Looking to avoid political altercations this Thanksgiving, but don’t have a reason to bail on the potential doomsday feast? Luckily, there’s an opportunity to volunteer with New Generation, one of the newest Measure BB compliant dispensaries, on Thursday to help hand out basic goods to the homeless in Santa Ana.
“I’m blessed to be in a position to help people who have nothing,” says Justin Shivley, the CEO of New Generation, whose passion for helping the homeless rings through his voice. “So many people with nothing gather right there at the city steps who could really use our help. It’s cool that the city let’s them sleep there and lay there, but why haven’t they done anything more? I just know that I’m fortunate to be able to help—if I was in their position, I’d like if someone were to help me.”
So here’s the low down: At noon on Thursday, the New Gen crew will congregate and organize in front of the main parking structure near to the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse and next to the jail on Boyd Way and Civic Center Drive. They encourage anyone who wishes to participate to bring cases of water, blankets, sweaters, socks, pillows, gloves and any thing warm to hand out to the people camped out in that area. Unfortunately due to city permitting issues, it’s asked that no food items are brought to give away. “We wanted to hand out food and have meals for people, but apparently you need a permit to do that,” Shivley says with a laugh. “Who knew they made it so hard to help people?”
But if ditching Thanksgiving isn’t an option, there’s still a way to get involved—and get stoned, too. New Generation is also holding a food-drive TODAY from 10 am until 8 pm at the dispensary. And the more you bring to donate, the more you’ll get rewarded with free herb.
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Here’s what you need to know about the food drive: If you donate five cans of food or three boxed food items or two jars of peanut butter—and you have your doctors recommendation—you get one top-shelf pre-rolled joint for free. If you prefer doing your business in paper, however, you can also donate $10, which will go toward a pre-wrapped gift basket filled with all the Thanksgiving essentials, minus the turkey. And for every $10 donated, you're rewarded with a free gram of flower. All donations will benefit Santa Ana-based non-profit Grandmas House of Hope and all Nana's House Shelters.
What makes this food drive a win-win for everyone is that there’s no cap on how much you can donate. So, in theory, your Thanksgiving could be a canna-feast. “If someone wants to bring in 10 cans we’ll give them two pre-rolls,” says Shively. “If someone wants to bring in 20, we’ll give them four. Honestly, the more we can donate, the better.”
Whether you’re looking to bail all together or simply medicate yourself through this politically-charged holiday (or donate out of the goodness of your heart) New Generation has provided a charitable means to do so. “Homelessness is a major problem here—have you seen the Santa Ana River bed?,” asks Shivley. “It’s heartbreaking. This is the least we can do to help and give back to those in need.”
Food drive: 3700 W. Segerstrom Ave., Suite A Santa Ana, CA 92704; Thursday Volunteer Meet up: 1020 W Civic Center Dr, Santa Ana, CA 92703