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Volunteer Recap: Carnival of Love

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Human dignity is priceless. Yes, giving of material and financial donations are incredibly important, in fact essential. However, on January 28, 2017, I was reminded of the value of just listening to someone while looking that person in the eye. Philanthropy is crucial to helping to make the world a better place, but Wayfarer’s Skid Row Carnival of Love was a fantastic event to bring home the impact of holding hands, literally, with the people we are looking to most help.

A bunch of my fellow Omazers, myself and our friends showed up early on that Saturday morning to help volunteer and make the Carnival of Love a great day for the residents of Skid Row in Los Angeles. The response was so overwhelming that they already reached maximum capacity before the event even started. How cool is that? Los Angeles is filled with people willing to show up and put in the time to make the world a better place and I truly felt it that day. The problem was quickly solved by sending volunteers out into the neighborhood to help spread the love and fun of the day.

This was a fantastic event that offered dignity, love, care, services and most of all, some fun to the residents of Skid Row. The amount of people in need of the basic necessities of life, things many of us take for granted, was something I had never personally experienced before.

Going into the Carnival of Love I did not expect to encounter, firsthand, so many children in need. I stayed with this little girl and watched her when her mother went and secured bedding, clothes and more for her and her little brother, who was only six months old. The little girl was not much younger than my daughter. I spent time with her, holding her hand, talking to her and playing with her. I saw all the potential in her eyes. I thought of all this little girl had to offer the world, if only given the chance. I thought about the responsibility I had, that we all have to ensure she’s given the opportunities to thrive and become the best version of herself. This little girl’s life is valuable and she deserves the chance to shine.

My friend Heather also joined me for the day as a volunteer. She is a nurse. She spent the day at the event washing the feet of those in need.

I emerged from this incredible event of giving to be reminded that there is so much each of us could do, if we are willing. That in our own city, there are people in great need of our time, of our touch, of being offered the dignity they deserve.

Wayfarer’s Carnival of Love taught me to just get out there and give love.

–Vikki Karan, Director of Business Affairs

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