In continuation of their five-week 'Season of Giving' campaign, the Los Angeles Rams teamed up with Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions to host a holiday meal and grocery distribution for 300 community members at St. Joseph Center in South Los Angeles. In addition, Rams guard Tremayne Anchrum Jr. and staff joined The People Concern to serve meals and distribute presents at their locations in Compton and Santa Monica.
Rams players joined Rams Cheerleaders, mascot Rampage and front office volunteers to spread holiday cheer at St. Joseph's holiday celebration.
Rams offensive lineman Steve Avila emphasized how being in Los Angeles provides him with opportunities to give back to so many people and he's grateful for the opportunity to be present in various communities.
This was the Rams sixth annual holiday celebration for St. Joseph Center clients. At the celebration team partner, Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions contributed a $15,000 grant for all attendees to receive grocery gift cards in an effort to combat food insecurity.
"When we have people to actually pour into our communities, to sacrifice their time and to come spend time with us in our community, it shows that they support our mission," said St. Joseph Center's interim CEO LaTonya Smith. She added that the event gave community members resources they are often unable to get on their own while providing an exciting end to their season of holiday celebrations.
St. Joseph Center's mission is to provide working poor families, as well as homeless men, women, and children of all ages with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community.
The People Concern's mission aligns with St. Joseph Center as they offer evidence-based solutions to homelessness and domestic violence. Through their fully integrated system of care, they provide outreach, interim and permanent supportive housing, mental and medical health care, substance use services, domestic violence support, life skills and wellness programs.
Tremayne Anchrum Jr.joined Rams staff volunteers in creating a merry and welcoming atmosphere at The People Concern. Together, they served warm meals and gifted a heartfelt present to each member in attendance. Rams partner, Xponential Fitness, also supported the event at The People Concern's Santa Monica location.
"It's important to continue this season of generosity and make sure that this is not just an event, but this is a lifestyle. This is a priority to us because it's [not only] a good thing to do, but it's the right thing to do. As a pillar of this community, it's only right that we serve all the parts," Anchrum Jr. explained on the importance of giving his time to The People Concern.
Anchrum Jr., the Rams Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee in 2022, connected with The People Concern two years ago and has been a regular volunteer at their facilities in an effort to help serve individuals impacted by the effects of homelessness, poverty, mental and physical illness, abuse and addiction. He was drawn to their process of helping people. As part of his volunteering, he prepares meals, cleans and makes donations.
Describing the impact of the day, Josh Hertz, director of development for The People Concern said, "It makes everything better when community shows up for people who have had systems fail them and things go wrong in their lives." He added, "For the team to make the effort to come out to two of our sites and throw parties for people and give them holiday magic, it means a lot to our clients."
The People Concern, one of Los Angeles County's largest social services agencies, believes that everyone should be housed, healthy and safe. With compassion and profound respect, they guide participants in navigating life's challenges, enabling them to connect with and contribute to their communities as their best selves.
"Having an organization like the Rams be involved is incredible, because sports represent cities. The Rams have been such an important part of Los Angeles," said Hertz.
The Rams also supported St. Margaret’s Center’s Christmas Celebration for more than 1,000 low-income children and families as part of their 'Season of Giving' campaign, between November 21 and December 20. Since 2018, Rams players, cheerleaders, mascot Rampage, and front office staff have participated in annual Community Blitz days of service that have helped to address food insecurity and provide gifts to those in need.