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Thanks, Y’all! Celebrating Our Volunteers

Thanks, Y’all! Celebrating Our Volunteers

Every year Pathways of Hope celebrates our amazing volunteers by hosting a Volunteer Luncheon. Last month we held a western-themed “Volunteer Roundup” at First Presbyterian Church in Fullerton to thank our volunteers for their tireless efforts and support!

In 2015, 501 people volunteered over 11,000 hours at Pathways of Hope!

“Volunteers are the heart of Pathways of Hope,” said Nancy Somerville, Pathways’ Volunteer Coordinator. “Without the time and talents of our volunteers, Pathways’ impact on hunger and homelessness would be much less. Whether they are working directly or behind the scenes to help our clients get food, help increase our support base, make our properties shine or to enrich the lives of our residents, volunteers are critical to the services that we provide.”

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In 2015, Pathways was able to achieve this success thanks to the support of our dedicated volunteers!

“It is only through the support of our AMAZING volunteers, who donate their time and talent that we are able to make such a positive impact on the community!” said Rebecca Holt, Creator of Opportunities for Community Engagement.

Below, you’ll find photos from the Volunteer Luncheon. (Special thanks to First Presbyterian Church of Fullerton for providing the venue for this event!) Pathways’ volunteers and staff had a blast celebrating our impact on the lives of the hungry and homeless in Orange County:

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Are you inspired by Pathways of Hope’s volunteers? To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Pathways, contact Nancy Somerville by calling (714) 680-3691 ext. 230 or emailing nancy.somerville@pathwaysofhope.us.

No time to volunteer? Become a Sustaining Partner and donate monthly to Pathways of Hope to rebuild lives all year round!

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Team Kids at Pacific Drive <br>Raises Funds to End Homelessness!

Team Kids at Pacific Drive
Raises Funds to End Homelessness!

Team Kids at Pacific Drive Elementary School wanted to make a difference in the lives of people facing homelessness in our community. These fifth and sixth grade students planned and hosted a carnival at their school, and they raised over $300 to donate to Pathways of Hope!

“Whenever possible we try to think of organizations right in their community, so they can directly impact their community,” said Team Kids Leader Haylee Forster. “The students know of Pathways of Hope. They voted specifically for homelessness. It was all the kids.”

Team Kids implements innovative school-based and community-wide service-learning programs for children to inspire youth as positive change agents. Over 50 students at Pacific Drive Elementary met weekly for four weeks to plan the carnival, which they held on Wednesday, May 18th.

When asked how they felt the carnival went, one student said it was “out-of-the-galaxy good!” When asked what was most inspiring about the Team Kids project, another student said she was most inspired when she knew the funds would be going to Pathways’ shelter. Another said that he was most inspired “knowing that I’m helping the homeless.” When asked what they learned from the Team Kids challenge, one student said, “I learned how to save people’s lives.”

Thank you, Team Kids at Pacific Drive Elementary School! Your actions have a direct impact on the lives of those in need in our community!

Are you inspired by the students at Pacific Drive? This summer, we invite you to Take a Stand against hunger and homelessness by hosting your own creative fundraiser to raise funds for Pathways of Hope.

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HUB of Hope Saves Veronica from Losing Her Home

HUB of Hope Saves Veronica from Losing Her Home

Six months ago, Veronica lost her job. Struggling to make ends meet and determined not to lose her home, she began visiting Pathways’ HUB of Hope to receive emergency food and hygiene items. Last week, Veronica visited the HUB and excitedly informed the HUB staff and volunteers that this would be her last visit, as she had secured a full-time position at a preschool in Orange County. “I just wanted to say goodbye, and thank you so much!” she said, “This last visit will be the food I need until I get my first paycheck.”

During her time coming to the HUB’s food distribution program, Veronica formed a close bond with one of our volunteers, Leslie Johnson. Since Veronica had to take a few buses to get to the HUB, Leslie gave her canvas bags to make it easier for her to carry her food home. This simple act of kindness meant worlds to Veronica. “Ms. Leslie has been very gracious, helpful and encouraging,” she said. Leslie, upon hearing that Veronica had found employment, said, “I am really going to miss her, but I am SO happy for her!”

