The CEO of Advanced Nutrients, Michael “BigMike” Straumietis, a.k.a. the Marijuana Don, donated over $100,000 worth of goods to 2,000 homeless with his charity, Holiday Heroes, during Easter weekend. Holiday Heroes started in Bulgaria in 2012, and launched in Los Angeles last Christmas.
On April 14th 75 volunteers, including Advanced Nutrients team members, met at 9 a.m. to assemble 2,000 backpacks for men, women, and children in need. The backpacks contained essential, non-perishable necessities including blankets, washcloths, feminine hygiene products, socks, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, rain poncho, flashlight, toys for children, and more.
Straumietis and his team of Holiday Heroes staff and volunteers dropped off donations at multiple locations around the Los Angeles area, including the Union Rescue Mission in Sylmar, and Comunidad César Chavez family housing in East Los Angeles. Then the group headed into Skid Row in downtown LA where the remaining backpacks were distributed. Holiday Heroes was joined by the “Down But Not Out” team—a local volunteer organization that feeds Skid Row residents every Thursday evening.
Straumietis feels that every company that can afford to start a charity should. He says, “I started Holiday Heroes because I saw an unmet need in the community that supported my businesses, so I wanted to help.”
He saw no charities helping hungry families in Bulgaria, so he felt “a moral obligation to create one.” Here in Los Angeles, homelessness is a bigger problem than hunger, he says: “I believe the greatest need is for those living on the streets, so Skid Row has become a major focus for the Los Angeles Chapter of Holiday Heroes.”
For all HIGH TIMES’ culture coverage, click here.