In these current divisive times of selfish hate-fueled political rhetoric on a national level, it's refreshing to hear selfless, community-caring stories on a grassroots level. Longtime Bay Area hip-hop artist L-Love'
s "Backpack Drive"
is such a story. "People are in need [and] I just feel in my spirit that I have been called to action," said the underground artist born Les Mixon
Mixon's recently set up Go Fund Me: Backpack Drive
is, as its name might imply, a fundraiser to purchase backpacks for underprivileged school kids. Now as the school summer holidays near their end, low income parents are faced with often insurmountable back to school expenses. "I'm doing this drive to purchase backpacks and school supplies for kids whose parents can't afford them," said Mixon of the project that is similar to one that another East Bay artist, Oakland rapper Mistah F.A.B.,
did a couple of years ago in his community. Like F.A.B.'s direct community action, Mixon too didn't want to just talk about helping out his community. He wanted to do something concrete and to witness results.
"I have always believed in giving back. It is something that was instilled within me as a small child. My great grandfather and great grandmother really helped the community from Compton to San Bernardino. I watched their giving spirit and started helping people around my neighborho
od at around 8 years old," Mixon told the Amoeblog this week. "I knew everyone in my neighborhood because I would help all of the elderly. If they needed groceries carried inside: I was doing it, if they needed someone to house sit and feed their animals when they were gone: I was doing it. It was a fire within. Selfless acts. No glory just doing what is right." Just as Mixon's sense of responsibility for his community and willingness to do good deeds for others was handed down from his family elders, he in turn has provided a positive influence on his own offspring. "My [8 year old] daughter and myself have been growing a garden every year since she was born and donating the vegetables to the homeless. We grow things that do not need to be cooked like tomatoes, green beans, celery, snap beans, and wax beans."