Gina Riberi is one amazing lady we have had the pleasure of getting to know better through her work with St. Vincent Meals on Wheels. We had the opportunity to sit down with her and have her share some of her inspirations and commitments with CED.
What or who inspires you?
What: I love great art and good design. I love things that are done “well.” I am known to be a perfectionist and so I appreciate when someone takes the time to make that extra detail to make something truly fabulous. Claudia Endler is certainly an example of this. She has the talent and takes the time to really make something extraordinary. It’s not an easy process but she does it and it shows in her work. I consider her pieces “wearable art.”
Who: Gandhi, my parents, Sister Alice Marie Quinn (founder of St Vincent Meals on Wheels) and anyone who is committed to making a positive difference about their world or community.
Do you have a favorite quote?
I have tons. One I recently heard from William Arthur Ward was,” A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”
Tell us about your commitment to Meals on Wheels?
I am currently serving my second term as President of Cuisine à Roulettes, which is the fundraising arm to St. Vincent Meals on Wheels. We are a thirty-year-old volunteer organization that helps in the delivery of meals as well as raise funds and awareness for senior hunger and homebound Angelenos in need.
What keeps you motivated?
My daughter for one. I want to be a role model for her. I think about the values I would like her to have and know that by acting rather than just saying is far more powerful. Progress and signs of making a difference for good are always inspirational. There are so many kind and generous people in Los Angeles. Sustainable change doesn’t happen overnight. It requires small steps and a mindset. I do believe that Los Angeles is truly a “city of angels” and love to see acts of compassion and kindness.
What is your favorite place in Los Angeles?
Can I name 10? What I love about Los Angeles is that it’s about 10 great cities in one. I live in Hancock Park and love the charm of the older homes and the strong sense of community. I love our fabulous museums – LACMA, the Gettys and MOCA. They are a continued source of inspiration for me. Downtown is super exciting and I love the tremendous explosion of art and great food. Our beaches are my favorite anywhere and I love to spend a late afternoon with our daughter sorting shells and rocks. I also make a point to shop and support restaurants that give back to their community. There have been a tremendous group of chefs who have given so generously to St. Vincent Meals on Wheels. They are always at the top of my dining list.
How to spend your free time?
I cherish my time with my six-year-old daughter. Seeing the world through a child’s eyes is a beautiful thing. It is filled with wonder, openness, creativity and magic. I also try to “unplug” from the world of technology. I don’t find myself creative or truly productive when I am tied to my iPhone constantly. Walks, yoga, cooking, and art all help me to do this.
Do you have a dream project or a specific vision for Meals on Wheels in the future?
My short term goal is to help St Vincent Meals on Wheels have the resources it needs to help the crisis of hunger, especially among our homebound Angelenos. There are 250,000 seniors in need in Los Angeles today and the number keeps growing. My long term goal is to ensure the viability of the St Vincent Meals on Wheels for years to come. The retirement of our baby boomers and the fact that we are living longer will likely only increase the need they are currently serving.
How can people make a donation to Meals on Wheels?
It’s as easy as clicking StVincentMoW.org or mailing a check to:
2303 Miramar St.
Los Angeles, CA 90057
We have an exceptional program in place until the end of the year. We have two anonymous donors who will do a triple match for every dollar contributed. We can feed a senior on $7.85 a day so a $25 donation today can make a huge impact.
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