Thank you Bucher Family for OCRM’s Annual Gingerbread House Contest!

 

My good friends, Mark and Bronwyn Bucher and their family, sponsor this fun contest every year!  It is a treasured tradition here at the Rescue Mission and I am so thankful to the Buchers for making it possible!

This year’s Annual Orange County Rescue Mission Gingerbread House contest brought fierce and fun competition! The dining hall was packed to the brim with adults and children alike ready to decorate their way to a win. This festive tradition is always a favorite of mine, especially since my own kids join me each year to share in the fun. Each year we all look forward to this special evening full of fun, friendship, and of course lots of candy!

 

It’s brings me such joy to share our Palmer family tradition with the Rescue Mission and to see other families now finding the same joy in it. Once, these families may have only known Christmas to be a time of pain and hurt. But at the Rescue Mission, we have a chance to give them a holiday full of love and hope instead.

 


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Need a last minute gift? Give the gift of Christmas meals!

This year, as you finish up your Christmas shopping, I’m offering an opportunity to do something a little different. Rather than giving another material possession that might bring happiness for a moment, consider giving a gift with meaning that will long outlast Christmas morning. And it may be just what you need for those people on your list, that you want to give something extraordinary!

On our website, you can give the gift of Christmas meals to the Rescue Mission, in honor of your loved ones! And to make the gift more meaningful, you will immediately receive, in your inbox, a letter signed by myself, with your name as the giver, as well as the name of the person you are honoring with the gift.

Giving the gift of Christmas meals is a gift that creates the opportunity for someone in need to experience a new hope and the true joy of Christmas! And you can pass on that experience to your friends and family, to enjoy the significance of a gift that makes a lasting impact.

A DONATION OF:
$1.48 gives the gift of 1 meal
$14.80 gives the gift of 10 meals
$37.00 gives the gift of 25 meals
Or choose the amount of meals you want to give.

Click here to do your Christmas shopping and give the gift of Christmas meals! Thank you!


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Sarah’s Story: Freedom from Pain Through Jesus Christ

From a young age, Sarah was plagued by the pain and chaos that filled her life.  She became a single mother, but still dealing with her past and unable to provide for her children while also fleeing a violent situation.

Orange County Rescue Mission offers a place for single mothers like Sarah to heal from domestic violence and get back on their feet, so they can become the parents that their children need.  Because of your support and compassion, we are seeing stories like Sarah’s everyday: stories of families being reunited, lives being restored, and hearts being transformed.

This is Sarah’s story.

At just 19 years old, Sarah’s life was forever changed.  Her fiancé had been in the next room over with a “friend” when she heard the gunshot.  Before she could comprehend what was happening, she found herself holding her fiancé as he gasped his last breaths in her arms.

The love of her life was gone.

That horrific memory would haunt her for years, and as a result she built a wall around her heart.  The pain she carried around did not leave much room for anything else.

Although she promised herself she would never marry, she did have four beautiful children.  But the father of her children had a tendency to swing at her with her fists.  She was a broken and battered woman, inside and out.  Sarah felt like she was falling down a black hole.

And she desperately needed a way out.

The only way out was to pick up everything and leave. So Sarah and the kids left and didn’t look back. But they had nowhere to go.

“It was really hard and traumatic for them,” Sarah says about her kids at this time. “There were some really chaotic times like not knowing where we were going to sleep. There were times when we would sleep in my van.”

Sarah heard about a “Christian shelter” from a friend, but she didn’t think such a place existed.  Sarah called Orange County Rescue Mission. They were accepted into the Mission right away.

“All four of my children are with me,” Sarah says. “They love this place. My kids are getting the stability they need. We have a place to stay that’s safe.”

At the Mission, Sarah finally confronted her past and the horrible pain she had carried with her for all these years.  She knew only the redemptive power of Jesus Christ could free her from such extreme hurt.

“God is the ultimate healer. God has helped me through all of this,” she says. “I don’t have depression or anxiety or worry because I have God.  It’s all through God’s healing.”

And now, Sarah is training to become a medical assistant. She is taking every opportunity she can get to become self-sufficient.

