Gilbert Ibarra joined HASC in 2006 — and set to work on his first holiday-themed installation that fall. This decorative event has since grown into an annual production HASC’s staffers don’t just look forward to — it’s something they expect.
New employees are astonished when they walk into his office — also a supply room and print center for the downtown Los Angeles office. Recently it was Wade Trimmer, executive director of housing and homeless services for HASC charitable partner National Health Foundation — which provides recuperative care services to homeless individuals.
“Wade wanted to know where the holiday scent was coming from,” Ibarra recalled. “He stuck his head in and said ‘Oh my gosh — this looks like something out of the (2003 Will Ferrell) movie Elf!’”
The cinnamon-potpourri fragrance is new this year — from infused pine cones. (The accompanying photo gives an incomplete impression — Ibarra invites tours.) Holiday music streamed from YouTube completes the experience.
Hired as mail clerk, Ibarra is now HASC’s administrative services coordinator. The annual event is not just about the season, he says, but the full American holiday tradition.
“The idea is to bring the festivity here for all people at HASC,” he said. “It gets everyone into the holiday spirit.”