On Friday, December 21, the Victor Valley Rescue Mission once again stepped up to the plate as a stand-in-the-gap holder for families still struggling in the VictorValley. This is the fourth year the Mission has assisted families struggling to keep the lights on with toys for the children. Sources told the Precinct Reporter that lines began forming at in the very chilly high desert morning of the event. The registered clients numbered in excess of three thousand individuals.
The Rescue Mission has forged additional partnerships with local churches to enable them to increase their toy giveaway. Last year they had to appeal to the community before the scheduled giveaway because their supplies were not adequate. However, this year they have received adequate supplies and sources stated that Monday some parents who chose not to come on Friday were coming to receive their gift toy. Although the Mission feeds on a daily basis, they did not feed on Christmas Day, but were still supplying food supplies for individuals stopping by on Christmas Eve.
The Ready 4 Reading Book Club has partnered with the Mission each year; they supply books for children to introduce them to the vacation in a book; for several hours the children can get away from the rigors of their daily lives through the book stories. The group reads to children at the mission on a regular basis.
During the toy giveaway they group distributed 5,846 books according to founder, Lynette Ramirez. She stated that thanks to partnerships with Aspen Fitness, Molina Health Care, IEHP, Victor Valley Assistance League, Silverado Do Something Club and other concerned organizations and individuals they had an adequate supply of books to give each child a book.
New helpers at the toy giveaway included OakHillsHigh School, who set up games and played with the children; each child received a free gift. Molina Health Care provided coloring tables and health information for parents. Rose of Sharon Women's ResourceCenter provided information for new mothers.
The children were treated to face painting, candy, tattoos, and craft engagement.
The high desert area has more income-impacted individuals due to the logistics and low wage jobs available. The spirit of sharing and helping others in need is alive in the Victor Valley through the generous donations of all the donors who made the true meaning of Christmas come alive for the children and their families who rely on that safety net.