Sarah is extremely thankful for the kindness and generosity of our donors  — people she’s never even met.  Your compassion helps bring healing to so many who have suffered through a painful past. Sarah will have the ability to care for her family as she and her children start a new life filled with hope and faith in God’s blessings.

Please watch the video below to hear Sarah’s gratitude for yourself.


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Thank You for Making the 4th Annual Turkey Trot a Success!

Our 4th Annual Turkey Trot was a huge success! Once again the community gathered to spend their Thanksgiving morning giving back to our hungry and homeless neighbors. A total of 768 walkers and runners took on the 5k challenge around the Tustin Legacy route. The community raised 22,225 meals through the giving of participants and our community sponsors, Oltmans Construction Co., Union Bank, Brakke-Schafnitz, Goe & Forsythe Law Firm, PIMCO, and Chick-fil-A.

A special thank you to those who donated all the giveaways and prizes for the participants. Thank you to Mary Boehm for donating crafts for the children, and for providing the tote bags for the top 3 female finishers. Thank you to Travis Matthew for providing travel bags and golf apparel for our top 3 male finishers. Thank you to HOAG Hospital for providing each participant with drawstring backpacks. Thank you to Running Awards and Apparel for the complimentary branded mugs for our sponsors.

This event is only possible through the collective participation of the community. We are so grateful for everyone who made this another memorable Thanksgiving for the least, the last and the lost of Orange County. THANK YOU!


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Pancakes & Presents!: Thank You I’Padrini di Antonello!

Last weekend 25 of our children at the Village of Hope, along with their parents, were treated to a delicious pancake breakfast at I’Padrini di Antonello restaurant!

As you can see from the photos, it was a joyful morning filled with fun, food, and friends!  In addition to the pancakes, our friends at I’Padrini di Antonello very generously purchased a gift for each child that attended the breakfast which brought even more excitement to the morning!

As if that were not incredible in itself, President Rob Morey discovered that there was more room in the budget than was expected.  He decided to give ALL of the children here at the Village of Hope a gift as well!  This is truly a blessing to the children and families of the Rescue Mission and is a beautiful example of generosity during the holiday season.

For many children, the Christmas season may have held very few memories of fun and joy and perhaps even brought up memories of pain and heartbreak.  But here at the Rescue Mission, with help from friends like I’Padrini di Antonello, we are able to give these children new memories full of happiness, love, and the hope of Jesus Christ.

Thank you to I’Padrini di Antonello, Rob Morey, and my good friend J. J. Hudson, a member of the I’Padrini di Antonello board and without whom this special morning would not have been possible for the residents of the Rescue Mission.  Thank you to all for blessing these children and families!


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Gem of Tustin Award; a Win for the Community

Last week, I was honored and humbled to receive the “Gem of Tustin” Award, at the recommendation of Mayor, Dr. Allan Bernstein.  My friend TyRon Jackson, who often partners with Orange County Rescue Mission to serve the homeless and hopeless of our community, was also honored with this award, much deservedly so.

According to the City of Tustin,  “A Gem of Tustin is someone who is driven to provide exceptional service to the Tustin community.  These selfless individuals dedicate their time and resources to ensure the community’s needs are the highest priority.  They devote countless hours of hard work and continue to explore opportunities to enrich the lives of Tustin’s residents.”

But it is only with the cooperation and support of the City of Tustin that these accomplishments have been possible.  Village of Hope in Tustin, our flagship campus, currently serves 262 men, women and children. And it is also the home to the Tustin campus of Hurtt Family Health Clinic, providing medical, dental and mental health care to those in need from throughout our community. And, the Rescue Mission’s first site for transitional housing for homeless veterans also makes it’s home in Tustin, the  Tustin Veterans Outpost. The City of Tustin has cooperated with Orange County Rescue Mission, and is an exampleto the potential of what can be accomplished with private and public cooperation.

Nonetheless, to be considered as someone who meets this criteria in the city that I call home and deeply care for is nothing short of remarkable.  I am so grateful for this honor, and I am proud to serve the City of Tustin, and the Least, the Last, and the Lost of this community.

I would like to share with you the kind words that were spoken on behalf of myself and TyRon, words that warmed my heart and were a wonderful encouragement to me.

