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!
A very big GCHope “Thank You” to the team members from Bank of America who were able volunteer in our We’ve Got Your Back program yesterday. Over 65 volunteers were able to pack over 750 backpacks for Orange County Children in need. We always appreciate teams like theirs where we have to work to keep them busy. We are looking forward to seeing you all again in October or hopefully even sooner!
A big thank you to our friends over at SD Deacon. They have comes several times now to help out with tour We’ve Got Your Back program and they are always a pleasure to have. This time, not only did they work on filling the backpacks for our kids, but also put together school supply packages for them. It is so wonderful to have friends and organizations throughout the SoCal area that are ready to step up and serve these children each and every week. Check out these pictures of SD Deacon in action!
Back in November, we were privileged to have a group of Moms come with their little ones from Calvary Church in Santa Ana to volunteer in our We’ve Got Your Back Program. This week, we had an entirely new group of Moms do the same thing. I can’t tell you have beautiful it is to see little toddlers giving up their time to serve other children in our own community who don’t always have enough to eat. Thanks Calvary for having some of the best Moms around!!
Last month, we had UPS employees volunteer at our warehouse for our We’ve Got Your Back program. After seeing some empty shelves, Dolores Sanchez (Anaheim office) and Julie Hale (Aliso Viejo office) took the initiative to hold a food drive for us. They actually saw this as a perfect opportunity to promote GCHope for UPS’ Global Volunteer Month. It’s held every October, where all employees are encouraged to make an impact in their community by volunteering their time and talents to people and organizations in need. Thank you UPS employees for helping us collect food for our students and families on the We’ve Got Your Back program!
This blog was written by Christine Sanchez, Director of our “Giving For Living” program.
I cried as I made my coffee this morning. I had already read the news on my phone but was seeing footage from someone’s phone on the news. It was unfathomable thinking that I could’ve been in a movie theatre with my children, seemingly safe, and then literally all hell breaks loose…
Every morning before I arrive, I plan my day. This morning, the Lord kept reminding me, “The more you give, the more you shall receive”. I came to work convinced we needed to give more. We just need to GIVE more…
I arrived to a mass of young men, Buena Park High School’s football team, ready and willing to volunteer. Their faces helped change my mood. Giving for Living was exceptionally busy this morning. Already a sign?
Elizabeth, our Director of Community Programs, introduced me to their coach, Anthony White. He had already explained to Elizabeth that he had about 7 homeless kids on his team. She will work on getting them in the “We’ve Got Your Back” program and further explained to the coach about our new, “Basic Needs” program. The coach was so happy! He has been helping these kids out of his pocket for quite some time. My heart knew that this is what the Lord had in mind today.
I brought the boys and the coach into my office. I explained to the boys how our program works but that we were starting a new program, to make sure people who have a bit of bad luck had the basics they needed. People like them. I explained to them how important education was at changing any situation. We had a great pep talk and I could see hope in their eyes. Gratitude. I gave them each a bag and told them to fill it with what they needed. Their shy smiles began to creep through with replies only of, “Yes, ma’am.” “Thank you, ma’am.” “Thank you very much.”
When they were done, I wrote up their donation. In their bags were toothbrushes, deodorant, cough drops, index cards, binders, small pillows (I encouraged them to add a pillow case), cleaning wipes, heat packs, body wash, sunscreen, cups, light bulbs, anti-diarrhea medication, boost nutrition supplements, a mattress cover and snack items. One boy took a scale. Giving Children Hope was indeed “Giving for Living” – to 5 teenagers who now had bags of HOPE. One youth reminded me about the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. He said, “ Ma’am, remember when Jesus fed the 5000, and more and more and more people kept coming but somehow there was always enough? That’s what this reminds me of.”
Check out their picture. I love my job!
For the past few weeks, Giving Children Hope staff, donors, supporters, partners and volunteers have been working around the clock to gather and wrap presents for homeless children in Orange County. This week, all the hard work paid off as we began distribution to more than 3,000 kids in the Orange County School Districts.
Each child was asked to complete a wish list of items they would like for the holidays. Some of the most heartbreaking requests were received on this lists: a job for my dad, presents for my brothers and sisters, a Christmas Tree, a house for my family, and much more.
Though many of these requests couldn’t be met, GCHope and supporters worked hard to bring a little bit of joy into the lives of these children in need. Every child enrolled in We’ve Got Your Back, a weekend nutrition program that provides essential and nutritious meals and nutrition education to homeless children and their families each week, was given a present for the holidays. In addition to these presents, toys were also given to their siblings as well!
Thank you to the hundreds of donors, sponsors, volunteers and supporters who helped to make the holidays magical and bright for the needy community in Orange County. We could not have done it without you and Christmas wouldn’t be the same to these families without all of your help. We are very grateful for your support!
See a video of the distribution here
Every winter, Giving Children Hope begins the happiest and most joyful time of the year: the holiday season for We’ve Got Your Back. In addition to providing backpacks filled with nutritious food and nutrition education each and every week, GCHope also provides families with toys for the children for the holidays. Every child is invited to complete a wish list for themselves and their siblings and volunteers, donors and corporations are able to sponsor these children.
With more than 3,000 students in the program, however, some children are left un-sponsored. This is where Toys for Tots comes in! After years of partnership with Toys for Tots, we were once again joining forces to provide toys and gifts for the kids of We’ve Got Your Back and their siblings!
GCHope staff was ecstatic when we received that call that we would be receiving more than 1,000 toys! Volunteers have been working to sort toys by gender and age ranges and wrapping the presents in preparation for toy distribution later this month.
Thank you so much, Toys for Tots, for allowing GCHope to continue with our commitment to serve the homeless children of Orange County with so much more than just food. We are so thankful for your partnership again this year!
Just up the street from the Giving Children Hope facility is a large building filled with employees with even larger hearts. Nutrilite has partnered with GCHope for years, taking special attention to care for the We’ve Got Your Back program and all the children and families it supports.
Weekly, volunteers from Nutrilite come to the GCHope offices to sort canned food items, pack backpacks and prepare shipments. Nutrilite even went above and beyond at our facilities recently and sponsored a landscaping staff to beautify our building.
As an internal event this month, Nutrilite challenged staff to participate in “Nutrilite’s CAN-struction,” where employees could bring canned food items to support We’ve Got Your Back and build a giant can apple!
More than 1,400 cans were collected and constructed. Giving Children Hope was then called to pick up the collection and provide these generous food donations to the children and families benefiting from We’ve Got Your Back.
Thank you so much, Nutrilite, for your continued partnership and support! We are so thankful to have friends and partners in you!
ROCKHARBOR church in Costa Mesa wanted to reach out to less fortunate school children in Orange County for the holiday season and sought after a partnership with Giving Children Hope. RH staff discovered the We’ve Got Your Back program earlier this year during Vacation Bible School, when children attending helped to raise more than $6,000 to feed homeless school children in Orange County.
This time, however, RH wanted to add a holiday focus to the program. With that, they launched Holiday Giving – an opportunity for the congregation to support We’ve Got Your Back by sponsoring a backpack filled with holiday foods, providing more than 1,000 families with food for the weekend.
RH purchased 1,000 brand new backpacks for the children and challenged the congregation to take a backpack home, purchase the food items as families, and bring the backpack with them to church the following Sunday. Giving Children Hope then received the backpacks and distributed them to the families enrolled in We’ve Got Your Back!
This fantastic partnership was such a blessing this holiday season, when holiday-focused meal items can be extremely costly. We are immensely grateful for this relationship with ROCKHARBOR’s staff and congregation. Thank you so much for your continuous support of the We’ve Got Your Back program!