Everyday Hero: Little Free Pantries

Welcome back to the “Save One Life, Save the World?” countdown, celebrating everyday heroes. Today, I would like to introduce you to the Little Free Pantry movement.

I first learned about “Little Free Pantries” in this column by L.A. Times reporter Nita Lelyveld, about the folks who wanted to do something to help people in their community who were struggling. Lelyveld writes, “Many of us, I think, mean to help others in greater need but don’t. Our busy lives swallow us up. Or we decide that as individuals we can’t accomplish much — so we send a check somewhere, or mean to and keep saying to ourselves that we will.”

But that was not the case for three Burbank residents, including young mom Tara Duffy, whose world was turned upside by a car accident. As Lelyveld explains,

With the terrible pain and the budget strain when she had to leave work, no one would have blamed Duffy if she had just holed up and concentrated on getting her family through each day.

Instead, she reevaluated her life.

“And I felt like our world is in a pretty cruddy place and it felt very insurmountable — and I wanted to do something to give back.”

Read Lelyveld’s full column here about how, one step at a time, “everyday heroes” Tara Duffy, and Adam and Monica Karell established Little Free Pantries in their Burbank neighborhood, modeling impactful compassion in action. 

(And if you want to feel even more heartened, or are looking for help, check out this map of hundreds of Little Free Pantries around the country!)

Who inspires you? Please leave a comment and share the inspiration. Our world need every single act of big-heartedness it can get.

With love,


#kindnessmatters #everydayheroes #saveonelifesavetheworld

About “Save One Life, Save the World?”

These posts are part of a countdown to Palisades Reads, a community literary event whose mission is to foster connection, spark conversation, and celebrate books for their ability to build empathy. 

Here’s what I’ve shared so far:

1. This op-ed and interview with author/actress Annabelle Gurwitch about welcoming a homeless couple into her home through a pilot project with Safe Place for Youth.


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