Twenty years ago, Barry Walker found himself at a crossroads in life. Some take the turn on the road that sees their life descend into utter disarray become increasingly more shambolic, spinning wildly out of control, while others embark on new territory and do something that will forever define them in the greatest possible way.
What started out as a small act of kindness with Walker feeding less than a dozen people outside his California apartment on Thanksgiving has grown in magnitude, depth, and a gift that keeps giving from one generation to the next — the gift of teaching others how very fortunate they are for what they have, when others have next to nothing. And also, the gift of kindness to those who need it the most. Say hello to Gooble Gooble Give.
For the past two decades now on Thanksgiving, Walker, his family, friends, and volunteers come together to gather dry goods, box warm food, and walk the streets of their community to hand out care packages to homeless individuals and families.They set out in cars, hop on their bikes or simply walk down the street where they find people living in their vehicles, in an alley or under a bridge and they randomly turn up and wish those on the street who are hungry and homeless a warm holiday coupled with an equally warm meal.
This year, Gooble Gooble Give delivered over 23,000 meals to people on the streets on Thanksgiving morning across 16 cities (they added five more cities this year). Not only that, thousands of cans of food were additionally delivered as were 15,000 toothbrush kits, thousands of warm articles of clothing and blankets; around 40people were given haircuts; dozens and dozens of people were provided with showers — and ten people had complete makeovers. And to really warm your heart: Two job offers given to two members of the street.
As Walker says, it was “not a bad year.”
It’s a remarkable legacy to create.
For Walker, his standout moment of this year was the fact he could connect on the ground where all this began by hitting the streets himself.
Kindness and Hope also embarked upon our own journey with Gooble Gooble Give, and below is our first-hand account of helping those far less fortunate on Thanksgiving morning:
Here are some previous clips of Gooble Gooble Give in action: