The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) began its “Operation Love” activities in the wee hours of Sunday, May 10. Their goal for this day, one of the most celebrated days of the calendar year across the globe, was to celebrate Mother’s Day with the personal delivery of 500 baskets of essential personal and gift items with dinner to Mother’s who have been in isolation due to the pandemic. Mothers who are seniors, living in assisted living facilities and/or living in shelters and some who are homeless. This national effort took place on both the West and East coast where an additional 500 Washington, D.C. residents received services.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has altered how we celebrate our nation’s time-honored traditions. In many cases cancelling important celebrations all together. It is important that we make certain that no one is forgotten during this time of stay-at-home and need,” stated Sandra Evers-Manly, president BHERC. “We want to make this a special day. A day to uplift and boost their spirits.”
The volunteers gathered at BHERC “Operation Love” central to organize and load the vehicles and teams that would make the deliveries. As more than 25 volunteers hustled and busied themselves with the work, all generations were represented including members of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. From youth to elders, community and professional workers, members of the film and television industry including Gina Prince-Bythewood, Reggie Rock Bythewood, Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil and their families all came to make this a special day. Sorting, packing, lifting filling until they were ready to depart to their locations. Two Shelters in Los Angeles and Hollywood, Individual homes, the Rosa Parks Villas and Ward Villas, Assisted Living facilities and a homeless encampment. The journey would lead them to gracious and appreciative recipients that would take until 6:00PM to complete. “I am so honored by the work the BHERC is doing. The meals and gift baskets have made such a difference especially for those in need,” remarked Mordena Moore, Our Authors Study Club. Ninety-four-year-old recipient Merkie Lee Miller was elated to welcome the BHERC visitors expressing her delight saying that their words of love, the dinner and gift “lifted me like a light. I have never received such thoughtfulness like this!”
At the same time on the East coast, the BHERC “Operation Love” partner the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) in support of women for Mother’s Day in Washington, D.C., was busy working with various community agencies to deliver A Mother’s Day meal and gift bag. The bag included essential and special items for 500 families living shelters, special housing and homeless encampments. There, some of the agencies selected by NBNA picked up the gift boxes while others were delivered directly to the selected shelters and encampments. The meals and baskets will be prepared and delivered using City/State and CDC guidelines. “Each and every one of us must reach out in a safe way to make sure vulnerable populations have someone to talk to, have medications and have enough food to eat during these difficult times,” expressed Dr. Martha A. Dawson, president of the National Black Nurses Association. “We are pleased to partner with Ms. Sandra Evers-Manly during these challenging times.”
Supporters of BHERC Operation Love” include The Los Angeles Sentinel, Lawrence Tolliver, Tolliver’s Barbershop, Barbershop Health Outreach Program Dr. Bill Releford, Founder, Mothers in Action, Tracy Mitchell, president and Larry Chatman, Production Coordinator, Record One Studio. “I am so honored to support the community in such a meaningful way. Now more than ever, we need to be more loving and more kind. I am especially proud that so many volunteers have joined this effort in partnership with the BHERC,” said Evers-Manly.
Although our nation is starting its recovery, there is still a long way to go. BHERC “Operation Love” encourages everyone to remember our seniors and those with underlying conditions. Not just on special days but every day. There are simple things that each person can do and BHERC suggests that you consider reaching out to a loved in a way you choose or in one of the following ways:
- Call a senior to check on their well being
- If shopping (do so under City/State and CDC guidelines), pick up an item or two for a senior or someone in need (practice physical distancing)
- Help with an online task
- Make a meal and drop off (practice physical distancing)
- Send an online order to someone in need