Letter: Starstruck

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Letter to the Editor

I find myself starstruck. Growing up in Malibu, I’ve had my share of celebrity encounters, but I refused to be in awe of entertainers. Driving home on PCH stopped at a light, I happened to look over at the car beside me with a large green sticker: “CORE Community Organized Relief Effort.” The driver was stressed out, dragging heavily on a cigarette and running his hand through his gorgeous thick hair. I thought to myself, “He looks a lot like Sean Penn.”

Curious, I looked up CORE (coreresponse.org), a charity organization started in 2010 to mobilize emergency medical care to Haiti and similar disasters, with a passionate team including co-founder and Malibuite Sean Penn.

With COVID-19, CORE leapt to action partnering with local governments across the country to provide free testing sites. To date, they’ve administered 4,500,000-plus tests.

Yesterday (Feb. 23), I drove my mom to Woodland Hills to receive her first vaccine shot. She signed up through Carbon Health via the LA County Public Health and LA City Fire Department program. The vaccination site was impressive, with numerous healthcare workers wearing shirts and masks identifying themselves as CORE.

The partnership and efforts of so many organizations is remarkable with a commitment to end this pandemic and save lives. I want to volunteer or donate to CORE, but am a struggling Woolsey Fire victim. The least I can do is say thank you. I’m grateful for a celebrity like Sean Penn whose noble cause has such a personal impact on so many.

D. Navarro