I am honored to recognize Jim Palmer and TyRon Jackson who have been actively involved in the community for many years.

As President of the Orange County Rescue Mission, Jim has assisted many homeless individuals and families.  The services and care offered by the Rescue Mission include: long-term housing, meals, employment, clothing, shelter, spiritual, medical, counseling, legal, life skills, and education.  In a recent partnership with the City of Tustin, the Rescue Mission offers programs for veterans through the Tustin Veterans Outpost. The Outpost program integrates many of the positive aspects of the military, such as the camaraderie, work ethic and disciplined lifestyle. This empowers homeless veterans to draw from their successes in the military, and they learn how to apply those skills to civilian life.

The City is extremely grateful for The Mission’s dedication to serving homeless families and veterans.  We are fortunate to have several organizations within the city dedicated to serving the homeless and  veterans.  Another exceptional example is Operation Warm Wishes.

TyRon Jackson founded Operation Warm Wishes in 2008.  The organization is dedicated to serving the homeless, troubled youths, struggling families, veterans and senior citizens.  Their mission is to inspire, motivate and encourage those who are struggling. Through various events throughout the year, Operation Warm Wishes collects food, clothing, shoes, and toiletries and distributes to those in need.

Unfortunately, many homeless individuals, families and veterans struggle to find support and resources.  However, both Jim and TyRon have made exceptional strides in ensuring those individuals are supported, encouraged and given the love and motivation one needs when experiencing challenging times.

Thank you again to the City of Tustin for this amazing award!  It is such an encouragement to me to know that I am serving my city well.  The Orange County Rescue Mission is proud to call Tustin home and to care for the Least, the Last, and the Lost of Orange County. 


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Celebrating ECF-Boeing: Crystal Vision Award


The Employees Community Fund of Boeing-California has been a friend to the Rescue Mission for decades, providing grants for our programs and matching its employees’ donations. The fund is run by Boeing member employees, who thoughtfully recommend and support nonprofit organizations for funding.

The Employees Community Fund of Boeing, California annually selects a theme for their “Crystal Vision Award,” with several gifts (each up to $50,000!) to help nonprofits achieve their goals. In past years, themes have included environmental stewardship and education, ending youth violence, community heroes, and, this year, organizations helping to end homelessness.

Thanks to the efforts of Board Member Charlene and her husband Todd Calish, as well as long-time Boeing employees and Rescue Mission supporters like Shauna M. and Nate D., the Village of Hope was selected as one of seven awardees!

On November 28, we received the $50,000 grant at an award presentation in Seal Beach. It’s an incredible gift, as it is made up of thousands of small donations from individual Boeing employees and represents their time, energy, and passion for helping the community. Thank you, to all Boeing employees and retirees who have been a part of ECF-Boeing CA to make these great and generous gifts!

As part of the presentation, Shauna graciously introduced the Rescue Mission’s programs to the attending Boeing employees and retirees. It is always wonderful to have friends in the community, especially those who are willing to speak publically on our behalf. Attending with me was Mike, who has recently completed his program at Orange County Rescue Mission’s Double R Ranch. Mike shared some of his story with the employees and retirees, speaking clearly and movingly about the impact the program had on his life. We were blessed to have him there!

The grant will significantly help with our 70-bed expansion, as $39,000 is allocated to the Village of Hope’s shelter costs, $6,500 to the Parent and Child Enrichment Center, and $4,500 to the Success Center (our job and academic readiness hub)

Again, we would like to thank Charlene Calish and her husband Todd for recommending us, reviewing the grant application, and for their time on the site visit; and to thank Shauna M. and all ECF Boeing employees who donate or recommend us for opportunities like this. You are a big reason we can keep doing what we do.


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Horchata For A Cause at Puesto!

Looking for a delicious way to give back?

Each month the gourmet Mexican food restaurant, Puesto, names a local charity as the beneficiary for their fundraising program called Frozen Horchata For A Cause. This month, Puesto has named Orange County Rescue Mission as their charity of choice!

For the whole month of December, $1 from every purchase of a Frozen Horchata will be donated to the Rescue Mission. All of their locations participate in this event, including their fourth and newest location which will be opening in Irvine this month.

