At last week’s event in Austin, Texas celebrating Mobile Loaves & Fishes 20th anniversary and groundbreaking on Phase II of their hugely successful Community First Village, John Paul committed $1.6 million to the new Community Works building — a center for entrepreneurs and artisans to get trained, a space to work and a space to exhibit beautiful things for sale.
Community First! Phase II will include housing for more than 300 people suffering from chronic homelessness. Already, Phase I has provided housing (and so much more!) for around 250 men and women. There is a community farm, chicken coop, chapels, Alamo Drafthouse outdoor cinema, an Inn (you can stay there!), dog park, auto shop (come get your car inspected or oil changed!), art and ceramics studio and hair salon (with Paul Mitchell products, of course).
This new expansion will include a desperately needed clinic for the neighborhood that includes respite and hospice care. In the last few months alone, MLF has lost four community members, all of whom will be interred at Community First — it’s a dignified place to live and die. MLF is a place to belong, a place to build hope. John Paul and Eloise both love to see what’s been added with every visit. This time, the ceramic artists really blew us away. MLF is a great place to get involved if you’re in Austin. If you’d like to bring something like MLF to your community, they also hold trainings for getting this model up and running around the country.
This was Eloise's fifth year sponsoring Connecther's Girls Impact the World Film Festival. Every year, we are amazed at the voices, issues and perspectives raised by student filmmakers from around the world. Our support of the project goes in part to scholarship funds for talented filmmakers who are making a difference in their communities and globally through this incredible platform. We encourage you to watch the award winning films (and so many more!) that are all available on Connecther's website. 2018's prizes went to:
- JUDGES’ CHOICE Grand Prize - $5,000 The Superhero Without A Cape - HazeraBegum by Shafiqua Nawrin Oishi
- First Runner Up - $2,500 Let Me Breathe with my Dream by Novera HasanNikkon
- Second Runner Up - $1,000 A Truth by Susannah Joe
- GLOBAL IMPACT Grand Prize - $2,500 Award Cut by Aicha Cherif
- First Runner Up - $1,000 The Gods Will Be Angry by Preeti Shakya
- BEAUTY - $2,500 Award I Am Beautiful by Kristelle Dirks
- BEST FILM PRODUCTION - $1,000 Award Who is JenBLKYN by Roxanne Lim
- ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN - $1,000 Award Pinata by Juliana Concepcion, Miranda Abazoski and Tianna McNair
- GEMS CHOICE - $1,500 Award Self Portrait by Meghan Cullen
- GIRLS IN TECH - STEM - $1,000 Award A World in Motion by An Nguyen, Khue Tran, and Makayla Moore and Balancing Tech by Schwetal Shah
- GREEN IS - $2,500 Award Fatima by Halimah Tariq
- LET GIRLS LEARN - $1,000 Award Maskad (The Aim) by Pooja Gowtham Bohra
- MOST INNOVATIVE SOLUTION - $1,000 Award Carry Your Dream with You by Shereen NidalNanish
- MOST INNOVATIVE FILM - $1,000 Award Tune Your Ears by Rebecca Dharmapalan
- PEOPLES’ CHOICE - $2,500 Award Talk Up the Talk by Jessica Mabanglo
- STAND UP MEN - $2,500 Award Stand Up Men by Palak Srivastava
On the first day of SXSW 2018, John Paul spoke on a panel entitled Giving Back Rocks: How Austin Brands Do It with prominent Austin philanthropists Kendra Scott and Andy Roddick. Though they all have different backgrounds and brands, each of these leaders has their own approach that has been a part of their lives from a young age.
John Paul talked about how his mother instilled in him the importance of giving back. He went on to mention partners Mobile Loaves & Fishes, Sea Shepherd and Grow Appalachia. You can read more about it at Community Impact.
We started the hashtag #americasfavoriteentrepreneur to post articles about John Paul because, well, it's just true ;). In this video, John Paul defines success, talks about how he got started giving back at a young age and how he celebrates (or doesn't celebrate) his birthday.
We get asked about our name a lot -- why Peace, Love & Happiness? To us, it's not just a name or a collection of abstract ideas; it's long been John Paul's approach to life and philanthropy. Sixteen years ago, John Paul founded the Peace, Love & Happiness Ride with his friend Gary Spellman. Together, they have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities over the years by riding motorcycles, hosting amazing concerts and inviting friends to come along. Our foundation was born out of that same idea -- live your life by these principles and invite people to the celebration. See you at PLH 2018! ☮ ❤ :)
John Paul was recently profiled on In Depth with Graham Bensinger. You can see his Austin home and cars, hear from Eloise about how they met and listen to John Paul talk about never selling out. But, of course, we are most excited about seeing John Paul tour the Community First! Village at Mobile Loaves and Fishes. The Ferrari is fine, but, hey, giving is our work and life ;)
We have written some guest blogs on the Paul Mitchell blog Peace Love & Happenings. You can read more about some of our projects here: