...a place of compassionate service where we celebrate life!
Hand to Hand (H2H) was started by City of Santa Monica employees in 1987 when they realized that no one was providing food on Saturdays, and homeless and poor people were going hungry the last day for each week. Led by the City Attorney, Robert Myers, they made sandwiches inside City Hall, and served them on the front lawn. They paid out of their own pockets to buy the sandwich makings. Many City of Santa Monica employees continue to contribute to Hand to Hand today.
In 1997 Debbie Baxter accepted the call to become the Executive Director, and started to build the program with hot coffee, clothing, new socks and underwear, a barbershop, and meals on holidays.
The Funding Passion and Love Foundation, created in honor of a former H2H volunteer, Andy Stallman, began providing key quarterly support to keep the program going and continues to be the major donor. Hundreds of individuals also contribute financially to help buy the food.
In 2006 a new parternship with the City of Santa Monica was established and H2H eventually moved to the City's new Access Center at 503 Olympic Blvd. The American Martyrs Catholic Church joined the effort, running its free "store" every fourth Saturday and providing other services. Then a parternship with St. Francis Meals on Wheels created an opportunity to provide hot, freshly cooked food.
Hand to Hand continues to create partnerships and attract volunteers and donors who see an opportunity to express caring and help those cast aside by our society to find dignity and respect, and not go hungry.