FOCUS UPDATE OCTOBER 2019
Most non-profits are understaffed and are in great need of volunteers.
1. Family Assistance Ministries (FAM) in San Clemente.
FAM has an ongoing need for food sorters, food rescuers and tax volunteers. FAM also has holiday volunteer opportunities that include adopting families for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas or collecting toys for needy kids at Christmas time.
FAM is a faith-based charitable non-profit organization who assists those in need in Orange County with resources for food, shelter, and personalized supportive counsel and aid, helping clients bridge the gap from dependency to self-sufficiency. FAM served 30,000 people last year. 46% were children in families. Their website is https://www.family-assistance.org
2. Friendship Shelter in Laguna Beach.
The shelter helps homeless adults achieve self-sufficiency to become more productive members of the community. The shelter welcomes guests to come in and cook for their 27 residents. The volunteers bring the dinner ingredients, cook and then serve it to the residents. Volunteers eat dinner with the residents. Their website is https://www.friendshipshelter.org.
3. Giving Children Hope in Buena Park.
Volunteers attend a one hour orientation about this wonderful organization and then volunteer in their store for a couple more hours unpacking product and stocking shelves.
Giving Children Hope is a distribution center that receives product from generous corporations and in turn redistributes to agencies to serve the needy. This faith-based community driven nonprofit equips front line partners – like FOCUS North America – with resources to serve vulnerable children and families. Their website is https://www.friendshipshelter.org
4. Orange County Food Bank in Garden Grove
Volunteers receive a brief tour of the food bank and a presentation that describes the poverty and hunger in Orange County. Volunteers then work side-by-side in the warehouse to the beat of music packing food boxes that will be distributed to hungry people in Orange County and surrounding areas. Their website is https://ocfoodbank.org
I will answer all questions and make the volunteer arrangements.
Irene Basdakis, Esq.
Director – Orange County
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
September 2018 FOCUS OC Update, as of 9/22/18
Background: FOCUS Orange County (OC) is focusing on the poor and needy with food insecurity. We are one of nine FOCUS centers operating across the country. As our partnerships with our sister Orthodox Christian churches grow, we are expanding.
Our FOCUS Mission Statement: As an expression of Christ’s love, FOCUS North America serves the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick and imprisoned by providing Food, Occupation, Clothing, Understanding, and Shelter.
- We have increased our Orthodox involvement from two to five churches and the monastery of St. Macarius
- This summer we fed approximately 2700 meals to needy school children, families and neighbors in Westminster. We were blessed with volunteers from our Churches, and thankful for cooking support from St. Luke in Garden Grove.
- We’ve started distributing food baskets to our needy families through the assistance of the Orange County Food Bank on a monthly/bi-weekly basis.
- Our partnership with the Westminster Family Resource Center (W-FRC) continues to grow.
- Mark church donated 25 backpacks full of school supplies for the needy children.
- We provide a Food Pantry on the last Sunday of each month at the Valencia Inn in Anaheim.
- We were selected by one of our churches to receive ½ of the proceeds from their summer fundraiser.
- Our volunteers provide noon meals on Wednesday’s and Friday’s, at John Marshall Park in Anaheim.
Donations to FOCUS are significantly multiplied. Several grants are in process to add paid staff and expanded operations. For every $Dollar donated to FOCUS OC, we acquire approximately 17-20 pounds of food.
Advisory Group: Our FOCUS OC Advisory Group meets every six weeks at Orthodox Churches. Our next meeting will be at St. Mark in Irvine. Check on our Facebook site for the announcement. We are seeking two representatives from each OC Orthodox Church to provide leadership to our program and recruit/coordinate volunteers.
Spiritual Advisor: Fr. Blasko Paraklis, Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, Irvine.
FOCUS OC Contact Info: Email; OrangeCounty@FOCUSNA.org, Facebook; FOCUS Orange County, Web: https://focusnorthamerica.org/centers/orange-county/;
St. Mark’s Sunday School ( teacher , students and parents) feeding at the Valencia Inn on St . Nicholas Sunday
December 6, 2015