Greg Berlanti and 200 Staffers Help Homeless With Survival Kits

Berlanti's Holiday Giving Back Team Spirit - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Samsung

First on the assembly line was 'Supergirl' and 'Riverdale' executive producer Berlanti, who said, "There's no small act when it comes to helping someone's life."

On Dec. 7, more than 200 staffers from Berlanti Productions — the prolific TV production company behind such shows as Arrow, The Flash, Riverdale, You, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Batwoman — turned out on a Saturday to volunteer and help pack survival kits for The Giving Spirit, a nonprofit which aids people experiencing homelessness.

Showrunners Eric Wallace (The Flash), Phil Klemmer (Legends of Tomorrow) and Caroline Dries (Batwoman), Berlanti Productions president Sarah Schechter and castmembers from Berlanti's CW show All American were among those who helped pack kits for people on the street. First on the assembly line was Greg Berlanti, who said to the assembled, "We’re grateful for you to take your Saturday morning to come in and be introduced to and to help The Giving Spirit. Unfortunately, the homeless crisis in our city has only gotten worse in the last year and there are human beings suffering every day. I know it can feel incredibly overwhelming in terms of well, ‘What can we do?’ Just by being here today can seem like a small thing, but there's no small act when it comes to helping someone's life."

Berlanti, who attended with his husband, former pro soccer star and All American executive producer Robbie Rogers, was proud to announce that the volunteer turnout was double that of 2018, the first year that Warner Bros. TV-based Berlanti Productions had done the event in support of The Giving Spirit. The day also included a panel discussion featuring four formerly homeless women sharing their stories and a video presentation.

“Greg and his team have been amazing partners. An event like this is great for team-building with employees,” said Lloyd Hummel, chairman of The Giving Spirit’s development committee and senior vp global commercial strategy at Ingrooves Music Group. Founded in 1999, the nonprofit has distributed more than 55,000 kits prepped by 18,000 volunteers and has also partnered with NBCUniversal and Fox.

At the Berlanti volunteer event, participants packed items to go into a new kit for women that includes lotion, cosmetics and feminine hygiene products. “It’s for women who need to get prepared for housing or a job interview or just to make them feel good,” said Hummel. Attendees also packed around 3,000 non-perishable food components that will go into a “giant duffel bag that has 75 items or so: drinks, food, pen and paper, a nail kit. I remember I had a guy once tell one of our volunteers, ‘You saved my job. I’m a bus boy and I can’t have dirty nails. This little nail clipper is helping me keep my job. Thank you.’” The duffel bag kits are distributed all around Los Angeles to partner shelters and directly to people living on the street.

A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.