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In Their Own Words— Who Are the Punk Rock Marthas Video

Who are Punk Rock Marthas? With a name like ours, it’s a common question. And one best answered by the Marthas themselves in this short, amazing video by the awesome Ryan Oksenburg of Life Line Booths on Pivot TV.

High school and college students from the past seven years are interviewed about their experiences volunteering in their communities and how it has impacted their lives.

We talk a lot about youth today, but if you have 4 minutes, you might want to give them a listen. What they say might just blow you away!Click here to watch the video

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Blanket Drive for the Homeless

It’s that time of year again! While we don’t like the focus on being generous only once a year, the holidays do pose additional challenges to groups who work with the homeless. For one, the weather! It’s cold and rainy, especially at night, and while most of us take our blankets out/put them away year after year, this is not an option when you’re on the street. And SOCKS!! I could write a book about the importance of clean, dry socks. Again, when it’s raining and your feet get wet, it’s nearly impossible to stay warm, and perpetually wet feet cause other health issues. Without washers/dryers readily available, socks are generally a disposable item for the homeless.

We purchase items and accept donations, as we “adopt” extremely low income families (near homeless families that are also served by St Francis Center) to help them celebrate the holidays, we collect/buy blankets for the homeless we’ll serve on the 20th, we’ll also have toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, soap etc) in kits for our diners that day.

This is our 7th holiday serving the homeless. We hope you will help by dropping a new/gently used blanket to Y Que Trading Post in Los Feliz (1770 N Vermont), Counterpoint Records and Books in Hollywood (5911 Franklin Avenue), or by making a donation to us via PayPal.

Thank you!

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KCRW interviews the Marthas!!

IMG_20141116_141309A few years ago when we did the memorial mural/ benefit for Elliott Smith and it got international press, we lamented that the press didn’t care when we served the homeless. What’s that expression about eating crow feathers? We were actually ecstatic to be proven wrong by the incredible Lisa Napoli, who came out to do a story on us at St Francis Center in November.

Read/listen in and enjoy!!

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Book Fair Awesomeness & Thank yous!

IMG_20141109_105245 (1)IMG_20141108_130519Yesterday was the first Hollywood Children’s Book Fair, and WOW! What a success it was!

Our motivation for tutoring kids, hosting book clubs and buying books for students came from the Marthas understanding how literacy and building a home library is essential to academic success, high school graduation– and even correlates to people staying out of prison, which if you think about it isn’t odd considering we know that prison populations generally have a high number of high school drop outs. Getting books into homes and getting kids excited about reading is so much more than a cutesy book fair (but we love cutesy book fairs!) So we were happy to work on this inaugural event!

First, thanks to all of the authors for being awesome and supportive: Cecil Castellucci, Elise Allen, Leslie Margolis, Ben Zelkowicz, Cameron Baity, Julia Gibson, Lisa Yee, Scott Bly and Kristen Kittscher. Extra thanks to Cecil, author coordinator, for helping wrangle the other authors. They were incredible!!!

Every student at Cheremoya Elementary was given a book signed by one of the authors, which is over 300 books totaling over $4000, generously purchased by the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council, The Cheremoya Foundation, Counterpoint Records and Books, and us! Cheremoya is a 100 year old school (2015) that has kids from the Hollywood Hills alongside kids from the flats, and the parents and community work hard to level the playing field for all students by increasing arts and other awesome extracurricular opportunities like this one.

Skylight Books was the ever-perfect local, indie book seller!  The amazing Kim Woo from the Goldwyn branch of the Los Angeles Public Library was on hand, and thanks to Eva Mitnick at the Central Library for giving such great PR. Eric Menjivar from State Assemblyperson Mike Gatto (congrats on your reelection) presented each author with a certificate of recognition. Lady Glitter and Tattoos did beautiful work and donated back to the event. The UPS store on Hollywood and Western donated the event signs (high five Jackie & Myrna!). The Hollywood Arts Council provided a great, free art table activity stocked with the coolest kid art making materials imaginable (thank you Shauna!) Four delicious food trucks and one amazing photo booth rounded it all out.

The people who got there earliest and stayed the latest for an eleven hour day were a handful of high school and college kids fondly known as the Marthas. Even the ones who worked four or six hours on a Saturday deserve props! Kellyn, the event intern, worked tirelessly behind the scenes for months on this. She’s taking a larger leadership role in our organization, and it’s exciting to watch young adults grow up into such compassionate, conscientious, kick ass leaders!

From now till the end of the year, it’s homeless people, socks, toiletries and blankets on our agenda. We hope you’ll join us in that arena, too!



Hollywood Children’s Book Fair Producer

Do-Good Advisor to the Punk Rock Marthas year round