Contact: Carly Visbal
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Buena Park, .—Giving Children Hope (GCHope), has reached out to our international partners immediately after a 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal Saturday morning. They are currently assessing the damage caused. The epicenter was said to be in the capital city of Kathmandu.
Giving Children Hope is a faith-based partner providing sustainable hope through wellness programs and disaster response in collaboration with local and global communities. For more information www.gchope.org
March 11, 17, and 18 were three very special days for Giving Children Hope. On all three days, around 20 different associates from Brea Macy’s contributed their time to make this community a stronger, healthier place. In total, they packed around 400 backpacks, sorted two pallets of food, and restocked shelves for our WGYB program. Associates also collected 113 pounds of food for our Tackling Child Hunger campaign. To top it off, Macy’s associates donated over $1,800 out of their own pockets – over $3,600 with the Macy’s Matching Gifts Program. It is truly an honor to be able to partner with such a dedicated group of people. Thank you, Macy’s, for being so wonderful!
Thanks to 40 wonderful Disney VoluntEars, our warehouse seemed a bit happier than usual when they came in to volunteer on Thursday, March 19. After 3 hours, they had packed 300 backpacks and sorted 6 pallets of food for our WGYB families. Disney VoluntEars were able to take part in providing food for families in the very community that they serve. “We were so lucky to host such an energetic, passionate group of people,” said Development Associate SueLynn Yoo. “They were so engaging and hardworking.” Thank you, Disney, for visiting, and we look forward to partnering with you!
“Hey batter batter!” the outfielders yelled as the next player at bat approached home plate. On a warm Saturday morning last month, Nutrilite hosted their annual staff softball tournament. Over 600 employees formed teams to compete for the winning trophy and bragging rights for the year. Each team was given extra points for bringing canned food items that were donated to GCHope. Nutrilite continues to be one of GCHope’s strongest partners going above and beyond to serve this community. To GCHope’s amazement, 734 pounds of food were given to feed homeless children in Orange and LA counties! Way to go Nutrilite!
Congratulations to Team Nutrilite for winning the entire tournament!
It’s not every day that we see around 15 volunteers with bright red shirts walking into our warehouse to help pack backpacks for our WGYB families. On Thursday, March 12, associates at Buena Park Target visited us to pack over 200 backpacks full of nutritious food. They loved us so much that they asked to volunteer again within a few weeks. Target, you are always welcome at Giving Children Hope! Thank you for partnering with us in our mission to alleviate hunger in our community!
CarMax was up and ready at 8:00am to volunteer with us on Friday, March 6. It was our first time hosting CarMax at our warehouse and it was awesome getting to know some of the businesses that make our community so great. Around 10 CarMax employees came in to help our WGYB families pick out the food that they wanted to take home. CarMax also helped sort some of our food donations to make it easier for our families. Thank you, CarMax, for all your help and we look forward to strengthening our partnership with you!
With the Natural Products Expo West being in Anaheim this year, employees of United Natural Foods, Inc. reached out to GCHope so they could volunteer with us while they were in the area. They dropped by our warehouse on Thursday, March 5 to pack over 200 backpacks of nutritious food! We had the privilege of hosting UNFI employees from all over the country – from Washington to Missouri to New Hampshire. As “the leading independent national distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods,” UNFI was a great asset to our WGYB program that day. Thank you, UNFI, for all your hard work and help and we hope to see you again soon!
Our desire for each WGYB family is that they would become a stronger and healthier family unit. We hope that one day our families no longer need the assistance that we provide. Today we get the honor of reporting to you one of these success stories.
The Lopez family lived in 3-bedroom apartment with 14 people. Leticia Lopez and her husband lived in one of the rooms with their three children. The other rooms are occupied by Leticia’s mom and siblings, each of whom have children. Leticia says it’s exhausting to live with 14 people. “There is no privacy,” she said. “You feel like you never stop cooking or cleaning.”
Leticia’s husband, Rafael is a mechanic and works long and late hours to make ends meet. Since they moved in with their family two years ago their main priority has been saving to afford their own place. Leticia dreamed of beds for each of her children and a place to call home. When asked how the We’ve Got Your Back food program helped her family, Leticia looked me straight in the eye and said, “I felt like I was able to help provide for my kids.” Her kids love getting the fresh fruit in the backpacks. The Lopez family has a blast watching a movie together when there is popcorn in the backpack. They feel like they’re out at the movies.
Leticia is an extraordinary mother and that’s not all she’s good at. She has been taking classes since 2013 to become a licensed vocational nurse. While we were chatting she pulled out a certificate with “Valedictorian” printed on it. There was such pride and honor in her smile as she shared how much she loves school.