Pathways’ HUB of Hope is crucial to preventing homelessness for clients like Veronica, who find themselves in difficult financial situations and who need support through periods of economic crisis. About 80% of the people who visit the HUB for food and hygiene items are not homeless, but they are struggling to make ends meet. The ability to receive food and other resources from the HUB allows them to afford to pay for other expenses like utility bills, and prevents them from becoming homeless.

Are you inspired by Veronica’s story and by Leslie’s kindness and generosity?
Do you want to make a difference, but you don’t have time to volunteer?

You can rebuild the lives of those in need by donating to Pathways of Hope. Your donation will help support people like Veronica, people who are facing an economic crisis and seeking support from Pathways of Hope, an organization that has spent over forty years dedicated to ending hunger and homelessness in our community.

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Rochelle and her Daughters Found Hope

Rochelle and her Daughters Found Hope

When Rochelle’s mother suffered a stroke and an aneurism, it fell on Rochelle to care for both her ailing mother and her own children. While doing everything possible to support her family, she lost everything and found herself homeless.

Then Rochelle found Pathways of Hope. The stability of our housing program helped her find a safe, secure place to call home. Through the support of her case manager and the skills she acquired through our Life Skills classes, Rochelle soon secured employment. From her first day at Pathways of Hope, Rochelle took an enthusiastic approach to her personal and professional development, utilizing every resource offered at Pathways to rebuild her life.

Rochelle said, “I just think the wording is so perfect, ‘Pathways of Hope,’ because in my situation, to go through homelessness, and to go through child custody, and seeing my mom go through her own struggles…to come that far, and then to be at Pathways of Hope, to me, that’s like me and my kids won the lotto.”

Rochelle and her daughters, Yasmin (age 2) and Hayzel (age 12), bring bright smiles and positive attitudes throughout our Fullerton campus. Hayzel is a gymnast and a caring big sister who plays with little Yasmin and teaches her how to do simple jumps. The family often spends evenings playing together at our campus’s playground.

Rochelle is now living at Hope’s Corner, our second step shelter which affords families an extended stay with Pathways of Hope. At Hope’s Corner, families are able to build up their financial resources and implement the budgeting skills they’ve acquired in our Life Skills classes as they prepare to move into permanent housing. Rochelle continues to work diligently with her case manager to ensure that she stays on track toward her goal of obtaining a permanent home for her family.

“This program gives me the support that I need,” Rochelle said. “Homelessness stops here for me.”

Are you inspired by Rochelle’s story?
Do you want to make a difference in the lives of homeless families?

You have the power to rebuild the lives of the hungry and homeless. Donate to Pathways of Hope today. Your contribution will help support families like Rochelle’s in their journeys from homelessness to permanent housing. 

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Tessa’s Family Is Safe from Abuse

Tessa’s Family Is Safe from Abuse

When Tessa’s husband became physically and emotionally abusive, she was determined to keep herself and her two children safe. She had no job and no place to go, but she knew that she had to protect her family from the domestic violence in their home.

Tessa* and her children became homeless, staying first with friends, then at a nearby church. Then she entered Via Esperanza, Pathways of Hope’s Immediate Response Shelter. Right away, she began to make plans to rebuild her life.

After much soul-searching and many conversations with her case manager, Tessa decided that the best option for herself and her children was to move back to Colorado* to be with her extended family. She used Via Esperanza’s career counseling and computer resources and began applying for jobs, and was soon able to secure a job in her home state.

Tessa is grateful that Pathways of Hope was able to provide her family with a stable place to stay and give her the support and resources she needed during the traumatic experience of leaving her abusive husband. Thanks to Pathways of Hope’s donors, Tessa received the care and council necessary to keep her family safe and to take steps toward a new life, a life free from abuse and filled with the love and support of her family.

