When you take a formerly homeless veteran to lunch, you have great ideas.
At least that’s how it seems to work for Mark Horvath- founder of Invisible People and our very own Outreach Case Manager here at Ascencia.
Last December, while taking a client who is now housed to lunch, Mark decided to make Christmas Eve extra special for the 80 homeless individuals residing at the Ascencia Winter Shelter.

With just a tweet, the picture below and the generosity of Mimi’s Café in Glendale, he raised enough money to cater a hearty Christmas Eve meal.

 Along with that, Social Media Club Los Angeles held a fundraiser for Invisible People, donating tons of travel size hygiene products, warm clothes and even candy to make Christmas Eve goodie bags for our 80 residents.

That night, a small group from the Social Media Club Los Angeles, volunteered to serve the meal and hand out the goodie bags.

sm club gift bags

Among them was Shannon Smith in Richard Branson’s shoes. Yes, his shoes.

While Shannon’s visit was a surprise, the biggest surprise came this morning when Richard Branson announced that he would make a donation to the Ascencia Winter Shelter on behalf of the first 2,000 people who tweet “#shoeathon”.

It’s no secret that Richard Branson, Virgin Unite – the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group and Virgin Mobile do a lot of work in fighting youth homelessness, but we could have never imagined they’d find their way to our Ascencia Winter Shelter. The Virgin Group efforts are a real example of how a brand can work together to really make a difference.

That’s why we’d love to have your support, on twitter, right now. Log on or sign up and tweet to @richardbranson & @virginmlive with the hashtag #shoeathon- let them know that you support their donation to help keep 80 individuals off the streets this winter.

We couldn’t be more grateful to Richard Branson and everyone who has shown their support this morning!

This Winter Shelter has been a very ‘bare bones’ operation. With so little funding, we’ve been doing the best we can to shelter and feed people – but have been making it through thanks to the generosity of our community, both near and far.

Thanks so much Richard Branson! Huge thanks to Shannon Smith, Virgin Unite, Virgin Mobile, Mark Horvath and Invisible People.


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