Today we’d like to introduce you to Pierre Johnson.
Pierre, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I remember one summer in Las Vegas working with the athletes and one of the players threw his shoes in the trash. It was a little kid with his Dad steering at the trash and you could see that he was thinking about the shoes that were just thrown away. Seeing the look on his face made me get the shoes out the trash and have the athlete sign them, which I in turn, gave it to the kid. I believe that actual moment is when I recognized my start. It took awhile for me to identify my purpose but remembering how good that moment felt. I saw that the little things could help in a big way. It was just finding the people who actually needed to be served..
The Peggy Beatrice Foundation was named after both of my Grandmothers. Gramma Peggy, my Dad’s mom and Gramma Beatrice, my Mom’s mom and they were both strong pillars in our family. After their passing, I needed a way to honor them and continue their legacy in my heart, also with the hope that the foundation would be the glue between both sides of my family.
We had our first Christmas Toy Drive seven years ago for the 118th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles California. From that moment, I realized that we all need help whether child, woman or man. So, the foundation was constructed on the idea of rebuilding the community one family at a time.
Has it been a smooth road?
I believe it has been everything but a smooth road. As a Non-profit there is always a donation to get, a volunteer to seek, an asking of this or a borrowing of that. We have been blessed with amazing people to grow and assist the vision. Those who are way smarter than me. Being my wife Judi, our Executive Director Alicia Barmore and every volunteer and family member that has stepped through the door. If it was not for them, up unto this moment, I would have stopped along time ago. Not because I wanted to quit, it’s through the hard times that the people surrounding you are the ones truly carrying you.
The road hasn’t been easy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The hard times shaped me and showed me who I truly am and it has grown me into the person that I am today by providing a safe space where showing my heart is okay. So, I will forever be grateful for the struggles along the way.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
The PEGGY BEATRICE FOUNDATION is a non-profit organization that believes communities can be restored one family at a time.
We stand in the gap and fill the need of our unsheltered homeless neighbors, living in the heart of Skidrow, Downtown Los Angeles.
Each week we provide a full healthy nutritious meal in addition to supplies such as water, clothing and hygiene products to individuals and families.
Our goal is to build relationships with members of the homeless community in order to identify barriers to obtaining income and housing, and help our friends move beyond their homelessness. By embracing communities and people who are undeserved and lacking adequate resources, we provide individuals with the support and tools needed to meet their immediate needs.
Our dedicated volunteers are instrumental to collect, sort, organize and distribute donations. This is done weekly, as our volunteers’ schedules permit.
Needs are met mostly by people from the communities in which we work. Supplies and services are provided from our vehicles and the vehicles of our volunteers. Our ability to do this replies heavily on monetary donations from the community and from fundraising that our volunteers do.
We have been a vital part of our community for a number of years. We were founded to serve a segment of our community in need of inaccessible services. We have continued to grow with the help of our donors and volunteers that make our mission possible. Through all these years, our purpose still remains the same: communities can be restored one family at a time. We also have an elementary school and woman’s transitional home that we sponsor through the year. Please visit the peggybeatricefoundation.org to learn more of our programs and community service efforts. Be Blessed.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Unfortunately, LA is a great place for a business like ours. Last year, Los Angeles reported that there is 58,000 homeless people in the surrounding area.
For someone starting out, I would recommend them serving a few times with an organization or team that’s been in the community for a while to see how they approach things. That way, you can have insight to how you would organize your gatherings.
I would recommend the city to start a food rescue bill. Stating that hospitals, colleges, restaurants, film productions, etc… be offered a tax break for donating their unused food to organization that provide community services. Some restaurants are doing that through the harvest program, but we could end hunger if it was done on a larger level. And also, by using some of our buildings and facilities for multiple purposes could be great as well.
For example: public school by day and shelter at night.
- Website: peggybeatricefoundation.org
- Email: Peggybeatricefoundation@gmail.org
- Instagram: PeggyBeatriceFoundation
- Facebook: Peggy Beatrice Foundation
- Twitter: Peggy Beatrice Foundation
Volunteers for the Peggy Beatrice Foundation