Goodies to Go

Connecting a Caring Community Goodies to Go program
Ongoing event dates
Los Angeles area

Goodies to Go was a project from the Calabasas-based Connecting a Caring Community (CCC) organization that provided snacks to low-income families at the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House. When Covid-19 hit, CCC heard from hospital administrators that frontline workers  were inundated with patients and often able to stop for meal breaks. They relied on grab and go snacks to sustain them through shifts. With quick thinking from CCC co-founder Lisa Kodimer, in partnership with volunteers Gina and Emily Eckstein, they were quickly able to transition the snack program to serve the hospital teams. Read on to see the group at work and to find out more about this amazing organization and project.

Goodies to Go Dream Team Top, left to right: Michelle Cohan, Jen and Zach Levinson, Marty Goldstein (blessed memory), Brenda Gillis, Lisa Kodimer, Galit Linder Bottom, left to right: Stacy Tobin, Valerie Bennish and Lisa Berger

Community invovlement

In just three weeks, their Goodies to Go campaign, with the slogan “Snacks for your belly. Love for your soul” raised more than $20,000. Combined with snack drives run by community volunteers, this has allowed them to continue stocking local hospitals with thousands of snacks each week.

The campaign inspired others in the community got involved. Volunteers began hosting snack drives in Calabasas, Malibu, Tarzana, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Sherman Oaks and San Pedro. Local schools, youth sports teams and Temple Or Ami in Calabasas collected snacks as well. Three local women celebrated their milestone birthdays by collecting donations from their friends and families. They purchased more than 5,000 snacks to contribute. No wonder they have gotten noticed by local news networks.

20-year-old Rylee Singer hosted a snack drive with her temple Congegation Or Ami in Calabasas

CCC Board of Directors, from left: Lisa Kodimer, Marty Goldstein (blessed memory) and Phyllis Shinbane

Volunteers Oliver and Michele Merlob

Lisa Kodimer with her husband, Kory

Corporate partnerships

And by corporations wanting to contribute. CCC received snack donations from GoGo squeeZ (one of the executives lives in Westlake), Dole Food Company, Kate’s Real Food, That’s It Bar (the owners are from Calabasas), Kellogg’s, BLK Water (the owners are from Hidden Hills). It has been a true community effort.

Goodies to Go delivery items ready for frontline workers at West Hills Hospital

CCC asked the hospitals what more could be done to support those on the front lines. One request was to honor the tireless nursing staff on Nurses Day. In partnership with Whitney and Howard Schwartz of Whitney Howard Designs and Chiara Scuderi of I.C.O.N. Products, more than 5000 nurses were recognized with beautiful gifts. Additionally, during Hospital Week, in partnership with Mindy Salandra and Panera Restaurants, more than 1,000 staff at West Hills Hospital were treated to a sweet snack of cookies and milk to say “Thank you being a tough cookie and fighting Covid-19.”

Hospitals served

So far, the Goodies to Go program (and others) have served hospitals including Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers Woodland Hills and Panorama City, Providence Cedars Sinai Tarzana Medical Center, St. Mary’s Hospital (Long Beach), Torrance Memorial Medical Center, UCLA Westwood Campus, UCLA Olive View Hospital, USC Hospitals (3 locations), Valley Presbyterian Hospital and West Hills Hospital.

Connecting a Caring Community co-founder Lisa Kodimer (second from right) with, from left from West Hills Hospital: Aimee Bennet – Director of Marketing, CEO, Mark Miller and Dr. Marc Lavin, MD, FACP

About the organization

Connecting a Caring Community is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and mobilizing the community to live a life of giving through time, money and meaningful projects. The organization’s vision is to encourage others into action through community programs and projects. Their goal is to create a culture of giving back through awareness and hands-on experiences. They also provide opportunities to get further involved with partner organizations and the people they touch. They believe this formula affects both the recipient and the giver, which in turn, enables participants to give, love and grow.

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