Living in what she describes as a gorgeous apartment in Marina Del Rey, working two jobs and already having made so many great experiences while studying through the QU in LA program, junior Emma Soviero began to think about all those around her that didn’t have these luxuries and struggled just get to food, shelter and warmth on a daily basis.
Her solution: she was going to do what she could to help the vast homeless population that resided in nearby Venice, California.
“I wanted to give back to the city that has given me so much,” Soviero said. “My life has been filled with love, kindness, support and endless opportunities, and I wanted to share that with the homeless people of Venice.”
Support was something Soviero knew she needed and was proud to receive a lot of via a GoFundMe page she had created for her project. This GoFundMe page raised $315 in a little under two weeks, something she said she is very thankful for.
“I told everyone my mission and I got so much support from my family and friends, specifically at Quinnipiac,” Soviero said. “I can’t say in words how grateful I am for that, this is a cause so close to my heart and I really want to help these people more than anything.”
With the money from the GoFundMe page and help from close friend Brenna LeBrun, also currently studying in LA, she did just that. They went grocery shopping to buy all sorts of food and toiletries to be separated into bags and then brought it to the homeless people in Venice with the help of LeBrun’s parents and one of their friends.
“We approached the homeless people living aside the Venice boardwalk and they were thrilled and so grateful for what we were doing” Soviero said.
As Soviero began to talk with people on the beach she realized something. She realized these individuals are lonely and all they really wanted was someone to talk to and share their thoughts with because it was such a rare opportunity for them.
These conversations and the appreciation the homeless people of Venice showed Soviero had a profound impact on her abroad experience in Los Angeles that she said she will always remember.
“I feel like I have made a difference in this community and that is something I will carry with me and remember for the rest of my life,” Soviero said. “Although I know how lucky I am to be here, helping the homeless that day made me realize it even more. It also made me realize how important it is to help others, especially in the place you live, because I believe one must give back to the place you call your home.”
This attitude and mindset Soviero possesses that makes her inclined to help others is a part of what LeBrun describes to be Soviero’s very unique personality.
“[Soviero] is very focused and when she sets her mind to something she goes for it full force” LeBrun said, “That’s what brought her to start this project; she saw these human beings who were in a bad situation and needed help and she was determined to do something about it.”
And that is exactly what they did and will do with the remaining money from the GoFundMe page donations. There is $65 remaining that they will be using very soon to bring more supplies back to the homeless people of Venice, according to LeBrun.
Soviero originally came to LA to complete two film internships, network and get an idea of what life is like there because she plans to move there after graduation. Although, it was only for a short while, Soviero said she is proud to have made a difference in the community.
“It was so humbling and I have never felt better about myself, knowing we made a difference in these people’s lives,” Soviero said. “I have fully appreciated every single day here in LA, especially since the day I decided to help these beautiful people in need.”