Excerpted from The National Alliance to End Homelessness:

“Domestic violence is the immediate cause of homelessness for many women. Survivors of domestic violence are often isolated from support networks and financial resources by their abusers, which puts them at risk of becoming homeless. As a result, they may lack steady income, employment history, credit history, and landlord references.

Survivors of domestic violence have both short- and long-term housing needs. Immediately, survivors require safe housing away from the abuser. Ultimately, the family requires access to safe, stable, affordable housing.”

Your support gives survivors of domestic violence like Tessa the chance to break the cycle of abuse and rebuild their lives. Donate to Pathways of Hope today.

*Name and details have been changed to protect the client and her family

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Do You ❤ Pathways of Hope?

Do You ❤ Pathways of Hope?

Mark your calendars!  i❤oc Giving Day is right around the corner: 6 am April 27th – noon April 28th!

Pathways of Hope needs your help to spread the word throughout our community about i❤oc Giving Day and about Pathways’ work and mission in the Orange County.  i❤oc Giving Day is an online giving event powered by the Orange County Community Foundation. YOU can help Pathways of Hope receive the donations we need to continue to rebuild lives of the hungry and homeless in our community.

Last year, Pathways of Hope served over 6,000 people in need by providing over 60,000 meals to over 5,000 hungry households, and assisting 538 homeless people in finding permanent housing. With your support, Pathways of Hope will be able to serve even more people in 2016. 

Our goal is to raise $15,000 on i❤oc Giving Day. If we raise $10,000, Pathways of Hope will receive a $10,000 match from an anonymous donor!

Help us spread the word about Pathways of Hope and i❤oc Giving Day and together we can raise funds to end hunger and homelessness! Here’s how:

PDF: I heart Pathways because I believe in rebuilding lives of the hungry and homeless.

PDF: I heart Pathways because everyone deserves a roof over their heads and food on their tables

PDF: I heart Pathways because I love my neighbor

PDF: I heart Pathways because…[personalized response]

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Want to do more? Have questions about the giving event? Contact Mychael Blinde by calling (714) 680-3691 ext. 233 or emailing mychael.blinde@pathwaysofhope.us 

Together, we can rebuild lives of the hungry and homeless!

Pathways Introduces HUB of Hope!

Pathways Introduces HUB of Hope!

Pathways of Hope celebrated the Grand Opening of our resource center and announced the center’s new name on Saturday, March 19th. The building at 611 S. Ford Ave. in Fullerton, formerly known as The Food Distribution Center, or The Center, was christened HUB of Hope.

For over forty years, Pathways of Hope has been providing emergency food for those in need in our community. Last year, Pathways’ food distribution program served over 5,500 individuals by providing over 37,000 meals.  In response to the needs of the community, Pathways’ resource center has adopted new service methods and has begun offering additional resources to clients, such as nutrition classes and career counseling.

“Over the course of the last year, Pathways of Hope has made several strategic changes to our food program.  For example, instead of distributing standardized bags of food, we have adopted a Client Choice Model, where our clients get to select the food items that best fit their families’ needs,” said Eric Azariah, Chairman of Pathways of Hope’s Board of Directors.

Pathways wanted to give the resource center a new name to reflect the expansion of available services, so the organization invited members of the community to submit their best ideas.  Pathways received over 60 submissions, and the winner was chosen by the Board of Directors. The winning name, HUB of Hope, was submitted by Fullerton resident Judy Berg, who was honored at the Grand Opening.

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Over one hundred people attended the event, hosted at 611 S. Ford Ave., Fullerton. Students from Cal State Fullerton served cotton candy and hosted an array of games and crafts for children. Fullerton organizations like CareerWise and Champions for Change shared information about their services with members of our community. Pathways of Hope ran a Lemonade Stand, hosted games, and provided snacks for attendees.

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Assemblywoman Young Kim and former Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva both attended the Grand Opening Ceremony and showed their support of Pathways of Hope by speaking at the event.

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Eric Azariah announced the resource center’s new name and introduced Judy Berg, who had the chance to share the inspiration behind her winning submission.

