a free in-house library, art supplies and 10 laptops to do research or print resumés.

    A team of homeless young adults under the guidance of garden expert Charles Malki is working in our edible garden, learning how to grow food.

    One of our guests is organizing a series of poetry workshops; the first one was titled “BlackOut Poetry”. As you can see in the pictures, it even looks beautiful!

     

    We have volunteers who pick up donated food and drop it off at the Learning Center, others come to engage in conversations with our guests, to play boardgames or help with things like filling out applications.

    We are receiving lots of wonderful donations, including laptops, a TV and a DVD player, sleeping bags, materials for jewelry making, clothing, toiletries, snacks and more. The Hollywood United Neighborhood Council (HUNC) has been a strong supporter, financing several of our programs, amongst them a self-defense class, an art workshop and our free laundry program. We can’t express our gratitude enough for all the amazing support we are getting!

    Our next step is to raise money, so we can by a used van to take our young guests on educational field trips.

  • Our A Million Drops Learning Center has only been open for ten weeks, and already it is making a big difference in the lives of the young people who visit. They come in to rest, charge their phones, and enjoy a cold water and a snack. And once they have recovered a little from their daily struggles they start to explore.

    Some ask for art materials and draw for hours, forgetting the world around them, others pick a book from our in-house library and read quietly, some find a partner to play chess or scrabble, many make use of our (old) laptops to research or write a resume, or they just sit together and chat.

     

     

     

     

    Three days a week, they get the opportunity to take a shower at the Adventist church next door or in the shower trailer provided by Shower of Hope, an organization founded by our friend Mel Tillekeratne.

    On an average, we serve 10 – 16 visitors a day who consider the space their home, treating it with respect and pride, and making sure every newcomer does as well.

    The first four weeks, AMD Director Maike was in charge. When she had to go back to working in her regular job, three of our guests stepped up to the plate and took on responsibilities. Josh, Jason and Craig make sure that the Learning Center opens and closes on time, and they take care of everything in between: from welcoming visitors and explaining our rules to first timers to handing out refreshments and snacks – or socks and toiletries if needed, and much more. And at closing time, they clean the place and water our edible garden. We couldn’t be happier!

    Our fundraiser is also going well! In only three weeks, we have received donations in the amount of $7,730, securing almost four months of rent!

    If you would like to support us as well, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/homeless-learning-center.  Any amount is highly appreciated and will help us make a positive difference in the lives of some very awesome, less fortunate young people.

  • Developing ideas and working on designs to be transferred onto utility boxes in Hollywood.

  • June 9th was a BIG day for A Million Drops. We held our 6th Annual UTW Day. We had another successful Unsheltered Art Show. And both of these events happened at the Grand Opening of our very own A Million Drops Learning Center. What a day it was indeed.

    The Learning Center
  

    We’re very excited to share the news about our new Learning Center. It had been a goal for a very long time to have a place where homeless and at-risk young adults could come in off the street to read, learn and get the help they need to improve their life situation.

    Our opening day was a tremendous success. We had a huge turnout of friends, people from the community as well as our board members and many of our peers in the non-profit and fundraising community that work to help improve the lives of homeless and at-risk youth and young adults.

    The Learning Center offers opportunities to study as well as teach, and gives those in the community a brick-and-mortar location where they can come donate their time, needed items or money to help improve the lives of others.

    Unsheltered

    Coupled with the opening of the Center was Unsheltered VII, our recurring art exhibit presenting works by homeless, young adults. In the past we featured drawings and paintings. This time around we decided to make it a “photographs only” show.

    In realizing that not everyone is comfortable with paint, we thought everyone can take a photograph. This allowed for many more of our local homeless and at-risk young adults to take part.

    We raised money and spirits. The art exhibit resulted in many pieces being sold, with a majority of the proceeds going directly to the artists. They were thrilled, of course.

    Opening Day was also the day when we started to create our edible garden in the back of the lot. Thanks to the California sun and frequent watering (taken care of by Craig, one of our young clients) the little vegetable plants and herbs have already grown in nicely.

