The time for giving is upon us, and more and more people are looking for ways to spread joy and blessings throughout their community. If you don’t know where to start, or are just looking for a fun event to attend, then you’re ready for Hashtag Lunchbag. A movement founded by a group of friends in Los Angeles whom created the hashtag to promote local hunger concerns via social media.
Julz Goddard, of YesJulz Agency, took notice and decided to start up a Hashtag Lunchbag in Miami.
“I Think Hashtag Lunchbag is amazing because it is a grassroots movement that isn’t intimidating and anyone can do it,” Goddard said. “All you need is a few friends and some ingredients for a few bagged lunches.”
On November 23, I got to experience this up-and-coming event first hand, and I must say, it was nothing short of impressive.
Ready to feed the homeless in jeans and a baggy shirt, I was prepared to walk into a dim and depressing place, where someone was going to hand me a hair net and an apron. Instead, I walked into what I can only describe as a full blown party, complete with a bartender pouring up drinks.
Held at the exotic car rental showroom, Lou La Vie—1444 Biscayne Blvd.—Hashtag Lunchbag was not the soup kitchen I had in mind. With performances by the Young Visionaries from The Motivational Edge and DJ Affect bumping tunes, you couldn’t help but have a little pep in your step.
There were different stations set up throughout the venue; assembling sandwiches, writing inspirational notes, packing clothes in bags, etc. No one was confined to any specific area. People took full advantage, mingling around and genuinely having a good time while helping those in need.
“The cool thing about what we do is we make it fun and engaging,” Julz said. “We throw some tunes on and invite all the people you probably wouldn’t expect to see giving back and then ask them to tell the world about it via their social media. It’s about spreading awareness and inspiring others to do the same.”
Damaris Lopez, a 21-year-old model and clothing designer expressed her joy for being part of this movement.
“It’s a place where a lot of big industry people from Miami give up their Sundays to come feed the homeless,” Lopez said. “It’s great vibes, great energy. There is no place I’d rather be at than here right now helping the less fortunate. I’m super blessed to this day, so why not at least give up my time.”
You might be thinking this type of volunteering only caters to the early 20’s demographic, but don’t be fooled; age groups ranged from senior citizens down to an adorable nine-year-old, Jazlyn Quraan.
“I just like to help,” Quraan said. “I like to feed the homeless and I think it’s very important to feed those who are less fortunate.”
Big name companies are also taking notice, with sponsorships and donations coming from Vita Coco, Purette, Kind, Zico, and LaCroix water.
“The next [event] is December 26,” Julz said. “I encourage everyone to come and see what it’s all about. Bring your mom. Bring the kids. It’s fun for everyone.”
For more information, visit their hashtaglunchbag.org or follow @hashtaglunchbag on Twitter.