Thanksgiving is the one time of year where all the big names and beautiful people descend on Skid Row's LA Mission to "give back." It's heartwarming to see them take time out of their hectic schedules and exciting new projects to help those less fortunate (while all the cameras are there.) Some even bring along their publicists to let reporters like me know they're available to discuss how much they love "giving back!"
There's also the selfless-selfies of stars wearing the LA Mission apron, with hashtags like #GivingBack #FeelsGreat #Thankful to let fans and followers know what they're all about.
Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to ridicule those volunteering their time to help others less fortunate. It's a beautiful thing and it's what Thanksgiving is all about. Plus all the star power definitely brings awareness to the LA Mission and the work they do. But guess what? They do that work YEAR ROUND. Skid Row isn't a pop-up holiday store. The homeless get hungry the other 364 days too.
The folks at the LA Mission have told me EVERYONE wants to come help for their big Thanksgiving street party but it's the celebrities who come back when the cameras are gone that really "give back" for nothing in return. It's the ordinary citizens that come out regularly to pitch in and help their community. It's the folks who stayed at the LA Mission when they had fallen on hard times, then returned to pay it forward.
Those are the stories I love to cover. But if it takes Neil Patrick Harris carving 3,200 lbs of turkey to get me the assignment, then let's all be thankful for do-gooder Doogie Howser! Just remember, that "great feeling" we get "giving back" can happen all year long.
If you would like to donate to the LA Mission, here's a LINK