Backpack Giveaways For Students
By Dianne Anderson
Kids may or may not get back to the brick and mortar school grind in September, but they can still be academically prepared with new school supplies at the upcoming backpack drive hosted by Community Health Action Network (CHAN) in Victorville.
Kisha Collier said their backpack and food giveaway outreach will be held on August 15 at Victory Outreach Center located at 16534 Victor Street. The event starts at 10:00 a.m.
“We’re giving away face masks, we also have face shields, hand sanitizer, and we’ll also have a Census popup,” said Collier, CHAN program director.
Every Saturday, the organization regularly partners for food distribution with the High Desert Second Chance, the largest food bank in the high desert.
At the Victory Outreach event, parents are asked to have each child present in the vehicle to receive the backpacks and bags of groceries.
“It’s to maximize the ability to bless everyone,” she said. “There will also be light music while they wait, the wait will probably be up to an hour. They’ll also receive face masks and face shield and hand sanitizer if it’s here.”
Collier, who also conducts Census outreach, said the community will receive a census swag bag filled with goodies.
As a nonprofit organization focused on healthy living, healthy lifestyle and nutrition, CHAN serves about 1,500 families per year. She expects there will be an increase this year in that number of community service due to COVID-19.
“We are trying to pull together resources to continue serving them, but it’s not easy,” she said.
Many nonprofits are being impacted by the pandemic at every single point of service.
“It’s financial, it’s human resources, it’s meeting contract goals, it’s everything. Some things are unexpected, technology, those costs and training and quick learning we didn’t anticipate,” she said.
Having a background in Information Technology is one advantage in recent months to help get through the constraints of the pandemic, she said. She had a home office, and was able to transition trainings and quickly adjust to online challenges.
Community Health Action Network also hosts the Listos California Disaster Readiness Campaign. She said that their nonprofit is still strong.
“We’ve shown resiliency,” she said. “At CHAN we decided to at least try to creatively restrategize, and if it didn’t work, it didn’t work, and we tried our best. In fact, we’ve had great success and we still have been able to meet our contract goals.”
Through LISTOS California, she said they’ve been able to each 15,000 to educate the most vulnerable populations, Black and Brown communities, about disaster preparedness.
Soon, they are restarting their utility assistance again because the funding had been frozen. Even though some utility shut-offs have been stalled through the pandemic, at some point she said those bills are going to come due.
“You have consumers that still worry when the CARES Act finishes, what’s going to happen? We try to put them in a position where they can get ahead of it and be proactive, and in good standing,” she said.
Other backpack giveaways are also happening around town.
On Saturday, August 1, “To God Be the Glory – Drive By -Back to School Event” is hosted by San Bernardino Pastors United.
The community is invited to the drive-through give away at the back of Hunt Elementary on Date Street across from Ecclesia Christian Fellowship. The event is first-come, first-serve, and runs from 10:00 a.m. to noon. They are also calling for volunteers to help out and stay socially distanced. For more information, call 909.353.7977
On Friday, August 7, Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy is hosting “Free Backpacks, Essential School Supplies, Shoes and More” at the IEHP Victorville Community Resource Center located at 12353 Mariposa Road Unit C2 and C3, Victorville. The event runs from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and requires an RSVP. Giveaways are limited to first 500.
For more information on CHAN programming, contact Kisha at Phone (760) 241-9900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org