Mother’s Day Food & Gift Giveaway at Nicholson Park
By Dianne Anderson
If ever there was a time when moms were maxed out and needed a break, now is that time.
This weekend, local nonprofits and organizations are partnering to bring 500 greatly needed and much deserved goody gifts to San Bernardino’s Westside this Mother’s Day.
Sixth Ward Councilmember Kimberly Calvin applauded Terrance Stone with Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy (YVYLA), the Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino, Hope Culture and Victory Outreach for coming together to help serve the needs of the area.
Calvin said that so many single and married moms are juggling their children’s educational needs while working from home. Many others are struggling with unemployment.
“Working mothers are either willingly leaving jobs or are being forced out in extraordinary numbers. With 10 million being out of work during the pandemic, mothers make up one-third of this number that have school-age children,” she said.
Calvin is also reminding the community of the many after-school and distance learning programs, mentoring and family support services at Akoma Unity Center, where she is the center’s executive director.
When campaigning for the council seat, she heard concerns about how the area by Nicholson Park is frequently isolated from access to local services.
“I promised that I would do whatever I could to bring more community and city resources to the area,” she said. “What better time than during COVID? This pandemic has taken a major toll on all of our lives and I’m extremely grateful to assist in spreading a ‘lil love’ throughout the city and particularly Ward 6.”
The event will be held on May 7, and registration on Eventbrite is required.
Terrance Stone, founder and CEO of Young Visionaries, said his program has continued to provide outreach throughout the pandemic. They have hosted two to three giveaway events each month.
Connecting with Black churches through the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches is also helping to reach more in need. On May 15, YVYLA is hosting an event at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, giving goods and food to 500 families. On May 22, they will be at Immanuel Praise Fellowship to distribute another 500 gifts.
With a full calendar going into June, Stone said he is now preparing a similar Father’s Day giveaway.
“Our lines are ridiculously long. The food is a vehicle to get their attention because they’ll come out in long lines and wait for whatever we’re giving,” he said. “With our giveaways, it’s never just about food. We have household items, cleaning supplies, and hygiene products,” he said.
At their last Maplewood Homes event, they gave electric blankets and new toys for the kids.
While school districts and CAPSB have been keeping the community supplied with the essentials, he said his organization is trying to stay in the spirit of giving.
“But we’re trying not to duplicate services. We have all these other items as well,” he said. “We have six events coming up that will serve about 2,600 people or so.”
Studies show that women of color have been taking a huge hit since the onset of the COVID-19, and have lost more jobs than men.
Jennifer Rosales, administrative manager for YVYLA, said moms can register for the “Special Mother’s Day Pull Up and Pick Up Drive-Thru” to make sure there’s enough to go around.
The event is partnering with the Family and Kids Foundation. She said that the community has been responsive and always happy to see them.
“We get a lot of feedback, a lot of people will take time out to thank us, or post on Facebook. There’s a lot of gratitude, it’s just very heartwarming, that’s pretty much why we’re out there,” she said.
Rosales also has two young boys at home brimming with energy. She said that her own mother has been a blessing and stepped in to watch the kids, and help them with distance learning as many childcare locations closed due to the pandemic.
“With school closures, healthcare closing down, a lot of things that have affected single moms. I’m so grateful for my mother,” she said.
For more information on Akoma Unity Center programs, see https://akomaunitycenter.org/
or call 909) 217-7956
To register for the Mother’s Day event, see: