We exist to glorify God and to be His hands and feet to our community specifically those in need. We cannot take away everyone’s pain or suffering but we can bless them with a sandwich or meat, milk and sometimes a chocolate cake.
This email came in yesterday morning so I wanted to share it:
I just wanted to thank you so very much for allowing me to collect food for a woman in need from YAS. She has applied for the food stamp program but hasn’t been approved, so my friend and I are helping her out, and God is amazing!
The first time I collected food from YAS, my friend picked it up on Monday and delivered it to her that night. I mentioned her story to my boss, and he felt led to give her his tithe money in cash, which is unusual for him to do….period..he put it in an envelope for her and wished to remain anonymous…little did we know that monday morning her utilities were shut off, and even though they approved her for aid, she needed $187.00 cash the next morning…..the money was just enough for her bill with $12.00 left over. She said that night they ate the food YAS gave them, enjoyed the nice chocolate cake also with real MILK and knew God had taken care of them! I cannot thank you enough for the food, which made her burden lighter!
God is awesome the way He orchestrates our lives in PERFECT harmony! So anyway, this story warmed my heart and I wanted you to know how wonderful the YAS program is!
Thanks again for being obedient to God’s direction!
For those of you who don’t know, my husband, who is the pastor of our church, and I are right in the heart of Los Angeles seeing his radiologist oncologist for what he has now which is brain mets because of his melanoma. About six weeks ago Eric started having bad headaches and intermittent vomiting. This prompted more nausea medication from his last Yervoy chemotherapy/immunotherapy. he asked me to call his doctor for a refill which was also a red flag for his doctor stating he takes to much of compazine, an anti-nausea med. they then scheduled a CT scan which showed a small 5mm tumor on the left frontal lobe of his brain. You don’t know what to feel really. But another high resolution scan showed a second one on the right side which is why we are in LA at the Kaiser LAMC.
On our way here last Thursday on Vermont and Sunset are several homeless people of all ages living with their baskets/tents/homes. I asked the doctor if he was heartbroken for the homeless and he responded, “homeless…where?” Eric looked at me but I could not control my mouth….,”all the ones up and down Vermont and Sunset.” He said, “I don’t think I have ever seen them.” My thoughts, not words, “you have got to be kidding me, how can you not see them?”
We went home after a long night at the hospital and now we are back today..back in a place where many homeless and schizophrenic live. It is interesting coming here after living in the Orange bubble. I am sure there are many churches and organizations that help but a lot of them don’t want help.i wanted to walk because we are sitting a lot so we went to this wonderful cafe for lunch but it is 93 F here…pretty hot. The restaurant is on Vermont so we had to walk a little way and on the way we gave a homeless man some money. We also saw this small naked man with a small baby blanket size cloth covering his head because of the heat sitting against the wall shaking. (This all happened as we were walking) another man put some juice next to him because it was pretty hot and the man under the blanket through the juice back. The homeless man was demented. He reminded me of the story in the bible of the man who was called the “demoniac.”
Then we got a coffee (of course). I told Eric the barista is kind to the homeless because he had several water cups filled but when I asked him about the water he said he just made them up ahead of time for the customers because he did not want to do be bothered with them later. Eric mentioned that most get rejected when they try to help and I do understand that but a lot of us rejected Christ when He gave us His life so for those of us who help the down and outers, the homeless, the working poor and the unthankful…lets not stop. Someone will take the cup of cold water or the bread we share.
Last week several of us from around Orange County that serve the low income, some homeless, motel families, single parents and other services came together to meet at Second Harvest. It was wonderful because we finally met face to face with many that have a desire to serve those in need and have served for years but not for the money. Although there are many causes out in our world today, such as Charity Water, which is quite impressive to say the least, there are many of us who have worked for years serving without the thought of raising a lot of money, getting any kind of a paycheck, (most of us volunteer or are paid very minimal) or any recognition.
What was so nice were the ideas and things that these organizations do such as mobile health clinics, case management to help get others off the streets, children’s books and programs with Project Dignity, churches that give out food and cooked meals. I mean this is outstanding if you really think about it.
Some of us give money and we need money to pay for the gas, the facilities, the food, the overhead and some part-time staff. But others of us give time. We get yelled at sometimes, we get kissed on the face, we get hugs and thank yous…people on the street that you don’t remember helping come and tell you thank you when you are getting your Starbucks. (yes, I am addicted, just ask anyone) Those moments are priceless. Most of us are not government supported because if so, they could tell us who to serve or who not to serve. We are people serving and giving.
This flood of feelings come over you when a mom leans over her car and cries and cries when one of us gave her a gift or a cake because she feels God heard her prayer. Or the family who just got kicked out of their apartment because they just could not afford it any longer and you are able to pay for one night somewhere and the only reason you could do that was because a dedicated family who is teaching their children to give saves all their coins to give to YAS and you just happened to get that envelope.
You make so many friends it is incredible. We all stand side by side working in all different ways, packing, cleaning, patrolling, sorting, mopping….you name it we do it.
I just want to say a big thank you to those who do not do this for the recognition but because of love and some of us are commanded to do so by Christ who said, “freely you have received, freely give.”
Los Angeles Times~Tiffany hsu
|One in five Americans said they had trouble affording enough food at times last year, according to a new report from the Food Research and Action Center. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)|
During the 12 months of 2011, 18.6% of families across the country said that at times there wasn’t enough money to buy food, according to the Food Research and Action Center. That’s up from 18% in 2010 and the highest annual rate in the four years that the organization has put out its annual food hardship report.