Thank you Puesto for naming us as your December Horchata for a Cause beneficiary! Please visit one of Puesto’s 4 locations this month for a delicious and fun way to support the Least, the Last, and the Lost of our community!


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Help Us Bring Christmas Magic to the Mission!

Once a year, the Village of Hope experiences a truly magical day: it snows in Orange County! Every December, Orange County Rescue Mission hosts Magic at the Mission, a celebration of the Christmas season for everyone who is part of the Rescue Mission programs. There is nothing quite like it; the excitement that lights up a child’s face as they play in snow so rarely found in California, the warmth of the community as volunteers come together to bless our residents, and the joy of a parent as they choose gifts especially for their children. It is such a beautiful reminder of the true spirit of Christmas.

This event is dear to my heart because it allows us to give the residents of the Rescue Mission a joyful Christmas, which many have rarely experienced. This Christmas, they are able to celebrate in a safe community without the worries of whether they will be able to provide food or shelter for their little ones.

A unique aspect of this event is that parents are able to “shop” for Christmas presents for their children! A variety of toys and gifts are available for them to look through and select a few gifts to give to their children on Christmas morning. For many, this is meaningful in ways we cannot understand. Due to situations such as homelessness and poverty, many of these parents have not been able to give their children a gift on Christmas day. This is a blessing to both parents and children as they experience the joy of giving and receiving a gift picked especially with them in mind. Children too, are able to pick gifts for their parents, which is an exciting experience for them as they learn the selfless joy of giving.

To make this event happen, we need help from our friends in the community! We are in need of Christmas gifts for both children and adults to create our “shop” selection for the Rescue Mission residents. Listed below are some gift ideas.

Toys and baby items for infants through toddlers:
54 toys and baby items.

Toys needed for 1 year olds through 2 year olds:
30 toys for boys.
45 toys for girls.
Suggested toy items:
Big crayons, puzzles, board games, books, play sets, blocks, action figures, stuffed animals, trains, cars, dolls

Toys needed for 8 year olds through 11 year olds:
30 toys for girls.
Suggested toy items:
Art kits, craft kits, Lego sets, play sets, action figures, books, board games, card games, snap together models, stuffed animals, Nerf balls

Toys needed for 12+ year olds:
30 toys for girls.
Suggested toy items:
Art kits, craft kits, books, board games, card games, bracelets, socks, hair accessories, purses/bags, journals, water bottles, costume jewelry, scarves, scented lotions.

Gifts needed for Moms and Dads, under $20:
50 gifts for Dads.
200 gifts for Moms.
Suggested items for Dads:
Wallets, watches, journals, socks, hooded sweatshirts, baseball caps, journals, water bottles, books
Suggested items for Moms:
Purses/bags, journals, water bottles, costume jewelry, scarves, scented lotions, socks, make-up (mascara, eye liner, lip balm), hair accessories

As you can see, we have a lot of families and gift giving at Christmas!  Christmas for families with Orange County Rescue Mission happens because of donors. All donations can be dropped off at 1 Hope Drive in Tustin, Monday through Saturday from 8a-5p. Please do not wrap the gifts, but donations of wrapping paper, gift bags, and tissue paper are greatly appreciated, so the residents are able to wrap the gifts themselves.

Thank you for your support as we work together to bless families this Christmas!


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Thank You First Choice Bank!

Orange County Rescue Mission was recently honored as a benefiting charity for First Choice Bank’s 7th Annual Charity Golf Tournament!

Each year, First Choice Bank (Cerritos, CA) makes a commitment to fund 18 local charities through its Annual Charity Golf Tournament. The bank is committed to promoting economic development in underserved and low-income communities throughout Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego Counties.

This year, because of one person nominating the Rescue Mission for consideration of funding, we were granted $4,800 from First Choice Bank and the Much is Given Foundation, during their highest earning golf tournament to date! It’s a fantastic example of how the recommendation of a single individual can make a difference in Orange County’s homeless crisis.

Where can you have an impact today?

Another big thank you to First Choice Bank, to Kathryn Leu for coordinating, and to the recommending individual!

Please take a look at the press release here.


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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