The women of Allied PRA were able to donate some time this week on the hottest day of the year so far! The did a fantastic job helping with our backpack program, packing backpacks and sorting food supply. During their time with us, they prepared backpacks for twelve of our schools, serving over 1,000 children in Orange County who would otherwise be without nutritional foods. We are very grateful for their service!
Holidays are just around the corner and this holiday season, we are giving Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas presents and toys to the kids enrolled in our We’ve Got Your Back program and we need your help!
There are a number of ways for you to be involved: 1) Host a food drive for Thanksgiving-type food items (see flier below); 2) You can host a toy drive to collect new and unwrapped toys; 3) You can sponsor a wish list of a child. All items will be under $25; 4) You can participate in one of our Wrapping Parties. The dates for these are
Monday 12/12 6-9pm , Tuesday 12/13 1-4pm, Wednesday 12/14 1-4 pm and Thursday 12/15 6-9pm.
All of this will take place at the Giving Children Hope facility: 8332 Commonwealth Ave. Buena Park, CA 90621.
To sign up for any of these opportunities or for additional information, please contact “Drew Bryson”:mailto:email@example.com or call the offices at 714-523-4454 x113.
*Thanksgiving Food Drive Items:*
On Saturday, July 9, 2011, a group of 23 volunteers, some only 6 or 7 years old, came to give their time to support Giving Children Hope.
These volunteers sorted food for We’ve Got Your Back, sorted medical supplies for international shipments, assembled product for local nonprofit partners, and helped where ever they could. We are so grateful for their hard work and time.
I just celebrated my first Father’s Day with my little joy, Abigail, who is almost 11 months old (where on earth does the time go)!
Abigail, my wife and I relaxed with a small picnic along with my older brother (a father of three), and our dad. We threw the Frisbee, rocked some Bocce, hit some fly balls and chased the kids around the playground. It was a beautiful afternoon in the park and a great “Thank You” from our wives and kids.
I consider it a great privilege to come from a line of great dads. Both of my grandfathers were committed to providing the best possible kind of life for their families. They worked hard and pursued their goals with respect, humility and an abiding love for their wives and children.
My dad is a great man. He is determined, intelligent, compassionate, honorable and reliable. I cannot remember ever feeling like he wasn’t accessible to me or that I couldn’t go to him with my troubles or questions. Though he is not perfect, he shared his wisdom with all three of his sons and showed us what it means to be a man in America. Much of who I am is a result of his fatherhood.
Back at work, I learned you aren’t on staff long at GCHope before you realize that everyone is on-deck for just about every project, like a very large family. Though I work primarily with volunteers, I have also had a great deal of interaction with the “We’ve Got Your Back” program. Last month, I was working to compile the information we have on the kids in this program.
It was a huge task and very tedious, but it gave me a chance to get a brief glimpse into the lives of these kids. As I scanned through the thousands of names in our files, I was overwhelmed by the volume of children who currently have no regular interaction with their dads. Of the 2,600+ kids who have been served by our program this school year, well over a third of them don’t live with their fathers. Working around these kids, you kind of know that fatherlessness is an issue, but to actually see the names and hear the numbers was a kick in the teeth.
I hate it when people rag on dads for not stepping up. It feels like a sweeping judgment over an often misunderstood group of American males, even though there are certainly biological fathers who are barely worthy of the name. I am much more interested in congratulating those Dads who are doing it right…
To those dads who are taking on three or four jobs to make ends meet, thanks for stepping up.
To those dads that sacrifice their own needs for the sake of their wives, that is what a man does.
To those dads who know the difference between being loved by your kids and being liked by your kids, they will thank you for it someday.
To those dads that are dads to kids whose biological fathers have disappeared, your presence does not go unnoticed.
To those dads who serve without looking for something in return, thank you for investing in your families more than your portfolio.
To my dad and all those who are doing it right, thanks for giving hope to rest of us dads that we can, too.
_Special guest blog written by Volunteer Coordinator, Drew Bryson, who just celebrated his first Father’s Day as a father!_
As a way for a family to teach the value of social responsibility to their children, the Cantu family hosted a food drive, lemonade stand and fundraiser to support the efforts of GCHope!
Each child participated in these efforts, contributing whatever time and talents they could, to make the family’s efforts a success.
We are so thankful for these unique and creative ways to get involved. Thank you so much!
On November 20, more than 150 volunteers swarmed the Giving Children Hope facility to lend a helping hand in the Family Volunteer Event.
