Lakewood offers free resources to those in need

The+city+has+extended+a+hand+to+its+residents+in+this+time+of+need.+The+care+package+event+was+hosted+on+May+9%2C+2020.+Photo+credit%3A+City+of+Lakewood

The city has extended a hand to its residents in this time of need. The care package event was hosted on May 9, 2020. Photo credit: City of Lakewood

Edgar Mendoza, Community Editor

The City of Lakewood partnered with Lakewood Center, the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Project Shepherd in order to provide care packages to the local community through a drive through event on May 9.

The event, called “Lakewood Cares”, was created in response to COVID-19 as “The coronavirus has had a massive financial impact on our country, state and city,” said Mayor Todd Rogers.

“Many residents of Lakewood have lost their jobs or had their hours cut and are facing financial hardship. The good news is that Lakewood residents, businesses and civic organizations always step up to help, and my City Council colleagues and I could not be prouder to see how much support has been shown. The title of this event, ‘Lakewood Cares’, really rings true.”

With over 1000 people signed up to receive care packages, the Lakewood community generously donated over $10,000 to help the cause.

Bill Grady, public information officer for the city, states that “residents, businesses and organizations have come together to assist their neighbors who might need extra help. At this event, all the Lakewood family was invited to receive food, gift cards, supplies and other help that they might need.”

The location was chosen after “Lakewood Center took the lead in wanting to hold this event and out this together, so it was a great partnership,” Grady said. “It is the largest single location in Lakewood and because of the shutdown. Its parking lots were wide open.”

Many Lakewood merchants and business came together to help supply these care packages, including Grocery Outlet, George’s Greek Cafe, Costco, Target, Raising Cane’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Home Depot and many others.

The event was held in a drive-through format, in which attendees were instructed to keep their windows up and open their trunk for their packages to be placed inside.

For those who were unable to attend the event themselves, family members were allowed to pick up the packages for them instead.

As the event was intended to be done in a socially-distant manner, those picking up packages were not able to get out of their vehicles to answer questions.

However, those who participated have expressed their gratitude through social media platforms.

On Facebook, residents reached out to the city to say, “I love my city,” and “Thank you Lakewood for making this possible.”

This event was intended to be a one-time occurrence but Grady has stated that “it did take a lot of work to put together, but we intend to look at the results and how it went and go from there.”

“We can’t say we’ll do this again, but Lakewood is there for each other, and we’ll definitely be watching how it goes.”