Winter Program Update
Happy New Year!
While 2020 brought us new challenges that we never could have anticipated, and we are glad to move on to a new year, we are also so thankful for a year in which we were able to help more families than we ever have before.
For Thanksgiving, we were able to partner with HomeAid Orange County and receive Food Boxes collected and assembled from their Thanksgiving Meal Drive. Each of our families received a wonderful box filled with all the Thanksgiving staples, along with a gift card to purchase a turkey or ham. Thank you to all who donated food to the drive, to all the volunteers who helped make it possible, and to HomeAid Orange County!
The Holiday Season in 2020 was a busy one for Family Promise of Orange County. Our annual Adopt-a-Family Program provided gifts and good cheer to 24 families (90 people!) Our Board of Directors helped to provide gift wrapping donations, and staff and volunteers played Santa to safely deliver the gifts to our families. The kindness and generosity of our adopters helped ensure that 57 kids, along with their parents, had a wonderful Christmas morning.
Our families were also able to enjoy donations of Christmas trees with all the trimmings, and our kids were excited to received stockings stuffed with fun surprises, which were provided by our Eagle Scout, Taleah, and other donors. One family came to us for assistance on December 21st, and we were able to ensure they had a safe place to stay for Christmas, complete with gifts under a Christmas tree.
We currently have four families in our two short-term transitional houses, and they were overjoyed to have the houses decorated for the holidays – outside lights and decorations were donated and made for a festive holiday. Lennar Homes graciously donated a Christmas tree for one of our houses, and JCC Cares volunteers provided a meal for our families on Christmas Day.
We also received an overwhelming amount of in-kind donations in the month of December – household items, gas and grocery gift cards, handwritten cards, holiday treats, and an amazing number of TOYS! In all, our donors gave over $14,000 worth of goods for our families!
We hope everyone enjoyed our weekly newsletters during the month of December – highlighting Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, as well as our little holiday song “surprise” from FPOC staff. We wanted to thank our generous donors for their year-end giving to our program – which totaled over $37,000 in donations!
As we turn the page to 2021, we remain optimistic that we will eventually be able to reopen our congregational rotation later this year, as the vaccine becomes more widely available. In the meanwhile, we continue to work tirelessly to end family homelessness in Orange County by offering shelter in our short-term transitional houses and supportive services to our families, including rental assistance, groceries, household supplies, laundry money, and gas gift cards.
We continue to operate our monthly Grocery & Supply Distribution to an average of 15 families, helping to supplement family expenses with fresh and healthy food so that families can focus on keeping their housing. The Helpful Honda folks even stopped by again on January 5th to supply the manpower for this massive undertaking.
THANK YOU to all our supporters, volunteers, and donors for helping to make 2020 a little brighter for our families! We are truly blessed to have such wonderful community support for our program and unified commitment to ending family homelessness in Orange County!