The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for many people across the globe, but the generosity of these West Hollywood businesses has been bringing much-needed hope and resources to their community. From non-profits to restaurants and medical supply stores, this community has been helping everyone from those in healthcare, the hospitality industry, nursing homes, and more. Here are six businesses that show what a kind place West Hollywood is.
Known for their delicious cocktails, Employees Only is a bar and restaurant in West Hollywood that has been giving back during the pandemic by giving away free meals to hospitality workers every day. Anyone working in hotels, restaurants, bars, cafés, and coffee shops are eligible for these meals. Owner Tom Sopit had the idea to give back to the industry that he works in because he recognizes that hospitality workers are being hit especially hard economically by the pandemic. Worried about sustaining his own business, especially since the restaurant’s second anniversary was close, Tom wanted to give back to other hospitality workers struggling in the community. If his business were to close, he wanted to be able to help his employees and everyone who works so hard in the industry beforehand. The meals can be picked up outside of the restaurant from 5 PM - 8 PM free of charge, and every worker is given a maximum of two meals a day. They are making and giving away 100 meals on a first-come, first-serve basis every day for as long as they can afford to do so. To pick up your meal, show your last paycheck or something that proves that you work in the hospitality industry.
Tom Sopit created a GoFundMe to keep the meal program running for as long as possible and has received a substantial amount of donations, including donations from some of the brands of drinks the restaurant serves. This West Hollywood business inspired change not only in their own community but the rest of Los Angeles as well. The United Bartenders Guild caught word of the GoFundMe and has teamed up with Employees Only to raise money and expand the efforts to help hospitality workers impacted by COVID-19 throughout the Los Angeles area. Employees Only is an amazing example of how West Hollywood inspires not only our community but others who are also experiencing the effects of the pandemic.
A resource that is especially needed during this pandemic is face masks. They have and continue to be essential in helping to protect everyone in our communities. Humanity Heroes wants to make sure that everyone has access to them. A non-profit organization located in West Hollywood, Humanity Heroes aims to help the homeless community through their direct action projects. To help with COVID-19, they have donated and distributed 17,000 masks to the homeless. This community is especially vulnerable during a time like this and many cannot afford to buy masks, which can help protect them as well as anyone around them. Some of the masks Humanity Heroes donated went to the Hollywood Food Coalition, who said they greatly appreciated these efforts and that “having these masks and distributing them is hugely helpful.” Other masks went to the Homeless Healthcare of LA, which gives homeless individuals a place to shower, do laundry, and other tasks. Now, masks will be another essential service they can receive there. The organization also donated 700 N95 face masks to frontline healthcare workers at the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.
Humanity Heroes didn’t want to stop at just donating masks. They are also actively creating care packages that contain essentials for the homeless during the pandemic. Named after their organization, these “humanity packs” include items such as sanitization products and resources. Humanity Heroes is a great example of how the West Hollywood community gives back to each other, which is so important during a time like this.
Healthcare workers have been working extremely hard throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, so these two LA businesses teamed up to help give back to those who tirelessly work to help others. Olivetta, a European-style restaurant in West Hollywood, and The Draycott, a Californian and British restaurant in Palisades Village have started a campaign called “You Give, We Cook, They Eat.” The campaign’s goal is to raise money to make meals for healthcare workers. To do this, they created a GoFundMe. With these donations, Olivetta and The Draycott are able to make and deliver meals to hardworking healthcare workers at numerous hospitals in LA, such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, UCLA Medical Center Santa Monica, UCLA Westwood, Children’s Hospital LA, and St. John’s Hospital. They have also delivered meals to people who are in self-isolation and to the elderly who cannot go out and get their own food. So far, their campaign has raised over $40,000 of their $50,000 goal. That’s a lot of meals for the workers in our community!
Crossroads Kitchen, a vegan restaurant open since 2013, has joined forces with a COVID-19 relief initiative called Support and Feed. Located in West Hollywood on Melrose and Sweetzer, Crossroads Kitchen serves completely meatless Mediterranean meals. The restaurant prides itself on providing flavorful food that is adored by vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike. They decided to join forces with Support and Feed to give back to the LA community.
The Support and Feed initiative brings plant-based food and meals to hospitals, homeless shelters, domestic abuse shelters, senior shelters, and LGBTQ+ shelters. This organization focuses on bringing food to marginalized communities who are the most in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those working with Support and Feed pick up meals from all of the restaurants they’ve partnered with, including Crossroads Kitchen, and bring them directly to the places they are being donated to.
Backyard Bowls is a restaurant known for its açai bowls, smoothies, and hot porridge. It has been loved for over 12 years with locations in West Hollywood as well as other LA areas. The Backyard Bowls team was inspired to create a campaign called “Backyard Bowls Feeds the Frontline”. With this campaign, they made a GoFundMe to collect donations that will go straight to making healthy, balanced meals for anyone working the frontlines at four hospitals in the area: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Good Samaritan, UCLA Medical, and St. John's Health Center. For every $10 donation, they will make and deliver one of their famous açai bowls to a healthcare worker. Backyard Bowls is all about helping people stay healthy and they want to recognize the bravery and hard work of the people in our community who do this for everyone the most. So far they have raised over $4,000, which means that over 400 meals have been donated to our frontline workers!
With the impact of COVID-19 on our healthcare system, having enough medical supplies is extremely necessary and important. Innover Healthcare, a West Hollywood medical supply store, wanted to help make sure that healthcare and frontline workers have enough supplies throughout the pandemic. Known for selling medical-grade products, especially focusing on people traveling and those at risk of getting an illness. Innover Healthcare decided to use its innovative medical-grade products to help the people keeping everyone safe during this time. They have created a fundraiser where anyone can donate money to provide PPE supplies such as masks, gloves, goggles, and disinfecting supplies to hospitals and people in need. They are also providing meals for our frontline workers. They have raised almost $10,000 and have provided hundreds of masks, meals, and other supplies to frontline workers. For every $5 raised, they are able to provide two medical-grade masks or one meal for a worker. On just the second day of their fundraiser, they delivered 200 meals and 200 medical-grade KN95 masks to nurses, EMS workers, firefighters, doctors, and more.
The businesses and organizations highlighted in this article are just a glimpse at how generous, kind, and community-oriented West Hollywood is. Are you interested in finding a West Hollywood real estate agent? LH Spaces can help you find the dream luxury condo or home you’ve been looking for!