Families and individuals helped to pack backpacks, assemble housewares, sort medical supplies and much more! Tasks completed in these four hours helped to alleviate weeks of work!
We are extremely grateful for the hard work and support displayed by all in attendance!
I’m not the type that usually blogs…so the fact that I am taking the time to write this blog means there’s something I really want to share. And if you’re usually not someone who follows a blog, then maybe you should take the time to finish reading this, since we’re both doing something we don’t usually do anyway.
First off, for those who don’t know, I coordinate the “We’ve Got Your Back”:[~420~] program where we distribute backpacks full of nutritious food every weekend throughout the school year for over 800 elementary-school children who are identified as homeless (unstable housing, living in motels) by the criteria of the “McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act”:http://www.seirtec.org/nche/downloads/mv_full_text.pdf. Because we still want to provide for the families during the break from school, we are starting our “Summer Distribution Program”:[~2020~] this year where we will be at various locations throughout Orange County on certain days to give food to the families. All they have to do is show up!
At last Thursday’s distribution, we were able to meet and talk to the people who benefit from all our efforts here at Giving Children Hope. I met a pregnant mom who walked with her five young daughters and a baby boy to come pick up the bags of food from us. It must not be easy walking a few miles with five kids under the hot sun- And can I mention again that she was pregnant? They would also have to walk back carrying the bags of food. All the effort they made to show up at our distribution site showed me that they really needed the food. I was talking to her 4th grade daughter who told me it was her birthday next week, but her family doesn’t celebrate birthdays. But she had no complaints. She simply shared that fact with me like it was no big deal…she was simply excited she was getting a year older.
I also met a 5th grade boy with tattered shoes who was telling me about how he loved math and was excited about entering the GATE program. His eyes lit up when he was talking to me about school…SCHOOL! How often does that happen? It was such a sweet moment to me, because I could tell that he and his younger sister and brother didn’t have much, but they were so excited about the simple things: about getting good grades, about their favorite subjects in school, and getting the chance to watch Toy Story 3 in the theaters that weekend.
Another cool thing was I got to meet a lively woman in her sixties who had adopted a 7-year-old boy and wanted to enroll him in our program. She was speaking a mix of Spanish and Portuguese, and since I speak Portuguese (I grew up in Brazil), I was wondering why I could understand some of what she was saying. I thought at first that I was just going crazy, but then I decided to ask her if she was actually speaking Portuguese. I soon found out that she was born in Brazil and traveled around many places (which I can relate to), and before I knew it, we were chatting like good friends. __She even offered to cook Brazilian meals for me and my friends! I thought it was such a kind and generous offer, considering she barely had enough for her and her child.__
We stayed at that distribution site for only two hours, but **I was able to see that all the hard work the volunteers and staff put into keeping this program running every week help families make it through another week. It’s not extra food to them… it’s their meals.** I’ve learned that there are over 22,000 homeless children and youth (pre-K to 12th grade) living in Orange County, according to the 2009 Orange County Board of Education Homeless Liaisons Report. But that’s no longer just a stat to me; I’ve actually met the kids. The families I met on Thursday encourages me to keep on working even on days when I feel completely exhausted, because I am reminded that none of this is really for me. It’s for the kids…like the smart boy with the hole in his shoe, so he won’t have to worry about where his next meal will come from…but be able to continue focusing on things that a young boy should care about…like excelling in school. – Ruth
We’ve Got Your Back
The Mobile Multi Service Center is a one-stop point where homeless individuals and families can receive housing, employment, education, medical and various other services from nearly 60 agencies. It is now offering more services through the funding made by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Giving Children Hope’s Family Volunteer Day on Saturday November 21 was a huge success. More than 150 men, women and children showed up to help GCHope provide health care locally and abroad.
The volunteers came from all walks of life representing families, school groups, girl scouts and groups from businesses.
They spent the day making Christmas cards for the children of WGYB, sorting clothes, filling back packs, stocking food, organizing medical supplies and salvaging metal from unusable machines.
GCHope would like to thank the following groups for their hard work on Saturday:
Fear the Owls (McGarvin intermediate), Girl Scout Troop 1912 (St. Ann’s in Santa Ana), the Westmonsters (Westmont University), Delta Lambda Chi (UCI), Circle K (CSUF), Garden Grove Adult Education Center-Lincoln Education Center, Team Bravo-Camacho, and all of the other volunteers.