There are a lot of firsts happening in quarantine—Zoom happy hours, IG live clubs and drive-by birthday parties.
For Eve, she hosted her first virtual gala in support of the Los Angeles–based nonprofit YES (Youth Emerging Stronger). “We all wanted it to be in person. We all wanted to dress up and be together and celebrate. But these are new times,” Eve tells ESSENCE.
Still, The Talk cohost didn’t let social distancing stop her enthusiasm for a charity close to her heart: “We are coming together to celebrate the people who are on the front lines, those people who are helping these kids.” Honoring The Chainsmokers, the YES At Home Virtual Gala (produced by The Krim Group) featured performances by Andra Day and Stefano Langone, with guest appearances by Station 19’s Jason George and Tyler Perry’s Sistas’ KJ Smith.
“I was nervous but excited to be hosting and so happy it turned out well,” says Eve, who opted for casual cool by wearing a YES tee. “I’m new to the YES fam but hopefully I’ll be there for a long time.”
As advocates for youth who are homeless and those in the foster care system, YES serves as a beacon for permanency in Los Angeles. Even as the city locks down to curb the spread of COVID-19, YES actively supports 200 Los Angeles youth either through their comprehensive in-home programming or through its daily distribution of food and mental health services for those who have transitioned from their home program. It was this steadfast commitment that caught Eve’s attention.
“I was impressed with all the programs that they have for these kids,” said the Grammy Award–winning artist. “I love that while they are in these facilities and they do have help, they’re also being very independent. They have trust behind them; no one’s on their backs. It’s kind of like, ‘Listen, you’re here. We’re here to help you, but we expect you to come into your own.’ And I think it’s just a beautiful thing.”