Christmas Toy drive on Skid Row
By: Anahita Namavar
Paradise Charity, is a none for profit organization founded by Dr. Bahar G. Danesh.
On December 23, 2017 Dr. Bahar Gharib Danesh, her two children and several other volunteers decided to play Santa. They delivered 2 trucks full of toys to homeless children living on skid row as well as the Midnight Mission shelter, Downtown LA!
I had an opportunity to interview Dr. Bahar Gharib Danesh after her toy drive and I was humbled by her act of generosity and fearless zeal.
Q: What made you decide to personally be involved in delivering the toys when you could have asked volunteers to do it for you?
A: I wanted to see the smiling faces of all the kids when I personally handed them their Christmas gifts. I wanted them to know that I cared.
Q: Why did you take your children?
A: In the spirit of Christmas it was important for me to be there personally, and I thought it was a great opportunity to get my children involved. Living in the suburbs I believe that my children are sheltered and unaware of the many families in LA who do not have a home nor the means to purchase a Christmas tree let alone gifts. It’s important for children to see how other kids live so that they are grateful. Also, I wanted them to learn about giving. Christmas is not just about receiving gifts, but it also about giving.
Q: Did anything scary happen while you were delivering the toys?
A: I had toys in the back of our trucks and as we were passing out the toys, some of the adult patrons got aggressive and started garbing the toys out of my hands. They were pulling and pushing. That’s when I closed the back of the truck and headed towards Midnight Mission. We dropped of the toys there for the shelter to pass out on Christmas Eve.
Q: How did you feel about the whole event?
A: I am very happy that I had the opportunity to put a smile on those kids faces. Being a single mother with two children, I know what it is like for children to get excited about Christmas! I also know that disappointment can hurt a child’s dream. Being there was priceless. I am happy to have had the opportunity to share that experience with my kids and some of my close friends.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with Paradise Charity?
A: With the rising cost of living in LA homelessness is on the rise. One of my son’s friend whose mom lost her high paying job, ended up moving her family f 4 into a motel room until she got back on her feet. She was living on her unemployment check and couldn’t afford to keep the room after a few months. I had the opportunity to help her on behalf of Paradise Charity. It’s tough being a single mom. It breaks my heart to see so many people in our community suffering from homelessness. It’s not something I can change but I am glad I can offer some help. I hope that I was able to make those kids happy, even if it was just for one day! My goal is to inspire children to work for a better future, and I hope that someday these same kids will pay it forward.