A call for help at a time of need
As you may already know, the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission suffered a horrific fire this past weekend. The Mission has rescued countless people in the past but now can use some rescuing itself, and so I’m asking you to consider what you might do to help pitch in.
Destroyed in the raging inferno were the Mission’s emergency shelter, vehicle fleet, clothing warehouse and food pantry, all of which have been used to do so much incredible good for people in need. With the Mission’s ability to provide services devastated by the flames, the sole silver lining is that nobody was hurt or worse, and for that we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the many City of Los Angeles firefighters who heroically battled – and eventually put out – the blazing fire.
Guests of the shelter have been evacuated to a church where they are being helped by the Red Cross, and such help is essential – but so is the goal of restoring, to the Mission, its capacity to aid people in need.
The Mission is remarkable in how it assists people going through tough times, but that’s now at grave risk due to this weekend’s disaster. Each month, the Mission’s emergency mobile program, which travels to six different areas of the Valley, has been serving approximately 1500 men, women and children on a weekly basis by providing them with hot meals, clothing, showering facilities and hygiene kits – but the loss of the vehicle fleet places this program in dire jeopardy. In addition, the Mission’s ability to collect donated clothing and food for the thrift store and food bank is greatly diminished by the loss of vehicles.
During the last year alone, the Mission provided 9700 nights of shelter to moms, dads and kids; more than 46,500 meals were served, and more than 10,500 homeless individuals were provided with showers and clean clothes at eight mobile locations and three Mission-managed thrift stores. For those people who depend on the Mission for help, and for whom it may be a pathway out of homelessness and to self-sufficiency, this fire is calamitous. All the wonderful folks at the Mission are doing the best to cope with this terrible situation, but they could sure use your help.
Cash donations are considered the most significant way of helping and this can be done by visiting the Mission’s donation page here.
To help compensate for the loss of their vehicle fleet, trucks and temporary storage containers are much needed to enable the continuation of several key programs. In addition, the following items are all especially valuable at this time of crisis – children and adult clothing (including socks, new children’s shoes, and underwear), soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine products, blankets, small household items, personal hygiene products, and gift cards to department stores and grocery stores.
You can drop off donated items for the mission at our Valley District office at 15760 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 600, Encino 91436, (818) 971-3088; our West Los Angeles District Office at 822 S. Robertson Boulevard, Suite 102, Los Angeles 90035, (310) 289-0353 or our downtown office at 200 N. Spring Street, Suite 440, Los Angeles 90012, (213) 473-7005 anytime between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For large item donations, please contact my Chief of Staff, Joan Pelico, at (818) 971-3088.
Thank you for your kind attention.