    Self Defense Class

    Directly behind our new Learning Center we have access to a banquet hall. That is were we held our very first community Self Defense Class. Supported by the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council (HUNC) this event was open to all members of the local community, and it was a rousing success.

    It was especially fulfilling to see some of our more shy and introverted friends step outside of their comfort zone to take part in learning how to defend themselves. The class was taught by Jean Morrison, a veteran self-defense teacher and life coach. The event was so well received we have already scheduled our next class for July 14th.

    Future Classes and Events

    In addition to the Self Defense Class, we have a number of events and classes scheduled: Local artist Sophie Pleshette started to teach a weekly Art Class with the goal to create pieces that our young people will paint on utility boxes along Hollywood Blvd. This project is supported by the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council (HUNC).

    We will also be holding a Career Planning Class where anyone can learn tips from writing a resumé to interview techniques.

    Every month – in partnership with Wash on Western Laundry – we sponsor a Free Laundry Night where homeless people can do some of their laundry for free.

    All of these and other events can be found on the Calendar Page of our website.

  • Our donation drive Winter Is Coming – Give & Win was a big success. Valda Lake, owner of Wallspace L.A. had opened the doors of her gallery for us, providing a space for our supporters to stop by and drop off their donations. All in all, we received 96 sleeping bags, 18 tents and 25 tarps. Amazing!

     

    We thank anyone who donated from the bottom of our hearts!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A big thank you also to DJ Cherish The Luv who came all the way from NY to spin awesome tunes for us!

     

     

    With the temperatures recently dropping to the low 40s at night and the strong Santa Ana winds blowing tents away, there was no time to dilly-dally.

     

    We immediately started to distribute the donations to those in need, and it was not difficult to find happy takers.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    If you would like to support us in helping homeless men and women of Los Angeles to sleep less rough at night, please consider donating a sleeping bag via our Amazon Wish List. We gladly accept them any day of the year.

     

  • Earlier this week, I saw a post on Facebook by my friend Greens. He wrote that he was looking for help with organizing and preparing a Thanksgiving meal for the young homeless community in Hollywood. Greens used to be one of them. He spent years of his life on the street, struggling with addiction. With the support from others, he was finally able to get out of homelessness. Now 27, Greens has a home, a girlfriend and a job. And he wants to give back.

    We were more than happy to team up with him. Many of the kids he used to hang out with are still on the streets, and we have come to know them as guests at our monthly Free Laundry Nights.

    Since Greens didn’t know where to serve the meal yet, we reached out to Andrew, the Director of Operations at the Hollywood Adventist Church, to ask if we could set up on the church’s parking lot. Not only did he agree right away, he actually offered us to use their banquet hall and kitchen, as well as tables and chairs.

    The outside of the banquet hall of the Hollywood Adventist Church

    Matt and A Million Drops board member Denise setting up the buffet

    Matt’s 81 year old mom came to help. In the background, Andrew (right) talking to our first guest, Shane

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was such a last minute idea, we had just one day to get it all done, but it worked out beautifully. Greens and his girlfriend Clarissa cooked two turkeys, his friends Matt and Amanda prepared the side dishes, A Million Drops’ members Scott and Denise baked bread and apple cobbler, and we used some of the money that was donated to us to buy apple cider, and things like table cloths, plates, cups etc.

    The first guests arrived at 1:30, and for the next 2 hours more kept coming. We fed about 25 young people (and a couple of dogs), and they all got to take to go bags with them as well. We sat down with them, and got the chance to learn a little bit about their lives. Most of them have an email account, and we exchanged contact info so we will be able to stay in touch. Now they can reach out to us with special needs, like sleeping bags or toiletries, and we can let them know about upcoming events, like our monthly Free Laundry Nights.

    Some of our guests, enjoying their meal

    At the end of the day, one of our guests discovered the piano in the back of the room and he played for us while we started to pack and clean up.

    Brian played for us

    It was a special day; we are thankful that Greens reached out to us about participating, and we are especially thankful to the Hollywood Adventist Church for letting us use their banquet hall on such short notice.