Local Hearts Foundation helps hundreds with turkey giveaway in MacArthur Park

Tito Rodriguez, also known as “Hood Santa,” helps families in need year-round. And with the help of his nonprofit, Local Hearts Foundation, Rodriguez continued that commitment this weekend by ensuring families can enjoy a traditional holiday meal.

The organization held its annual Diamonds and Turkeys giveaway on Saturday at MacArthur Park.

“Times are tough, and people need help,” Rodriguez said.

While the giveaway is held every Thanksgiving and Christmas, this year proved more difficult than in years past.

Rodriguez said the Local Hearts Foundation gave away about 2,600 turkeys last Thanksgiving, but this year, they distributed just over 1,200. The drop, he said, is directly tied to inflation and the increased cost of turkeys.

Looking ahead to Christmas, Rodriguez said he hopes to get more support to help as many people as possible. He is unwavering in his efforts to give back and encourages people to donate to the Local Hearts Foundation, which can be done online.

Tito Rodriguez, also known as “Hood Santa,” helps move hundreds of frozen turkeys out of a truck as over 200 volunteers help with the Local Hearts Foundation’s Diamonds and Turkeys giveaway at MacArthur Park in Long Beach on Saturday, November 19, 2022. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Jorge Estrada tosses a box of food to Hector Rodriguez as over 200 volunteers set up for the Local Hearts Foundation’s Diamonds and Turkeys giveaway at MacArthur Park in Long Beach on Saturday, November 19, 2022. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Hundreds of people wait in line at MacArthur Park for a free turkey as over 200 volunteers help with the Local Hearts Foundation’s Diamonds and Turkeys giveaway in Long Beach on Saturday, November 19, 2022. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

 

Tito Rodriguez, or ‘Hood Santa,’ gives back to local youth

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Jackie Rae is a multimedia reporter for the Long Beach Post who joined in May 2021.
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