The 6th annual HomeAid Inland Empire Full Bellies, Warm Hearts community outreach events, held July 18 and 25, benefitted nearly 100 children who reside at homeless shelters in Hemet and San Bernardino..
The children, who reside at the Valley Restart Shelter in Hemet and Mary’s Mercy Center’s Veronica’s Home of Mercy in San Bernardino, were treated to a day of fun and enjoyment, complete with food, arcade games, prizes, face painting, balloon artists, magicians, haircuts and family photos, as well backpacks, school supplies, new coats and new shoes.
“Our annual Full Bellies, Warm Hearts community outreach program gives us and our many supporters a chance to show the women, children and families at the shelters where the events are staged that the community cares about them and wants to help in any way we can as they face the challenge of finding a permanent place to live and work to rebuild their lives” commented Ray Osborne, Executive Director of HomeAid Inland Empire. “The volunteers who have helped us greatly in putting these events together over the past six years have all told us again and again that the happiness and the smiles on the faces of the children at the shelters for a few hours during the time when these events are going on is a very satisfying and rewarding experience for them to witness,” he added.
Generous financial support from several sources, including a $5,000 grant from the San Manuel Tribe of Mission Indians and a $1.500 grant from the Children’s Funds, as well as significant contributions from HomeAid Inland Empire’s corporate partners Bank of America, U.S. Bank, Union Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Lennar, KB Home, Standard Pacific Homes, Driver SPG, Richmond American Homes, D.R. Horton, Prospect Mortgage, iMortgage, Fidelity National Title, 123 Home Keys, All Southern California Escrow, Complete Builder Service, RBF Consulting, Tabor Company, Unison Electric, ESI Electric, Control Air Conditioning and Hy-Tech Tile provided the important funding and volunteers needed to stage the two community outreach events. In addition, Reay Design Studios provided the event photography and Fusion Sign & Designs created and donated all of the signage.
The Arrowhead Credit Union Arrowheart Foundation, Children’s Fund, Standard Pacific Homes and the Baldy View Chapter of the Southern California Building Industry Association (BIA) donated most of the backpacks and school supplies for the events
Stater Bros. Markets provided all the food needed to serve the more than 250 children, parents and volunteers in attendance at the two Full Bellies events.
Students from two Marinello Schools of Beauty gave haircuts to the children and their mothers. Burlington Coat Factory and Skechers were also involved with this worthwhile community outreach event to benefit homeless children in the Inland Empire as they get ready to go back to school.
HomeAid Inland Empire is a non-profit organization that works with various service provider partners to renovate and build shelters to temporarily house homeless individuals and families in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Since 1990, HomeAid Inland Empire has completed 36 homeless shelter facilities in the two-county area, housing 943 beds, valued at nearly $17.3 million with the Inland Empire homebuilding industry providing more than $6.6 million in funding and in-kind donations of labor and materials.
HomeAid Inland Empire will celebrate its 25th in 2015, and is currently working to create the 1,000th homeless shelter bed to provide short-term housing for men, women and children that need a place to stay while they work to re-gain self sufficiency.
More than 3,000 homeless individuals and families are served each year at the shelter facilities that have been created through HomeAid Inland Empire and their service provider partners.
Veronica’s Home of Mercy is part of Mary’s Mercy Center, a non-profit home for women and children who find themselves temporarily homeless. The shelter provides housing as well as education and counseling to transition families into self sufficiency. Programs such as GED preparation, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and child development education emphasize growth and wellness for both the mothers and their young children. The original Veronica’s Home of Mercy shelter facility opened in 1995.
Valley Restart Shelter is operated a dynamic group of community-minded individuals who have served the homeless population in the City of Hemet for many years/ The shelter is a non-profit service agency committed to serving temporarily homeless men and women as well as single women with children and families with the goal of rescuing, restoring and rebuilding lives.
For more information about HomeAid Inland Empire go to organization’s website at www.homeaidie.org.