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“The word ‘center’ immediately brings to mind ‘hub,’” Judy said, “And I thought, ‘hub’ is fine, but it should stand for something.” She thought about the work that Pathways of Hope does in the community and the relationships Pathways develops with the people they serve, and she came up with the acronym: “Helping, Understanding, Believing.”

“I’ve been tuned into Pathways for the majority of its existence, and the name HUB of Hope ties in with their mission and what they are committed to doing: Helping, Understanding, and Believing.”

Eric Azariah said, “We are excited about the expansion of resources at HUB of Hope, and proud to be collaborating with our partners to provide a comprehensive array of services to those in need in our community.”

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Visit Pathways of Hope’s Facebook page to see more photos from the event!

Big thanks to Eastside Christian Church, CSUF, CareerWise, Champions for Change, and John Brion and Kathy Gunn for supporting The Grand Opening!

HUB of Hope Resources

Food Program: Monday – Friday, 1 pm to 4 pm, and Saturday from 9 am – noon
– Receive emergency food and hygiene items three times per month; clothing vouchers twice per year
– Free for all

CareerWise: Monday and Friday, 1:30 pm – 5 pm
– Access career counseling from knowledgeable specialists
– Free for homeless individuals

Gardening Class: Wednesday, May 4th, 10am
– Learn basic gardening skills and receive a free plant grown at HUB of Hope
– Free for all

OC Health Care Nutrition Class: Monday, May 9th, 4:00 pm
– Learn how to make nutritious meals and best practices for staying healthy
– Free for all

Contact Pathways of Hope’s offices to learn more about resources available at HUB of Hope by calling (714) 680-3691 or emailing info@pathwaysofhope.us.

Fullerton Rotary Club’s Scholastic Scholarship<br> Gives Sisters the Gift of Karate

Fullerton Rotary Club’s Scholastic Scholarship
Gives Sisters the Gift of Karate

Pictured Above: Alissa and Isabella

“The best part of karate is they teach me how to do cool moves,” said Alissa, age 7. “We were doing the pads, you get to hit them!” said her sister Isabella, age 6.

Thanks to funding from the Fullerton Rotary Club through the Scholastic and Athletic Scholarship, Alissa and Isabella have had the chance to learn karate at NKD Martial Arts. “They are really grateful for this opportunity,” said their father, Johnny, a single dad who resides with his girls at Hope’s Corner, Pathways of Hope’s transitional housing shelter.

The girls started the classes with no belts, and they worked to achieve the level of white belt, then yellow belt. When asked how it felt to get their yellow belts, Alissa said, “I was so excited!” and Isabella said “I liked it!” The girls are currently practicing hard to receive their orange belts.

Funding from Fullerton Rotary Club has given these young girls a wonderful opportunity to learn a new skill that instills focus, strength, and perseverance. The karate classes have also strengthened the girls’ friendship with one another. Though they are not biological sisters, the girls have always been close, and their experience learning martial arts together has made them even closer. These karate classes are keeping the girls active, increasing their self-esteem, and giving them the chance to bond with their father over a fun activity they can all enjoy together.

Thank you, Fullerton Rotary Club, for giving these girls this wonderful opportunity!

You have the power to make a difference in the lives of children like Alissa and Isabella. Donate to Pathways of Hope today!

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You’re Invited to The Grand Opening!

You’re Invited to The Grand Opening!

Join Pathways of Hope for the Grand Opening of our food and resource center! We’ll be revealing our center’s NEW NAME and celebrating our Grand Opening with music, games, refreshments, and raffles!

Students from Cal State Fullerton will host a craft table, provide cotton candy, and run a Hula Hoop contest! Other games include a Butterfly Toss, Corn Hole, and Rain Gutter Races. Children can win lots of fun prizes, and everyone who attends will receive a raffle ticket and a chance to win a number of awesome prizes! Champions for Change will provide information about nutrition and best practices for physical activity and exercise. CareerWise will host a booth to share information about their services.

We can’t wait to share our center’s new name with you! We hope to see you this Saturday!

Many thanks to Eastside Christian Church, who will be volunteering their assistance with setup for the event.