When Lori Livacich sees health care workers, grocery employees and food servers, she is saddened by their tired eyes. After all, the two eyes are all she can see around required masks.
Livacich, who worked in the corporate gig and promotional products industry, needed to brighten those sad eyes.
The self-proclaimed “Goddess of Stuff” created the Hero Pin with friend and designer Dan Georgopoulos.
“I love to develop products. I wanted to make a pin so we could honor everybody,” Livacich says. “I wanted to give away 1,000 to the Amazon guy, the mailman, the guy who’s pumping gas, the Costco guy who cleans every single pump every time someone uses it, or the person sanitizing grocery carts in 105-degree heat.
“They’re heroes on all levels.”
That simple, random gesture has become a thing in Los Angeles.
“It’s been really great,” she says. “I think what really needs to be told are the stories of when we give those pins out. I’ve had people almost start crying. I told the lady at Target thank you and she said, ‘No one’s ever said this to me. It’s so awesome what you’re doing.’
“The response I’m getting from giving someone a pin, you can’t put a price on it.”
Hero Pins can be purchased online by the public to be given to any hero they know or meet during this time, and share a photo on social media with #theheropin.
All of the proceeds from pin purchases benefit the World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that works to provide children, families and seniors with healthy meals year-round.
The goal is to sell 1 million pins to aid the World Central Kitchen’s meal efforts.
“The chef (Jose Andres) and his wife (Patricia) started World Central Kitchen,” she says. “I thought if I do this, whatever money I earn I want to give it away. I reached out to a couple places, but he’s done an amazing job.
“He’s buying meals from restaurants and delivering those. He’s keeping restaurants going. They’re doing stuff all over the country.”