Every Tuesday a dedicated group of people unbeknownst to many come and sort the food that You Are Special gives out every single Wednesday to the low income, working poor, homeless and just plain struggling in Orange and the surrounding cities of Santa Ana, El Modena, Anaheim, Tustin and Villa Park. They sort the food that many grocery stores such as Trader Joe’s, Albertson’s, Pacific Ranch Market, Ralph’s, Chipotle and even Starbucks donates and gives to us, a little ole food pantry in this wonderful city of Orange. A city that many think is just a bubble in Orange County. We are surrounded by wealth but beneath the surface are those that struggle especially during this time and season of economic hardship.
Well, this week we had a wonderful new fresh company start up, come and volunteer to help sort the food out for tomorrow, Dura Doggie . Elaine contacted me and asked how they could help us, so we told them. Their company spent several hours listening to our stories, sorting fruits and vegetables, bread, unloading heavy boxes and became part of the organization for a day.
Thank you Dura Doggie for being so generous in supporting YAS with your time and hard work!
- Neighbors who give to food pantries (covenantlifechristianchurchyas.wordpress.com)
- Souper Bowl of Caring Helps Metro Food Pantry (fox4kc.com)
- Canned Food Drives in Chicago (apartmentguide.com)
- Cascade Food Pantry (epicgranola.wordpress.com)
- Mother Jones Food Pantry Needs Hundreds Of Toys For Holiday Party (chicago.cbslocal.com)
- Exchange Club of Sebastian donates to the Ecumenical Food Pantry (tcpalm.com)
- A Mobile Food Pantry in a ‘Food Desert’ (nytimes.com)
After feeding those in need today which was about 261 families, a little more than we ususually give out too, a man stopped by and popped in the door of You Are Special and approached my son, Caleb. He asked, “Is this the food pantry?” to which Caleb responded, “yes but we are all out of food.” Jason responded with , “no, no, I am not here to get food but to drop off some money.” Very surprised Caleb responded with, “Wow, well go right over there and you’ll find the person you need to talk to.” So Jason came over and met my husband Eric who then brought me out. Jason preceded to tell us that he and his family have some piggy bank jars lined up in their house and they put money in there for different purposes and one of those purposes was to give to YAS, a local food pantry. Needless to say that was extremely generous and kind to think of us. The amount does not matter but the heart of giving does.
Right now the economy is challenging and many people are hurting and have a basic need to feed their families. We serve whoever has a need no questions asked the unemployed, the homeless, the working poor, children, the destitute, the single parents, the youth out of college that do not have jobs right now, and the elderly which make up almost half of who we give too. It breaks my heart. One lady told me that she is feeding her family of 30 this weekend for Chinese New Year. I would have liked to help her more but we just don’t have the finance capability to do that.
We so appreciate those who stop by like Jason and his wife Jennifer and for that we are thankful for their generosity and their heart.
- Feeding the 5000 – or atleast those in Downtown Columbus! (2012thedifferenceisyou.wordpress.com)
- Peanut Butter Needed (fumcoutofthebox.com)
- Food Elves, Downtown Partnership collect a ton of food! (franklinmatters.org)
- NJ couple launches new food pantry – for pets (mysanantonio.com)
- House of Hope mobilizes food pantry (tcpalm.com)
- Church determined to keep food pantry going (mysanantonio.com)
- Food pantry in New Jersey provides sustenance for pets (philly.com)
- Mother Jones Food Pantry Needs Hundreds Of Toys For Holiday Party (chicago.cbslocal.com)
- Due To High Demand, Food Pantry Shuts Doors (npr.org)
- Hunger on Main Street and Even Sesame Street (boston.com)
- Thanksgiving Dinner Giveaway tonight @You Are Special Community Outreach food pantry! (covenantlifechristianchurchyas.wordpress.com)
As many as 77% of those in Orange County who are low income or below poverty do not qualify for food stamps and that is fine with us because we are here to help those in need. YAS is a local food bank in Orange County serving the elderly, the working poor, those who have lost their jobs, those who have been affected by the economy, Tustin, Santa Ana, El Modena, Villa Park, and Orange.
Our desire is to support the end of the month paycheck with a basic need of food. Thanks to the many donations from Pacific Ranch, Albertsons, Ralphs, the Restaurant Depot and Trader Joes, people who might otherwise not have food for their family can come to You Are Special on Wednesday’s to get some fresh fruits and vegtables, meat and dairy to help sustain thier paychecks or those not working.
Thank you for the volunteers who work so diligently!
- You Are Special Fundraiser/Food Bank in Orange CA (covenantlifechristianchurchyas.wordpress.com)
- Buy a bowl, eat soup and help Food Bank | HeraldTribune.com (covenantlifechristianchurchyas.wordpress.com)
- Are other countries not battling the food insecurit and economic crisis we are? (covenantlifechristianchurchyas.wordpress.com)
- Thanksgiving in Canada Gives Food Banks a Free Place Page on LocalHood.ca (prweb.com)
- INFOGRAPHIC: Who uses local food banks? (cbc.ca)
- Area food banks facing a crisis in food, funding (philly.com)
- Food bank use stays high (cbc.ca)