Los Angeles is a HUGE city both geographically and by population. It’s hard to find your “community” here, especially if you’re fairly new to the city.
This community has characteristics of living in a small town:
- Most people are less than 6 degrees of knowing everyone else in the community.
- There is a very strong likelihood that if you step foot in Hermosa Beach you WILL run into someone you know.
- A lot of marriages and babies came out of this group. 🙂
- People do genuinly care about each other and support each other’s endeavors.
It’s the latter bullet point I want to talk about today.
I met Jesus Mejia, the founder of South Bay Santa in a beach volleyball class. I don’t remember if I was coaching at that point and that’s how we met, or was just in a class with him, but his charisma won people over in the community.
9 years ago he started South Bay Santa, where he’d recruit some friends to help out getting some Christmas presents for some local families in need.
The event grew each year, and the annual wrapping party that was held at someone’s house was eventually moved to a local brewery (King Harbor Brewery-partly owned by another member of the beach volleyball community) to accommodate the growing number of people willing to help out.
South Bay Santa helps out approximately 4-5 families in need each year. After the presents are wrapped, Jesus and his “elves” head to the homes of the families to deliver the presents (You can watch a video here).
I was an elf one year, and it was great to experience the excitement and gratitude these families felt. We were thanked over and over.
This year, I was one of the lucky recipients to receive $100 from J. Money and Rockstar Finance to spend money on something good this holiday season.
So of course I chose South Bay Santa.
I spent $50 on a Home Depot gift card for a father who had all his tools stolen. And the rest on Lizbeth, a 14-year-old girl who wanted some new clothes who had lost most of her things in a fire.
So thank you to J. Money for that and thank, you to Jesus and the South Bay Santa team for helping out families in need each Christmas.
A few words for the South Bay Santa Founder, Jesus Mejia: