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In 2014, Ann joined Giving Children Hope as a recently retired nurse, not knowing what God had in store for her. When she walked through the doors for her first shift, we immediately knew that she would one day be a tremendous asset to our organization. And we were right!
At the young age of 21, Ann started working as a nurse at what is now called USC Medical Center. Fifty years later, she decided it was time for her to retire and start serving God in other ways – that’s when she found Giving Children Hope. As a member of Wilshire Avenue Community Church, a partner church in our 10:29 Initiative, she learned about the different programs we offered and decided to test the waters. She instantly fell in love with our Global Operations medical supply sorting opportunity – after all, she brings to us 50 years of experience! After a year of countless hours sorting medical supplies for needy communities, she agreed to be our sole Global Operations Volunteer Leader. Ann says that her favorite part of working at Giving Children Hope is the mystery of sorting medical supplies. She says, “Every time Giving Children Hope receives a new pallet of medical supplies, it’s like opening a present.” But above all, she loves that she is a part of team that looks to the needs of others.
When asked what superpower she would most enjoy, she looked at me and asked, “What would it take to cure homelessness? I would want that superpower.” This is the kind of person Ann is. Her genuine heart, her overwhelming kindness, and her radiant positivity are qualities that the staff members here are all striving for. Her favorite quote comes from the Bible – “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33. She expresses that God has been been faithful through all the years and has blessed her through employment and a purpose in life. Giving Children Hope is honored that one of Ann’s purposes in life is to sort medical supplies in our warehouse and serve underprivileged communities in that way.

Ann is a world changer, and you can be too! If you would like to learn more about volunteering at Giving Children Hope, please contact SueLynn at volunteer@gchope.org.

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“It makes such a difference to these families. You can see the smiles on their faces. It’s a blessing,” volunteer Blanca Sampson said about Giving Children Hope’s MLK Day volunteer event. Giving Children Hope’s partner, MiNDS Network, is a nonprofit serving the underprivileged and uninsured by providing free healthcare services in SoCal. On Saturday, January 16, Giving Children Hope invited our network of We’ve Got Your Back families to receive free medical exams, basic needs items, hygiene kits, toys, and food, all thanks to our friends at MiNDS. The families were so appreciative of what was given to them.

The event closed with a special guest appearance by Joseph Jackson Jr., a true hero from the Civil Rights Movement, now a resident of Anaheim. Jackson humbly shared about what it was like to be Tougaloo Christian College’s NAACP President during the time of the Freedom Riders, taking notes from Dr. Martin Luther King. Jackson was chosen to be one of 9 students to participate in a non-violent demonstration in the school library. The students held their ground, sitting at a table in the library until they were arrested for “disturbing the peace.” Jackson said he had his suspicions that he might be hung for what he had done. Thankfully, he was released unharmed but was unable to participate in another demonstration for 30 days unless he wanted to get sent to the penitentiary prison. Jackson’s story is one of heroic activism that pushed forward Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision for equality for all people. May his story inspire us to blindly love and fight for fairness for one another.

Thank you to MiNDS, St. Jude, Obria Clinic, YWCA, Uplift Charity, Successful Families of Buena Park, and Covered CA for coming out to serve our families!

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

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Yesterday Giving Children Hope headed over to a Fullerton elementary school for a fun-filled afternoon. We were honored with the invitation to be a part of a monthly food distribution event with Second Harvest Food Bank. Once a month, between 100-130 low-income families arrive to receive beautiful produce from Second Harvest at a local elementary school. Giving Children Hope had the privilege of participating and giving away children’s multivitamins to each family. Both the parents and children were excited to receive the vitamins. One boy picked up his vitamins, turned to his mom and said, “Here Mom, this will keep me strong and healthy.”

Thank you Jon Matson, School Liaison, for allowing us to serve alongside each other!

 

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According to World Vision, around 195,000 Syrian families will need help staying warm and dry this winter. On the evening of December 29, 30 unique individuals, traveling from different areas, gathered in our warehouse with one goal in mind: to be a symbol of hope for these Syrian refugees. In the upcoming months, Giving Children Hope will be sending a container of blankets, hygiene products, and clothing to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. With pallets of clothes to sort and pack into boxes, what would have taken our warehouse staff a day took our army of volunteers just under two hours. Together, they sorted and packed close to three pallets of clothing, which will ultimately provide clothing for 2,000 Syrian refugees. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who attended. It is only through our partnership with our surrounding community members that we have the ability to serve those in need.

Thank you to members of Wilshire Ave Church, members of Christian Life Center, Brandon, Danielle, Kay, Alex, and Sarah for joining us in changing the world!

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Christmas is our favorite time of year here at Giving Children Hope. The warehouse becomes Santa’s workshop with an army of elves helping to prepare the gifts for each deserving child in We’ve Got Your Back. This year we had close to 150 elves — I mean, volunteers — donate their time in the evenings to carefully package and wrap each and every gift. This is no easy feat considering we distribute over 4,000 gifts! We are so grateful to all of you that came to a wrapping party this year.

A special thank you to Gilbert Elementary faculty for purchasing and wrapping gifts for all the children at their school! Thank you to our corporate partners Nutrilite, US Bank, Salesforce.com, and Premier Chevrolet for attending and helping make this Christmas special for so many children.

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On the Saturday before Christmas, a group of barely caffeinated 50 volunteers loaded Premier Chevrolet trucks with mattresses to deliver to some very deserving families in Buena Park. Hundreds of families were surveyed to find out if there were family members in need of a warm bed to sleep on. With a group of passionate volunteers we were able to provide a joyful Christmas surprise to 70 families! Even though the parents had been notified of the gift they would be receiving, most of the mothers shed tears of delight when we arrived with a beautiful mattress and bedding. It was humbling to see some of the living situations these families were in: children in the bedroom and parents on couches or the floor. One mother that sleeps on her living room couch every night said, “Receiving this bed is a blessing from God. I don’t sleep well as it is, but I know this will make such an impact, not only on my sleep, but my attitude throughout the day as well.”

Giving Children Hope was honored to partner with the Buena Park School District Education Foundation, Brentwood Homes, Premier Chevrolet, and Superintendent Greg Magnuson to love and serve those in need right here in our own backyard.

 

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This Christmas, Giving Children Hope distributed 4,000 toys to underprivileged children all across Orange County. Without our army of volunteers, this task would have been impossible. One volunteer that went above and beyond to help us this Christmas season was Sue Tisdall, our December Volunteer of the Month. Sue was born and raised in Long Beach, CA, and taught for 36 years before she decided to retire. She first got involved with Giving Children Hope through her church, Christ Community Church of Buena Park. Having hosted many food drives for Giving Children Hope, her church informed her of the programs that we implemented in our community and abroad – from that moment on, she volunteered for our We’ve Got Your Back program packing backpacks. A year later, we asked her to serve as our Data Entry Specialist. Since then, Sue has worked diligently to ensure that all the data for our WGYB program is up-to-date and accurate. Throughout November and December, she volunteered full-time to scan and input all of our students’ wish lists and assist in wrapping parties. She even took work home!

Sue’s favorite part about volunteering at Giving Children Hope is “being able to help someone else.” And she encourages all volunteers to get to know the staff and other volunteers, for it is more “rewarding that way.” Elia, our We’ve Got Your Back Administrative Coordinator, works daily with Sue and explains how dependable Sue has been, especially during our hectic Christmas season. Sue never wants recognition for her work, but this month, we decided to candidly express our gratitude to one of the most loyal, caring, and valuable volunteers we’ve ever had the privilege to work with.

Sue is a world changer, and you can be too! If you would like to learn more about volunteering at Giving Children Hope, please contact SueLynn at volunteer@gchope.org.

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Home of the “World’s Greatest Hamburgers,” Fuddruckers quickly became one of Giving Children Hope’s greatest volunteer groups. On Tuesday, November 10th, six branch managers gathered in our warehouse to serve needy families in Orange County. Back in June, Buena Park Fuddruckers’ store manager, Jocelyn, had donated vouchers for our golf tournament’s silent auction. Upon learning about our work, she felt compelled to invite her fellow managers to our warehouse. Together in about three hours, they packed 160 backpacks and packaged produce bags for students across Orange County. Branch Manager of Lakewood Fuddruckers returned to our warehouse two days later, Fuddruckers gift cards in hand, thanking us for the fulfilling experience. Though we humbly (and gladly) accepted the gift cards, we believe that it’s really through the help of volunteers like your local Fuddruckers managers, that we are able to extend a helping hand to those who need it. So thank you, Fuddruckers, for changing the world alongside us!

Every time Giving Children Hope is greeted with a fresh batch of banana bread muffins or a myriad of homemade salsas, we know that Barbara Sheridan is here. Barb was born in Missouri and has lived in California for most of the past 30 years. She joined Giving Children Hope in 2014 after she caught the “volunteer bug” from a week-long event that she supported with her daughter and her church. Boy are we glad that she found us first. For the past year, Barb has been a wonderful We’ve Got Your Back volunteer and now Volunteer Leader and a pivotal asset to Giving Children Hope, whether she’s directing corporate volunteer groups or advocating for us at various tabling events. Not to mention, she always serves with so much joy.

Barb states, “My favorite part of volunteering is the people. I get to meet so many different people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. It helps me remember that we are all different in some way but still all one in His eyes.” She encourages all who are thinking about volunteering to “quit thinking about it and do it” because “you will feel the love and appreciation from the staff wash over you like the tide.” For the entire year that Barb has served in our WGYB program, she has never lost sight of this mentality. She always agrees to help with a smile, which encourages others to do the same. When we asked Barb what her favorite quote was, she responded with “Good things come in small packages,” and we couldn’t agree more. She may be small in stature, but she offers so much – a generous heart for the community and a contagious joy that fuels those around her. Without devoted volunteers like Barb, it would be physically impossible for Giving Children Hope to serve the many people that we do. And for that, we are grateful.

Barb is a world changer, and you can be too! If you would like to learn more about volunteering at Giving Children Hope, please contact SueLynn at volunteer@gchope.org.

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On Tuesday, October 13, Giving Children Hope was invited to Horace Mann Elementary for Taco Night! The incredible staff at Horace Mann hosted a taco dinner for families who are qualified for WGYB assistance to eat and learn about the help available to them. With nearly 80 people at the dinner, Giving Children Hope staff members Elia Perez, Rosa Rueda, and Carly Visbal enjoyed getting to meet many of the Horace Mann parents. Horace Mann has an outstanding liaison that Giving Children Hope works with to coordinate WGYB. Giving Children Hope provided the raffle prizes given out to the children that attended. Going along with the theme of WGYB’s new financial literacy courses being offered, the prizes were piggy banks. It’s never too early to start saving!

Thank you Principal Perez and Mina Galindo at Horace Mann for providing the best opportunities for your students to succeed.