LOS ANGELES – The Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today an effort to replace 2,000 Holiday Gift Bags destroyed by Monday's fire in Downtown L.A. The bags, filled with items donated mainly by city employees, were intended for homebound, frail, and other senior citizens in need. The First Lady of Los Angeles, Amy Elaine Wakeland, is leading this effort in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles.
"These Holiday Gift Bags are intended to show our appreciation for those whose hard work laid the foundation for the Los Angeles we enjoy today,” said First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland. “These aren’t luxuries – these are everyday items that can make a world of difference to a senior in need. I urge all Angelenos to join the Mayor and me in making a contribution to this effort to spread some holiday cheer to our neighbors.”
The Holiday Gift Bags had been assembled as part of Project CARE, a program of the city's Department of Aging that uses donations from city employees and others to help seniors. The bags were ready to be distributed this week when a fire broke out at an unfinished apartment building in Downtown Los Angeles. The fire shattered windows and set off sprinklers inside an adjacent building housing the Department of Aging, and the gifts were melted by the heat or soaked by the sprinklers. The Holiday Gift Bags included items like blankets, slippers, toiletries, postage stamps, and playing cards.