By Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, 23rd Senate District
Thanksgiving is right around the proverbial corner, and with its focus on family gatherings and giving thanks for our many blessings, it is one of my favorite holidays.
It’s also a time I get to focus on one of the uplifting aspects of my work as your state senator, partnering with businesses, fellow elected officials, tribes, and nonprofit community organizations to bring in donations and grants to fund Thanksgiving food and turkey giveaways to help provide for those in need.
The hardest part is determining where to focus, because even with fairly high average household incomes in many parts of our district, there is still significant need – poverty rates run between 17% and 26%, depending on the community. California has a huge affordability problem.
This year I worked to secure donations and grants to fund turkey and food giveaways in partnership with five very worthy organizations: the Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy, the Valley Community Pantry, the Highlanders Boxing Club, the Neighborhood Association Council in the City of San Bernardino, and the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 12 (DAV).
The Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy (YVYLA) in San Bernardino works to help enrich the lives of young people through life-building activities and instruction in education, employment, health, mentoring, and community service. It has provided these services and resources to over 35,000 community youth since its founding in 2001.
I worked to secure grant funding from Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) for YVYLA, which will enable the organization to distribute Thanksgiving food boxes to low-income families at the Amazon Fullfillment Center, located a 2020 Central Ave, San Bernardino CA 92408 on November 20.
In the San Jacinto Valley and its surrounding cities, the Valley Community Pantry has been a major resource for those in need since 1965, providing emergency food and shelter to thousands of low-income individuals and families annually.
To assist the Pantry in providing its vital services, I worked with AT&T to secure grant funding that will help the nonprofit distribute food boxes and turkeys to low-income families in the Hemet and San Jacinto areas. The giveaway will be on November 22 at the Pantry’s facility located at 191 S. Columbia Street, Hemet CA 92544.
Another food giveaway I’m participating in this year is in partnership with Assemblymember James Ramos, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the San Bernardino County Fire Department, the Highlanders Boxing Club and the Neighborhood Association Council of San Bernardino.
The Highlanders Boxing Club is a community-based organization supporting positive youth development that is located in a low-income neighborhood in the City of Highland. It conducts an after-school behavioral health sports/youth development program that uses boxing athletic fitness training and coach mentoring to promote healthier drug and violence-free lifestyles.
The Neighborhood Association Council is the collective organization for nonprofit neighborhood organizations throughout the City of San Bernardino. The council provides an opportunity for residents from a wide diversity of neighborhoods to come together, organize, voice their concerns, and seek solutions to enhance the quality of life for their families and neighbors.
The date for the food and turkey giveaway with the Highlanders Boxing Club and the Neighborhood Association Council is November 20, at San Bernardino County Fire Station 228, located at 3398 E Highland Ave. San Bernardino, CA 92346.
Lastly, the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 12 (DAV) will be hosting a turkey and fixings giveaway on November 23rd at 2501 Pacific St, San Bernardino, CA 92404. My office is looking forward to volunteering at this event.
The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 12 (DAV) consistently and selflessly addresses genuine needs in our community. The DAV is a nonprofit that provides advocacy and support to veterans and their families. The DAV assists with filing Veterans Affairs (VA) claims for disability and compensation, organizing transportation to VA medical appointments, and connecting veterans with employment opportunities.
Since being elected, I have met with numerous nonprofits, and the outreach has created a two-way network of resources. Many nonprofits reach out to my office for assistance with state resources, and they frequently refer constituents to our office for assistance with issues concerning the DMV, EDD and other state agencies. Likewise, we connect constituents to nonprofits who can provide assistance with emergency shelter, utility and food assistance, and other community resources.
If you are interested in joining me in contributing your time or money toward one (or more!) of these events, please contact Nick Calero in my district office: (909) 919-7731 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
My best wishes to everyone in Senate District 23 for a hearty, healthy, happy and blessed Thanksgiving.