The Lopez family’s time has finally come. Just a few weeks ago they moved into their first home. Leticia joyously shared how the kids couldn’t wait to have their own rooms and a backyard to play in. Rafael is planning on commuting daily to his job in Orange County until one day he can find something closer, but for now they are just thankful to have a home. For a family moving from one room to three, it requires a lot of furniture, housewares, and kitchen supplies. GCHope gladly gave as much as Leticia could carry in one trip to get them started but we are accepting donations of beds, couches and any other furnishings needed to fill the Lopez home.
When asked how the GCHope family can be praying for her, Leticia replied, “Pray that we are able to keep up with the bills. This is a big step for us.” Thank you to all our donors for believing in GCHope so that families like the Lopezes can one day accomplish and attain goals they never thought possible.
GCHope will continue to support Leticia and her family. If you or anyone you know is interested in donating please call 714-523-4454 or email email@example.com.
Leticia with her GCHope supplies to start off her new home!
It was an exciting weekend for GCHope! In honor of his birthday, Vampire Diaries actor Kendrick Sampson wanted to do something to support Syrian refugees on the other side of the world. He decided that instead of presents this year he would ask his friends and family to donate to Giving Children Hope to provide more food, clothing, and hygiene supplies to these refugees that have fled persecution. Kendrick even invited GCHope to come to the party! GCHope staff members Carly Visbal, Communications Coordinator, and SueLynn Yoo, Development Associate, headed to LA for the event last Saturday.
“It was amazing how many of Kendrick’s friends really wanted to do something to help Syrian refugees,” said Carly. “We just felt blessed to be there.”
Kendrick introduced Carly and SueLynn to his guests and asked them to speak to the group about the 20 containers of disaster relief supplies we have sent to these desperate people. There were so many guests who wanted to know more and generously donated. Thanks to Kendrick’s heart to help Syrian refugees in need, he helped to raise $1,580!
Thank you, Kendrick, for choosing to serve others on your birthday. GCHope is so humbled by your generosity in sharing your special day with us.
Pictured left to right SueLynn Yoo, Kendrick Sampson, and Carly Visbal.
Giving Children Hope has sent 20 containers of relief supplies to Syrian refugees in the Middle East since 2012. This past fall, Executive Director Sean Lawrence visited Lebanon to oversee distribution and meet with many of the families we are serving. GCHope’s website was hacked in January by Syrian rebel supporters, although no donor information was compromised. Since then we have taken precautions to update website security. GCHope plans to send 12 more 40-foot containers of needed supplies such as clothing, hygiene kits, and food. Our greatest need is acquiring unused clothing to send to refugees in Lebanon and Jordan. If you would like more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m not sure why, but I had a hard time writing this blog. I started in one direction, and I’ve since re-written it about four different times with four different topics. Then I watched the series finale of one of my favorite shows (RIP, Parks & Rec) and what I wanted to share with you became slightly more clear.
In general, when people hear that I work for a nonprofit, their immediate response is, “Wow, that must be so rewarding,” or “You must love working there.” Don’t get me wrong, it is rewarding and I do love working here. This place is indescribably special. The work we do makes a difference to thousands upon thousands of people, and that’s not something I take lightly.
But in all honesty? Sometimes I find myself frustrated and exhausted with my work, forgetful of why I’m doing it in the first place. Too often I get bogged down in paperwork and dealing with a copier jam and ordering supplies — the word “administration” is in my title, after all — and it is difficult to remember the big picture of what we’re doing and why it’s important.
Enter Leslie Knope. She’s said a lot of quotable things in the tenure of Parks & Rec, but her reason for why she loves public service rang true to me:
“We do it because we get the chance to work hard at work worth doing, alongside a team of people we love.”
Leave it to me to take inspiration from a television show, but there it is. Work hard at work worth doing, with people you love. That’s Giving Children Hope in a nutshell.
The work we do can be difficult. Sometimes it’s physical, sometimes it’s mental, it’s always emotional, and it’s 100% worth doing. Sending cleaning and medical supplies to people fighting Ebola, or clothing to refugees in Lebanon who have nothing, or providing food to a family struggling to make ends meet inspires me. But when I’m up here in the office, sometimes I lose sight of that.
What helps me get through the days when all I see are frustrations are the people working right alongside me — our staff, board, and volunteers. Their dedication and their hearts of love and compassion for the people we serve heals my heart when it’s been worn thin by the mundane.
So even when I’m feeling burnt out or I’m just plain tired of un-jamming the copier, their presence is rejuvenating. Their service to the children and families we serve inspires me and reminds me why I’m here.
You are my team, and it is worth doing this work right alongside you.
Written by: Jessica Rickerts, Director of Administration
Jessica is pictured on the right.