On Sunday, March 26, 110 volunteers of all ages arrived at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church with a tremendous goal: to help sort and pack more than five tons of donated food and toiletries to fuel the children and families we serve. To say that we are awestruck, grateful, and humbled by the phenomenal outpouring of support is an understatement.
Throughout the entire month of March, the Newport Beach congregation hosted a donations drive for Project Hope Alliance, encouraging members of its family to take action and transform lives. And they certainly did.
In fact, this year's drive surpassed the previous two records, including 2016's whopping 9,430 pounds of food and toiletries and 2015's incredible 3,611 gallons of food (by volume). The 2015 drive kicked off a five-year partnership between St. Andrew's and Project Hope Alliance—a component of the church's "Welcome Home" capital campaign. In 2017, the massive effort was once again wildly successful.
This year also saw another milestone in our partnership: St. Andrew's hit their Extending the Family goal, helping Project Hope Alliance move more than 100 kids out of homelessness as a result of the church's investment in our work.
St. Andrew's posted a fantastic recap, and here's a beautiful breakdown:
TOTAL PACKING PARTY VOLUNTEERS: 110
TOTAL BAGS RETURNED: 701
Total Boxes Delivered: 364
TOTAL WEIGHT DONATED: 10,311 Pounds
The lovingly sorted and packed donations will fully stock our Community Pantry, which nourishes the children, youth, and families we serve.
With a bountiful, brimming pantry, the children and youth who we serve gain the physical and mental power to excel in the classroom. This consistent source of sustenance also adds security to our families' lives by closing the door on excruciating monthly decisions, like filling the gas tank versus a child's belly, and unlocking the ability to effectively prioritize expenses like rent and utilities.
A snapshot of Orange County's homelessness issue sees the faces of more than 26,000 homeless children. Since 2012, Project Hope Alliance has moved more than 800 children and their parents out of homelessness.
Thanks to St. Andrew's unwavering advocacy, we will end the cycle of homelessness in Orange County, one child at a time.