A big THANK YOU to the Building Trades Network for their latest Community Service Project!
Check out Mercy House’s Advocates of the Week!
Chapman’s Got Talent Supports Mercy House
Beta Theta Pi chooses Mercy House as recipient agency
A big thank you to Beta Theta Pi and Chapman University for raising funds to support Mercy House through Chapman’s Got Talent!
Ryan Ogata shared as to why they chose to support Mercy House: “I wanted our proceeds to go to an organization that bettered our local community here in Orange County. I heard wonderful things about Mercy House from friends and family and I knew that no matter how large or small our funds raised they would go toward a great cause and a great organization.”
Support in Ontario Increases
Sigma Sigma Phi Fundraiser provides support for our Ontario programs
Thank you to Sigma Sigma Phi from Western University for their growing support to our programs in the City of Ontario! Over the past few years, Sigma Sigma Phi Mu Chapter has worked together to hold a silent auction during their Continuing Medical Education Conference. Each year, 100% of the proceeds raised go directly to a charity in the Inland Empire!
Amanda Yochum, Continuing Medical Education Event Organizer, shared with Marissa Norys, Mercy House’s Development Director, about the partnership between Mercy House and SSP. “As the Vice Dean of COMP, Chapter Advisor and Life Member of the Sigma Sigma (SSP) Honor Society, I am extremely proud of my student SSP members with our annual support of Mercy House by embedding fund raising events in our continuing medical education conferences. They set an example of dedication to our local communities, which I am very proud of.”
“They have put their heart and soul into contributing to Mercy House,” says Amanda.
We are grateful to work alongside such hardworking students who focus their efforts to provide the necessary services required to serve the vulnerable homeless in the City of Ontario. Thank you Sigma Sigma Phi for your growing and continued support!
Feast and Feed
Two organizations join forces to feed those in need
“The Orange County Asian American Bar Association (“OCAABA”) and the law firm of Crowell & Moring (“Crowell”) are both very much committed to serving our local community – particularly, the underprivileged and the underserved. Our dedication to working in service of others is tightly woven into the fabric of both Crowell and OCAABA and is at the core of our culture and values.
Our two organizations are proud to have joined forces to assemble 200 brown-bag lunches, each with a handmade peanut butter and jelly sandwich, for the homeless that Mercy House assists at its emergency shelter in Santa Ana. For us, it was a truly humbling and rewarding experience. And we are most grateful to Mercy House for giving us the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need in Orange County.”
The Impact of One
How volunteer Linda Lee makes a big difference
“A few years ago, I had the opportunity to volunteer abroad in Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Mexico, and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to continue making a difference in my own community. After praying for the right organization that I could be part of, I came across Mercy House and started by gathering items from family, friends and colleagues to donate. Soon after, I became a life skills instructor and am recently a committee member for the annual Bethany House Fashion Show.
What I love most about volunteering at Mercy House is seeing the positive impact in the lives of the men, women, and families I get to help. I love engaging with the beautiful mothers and kids in our life skills classes and seeing the growth and success of all the graduates who are part of the Bethany House Fashion Show. Most of all, I feel extremely humbled and blessed to contribute to an organization that does so much to strategically end homelessness.
Currently, my goals are to attend grad school for investment banking and to continue giving back in different capacities. As much as I enjoy being able to help others, the personal fulfillment I have received in return has been equally, if not more, enriching and rewarding. Therefore, my volunteer work with Mercy House is something I plan on continuing with for as long as I can.”
The Joy of Volunteering
Cathie Allman shares her experience
“Two years ago, I needed to do something to get my mind off of some family issues. I decided to volunteer at a homeless shelter. I went online, and Mercy House was the first one on the list. It turned out that I could sign up to volunteer that very night, and I did. I felt so good being there and helping out. I continued to volunteer twice a week until the end of the season, and I am back helping again for my second year.
It’s the best feeling for me knowing that I’m helping others who need to know that there are caring people out there who want to help them. I have learned so much about compassion for others by volunteering for Mercy House. Giving people the respect and dignity they deserve gives them hope, and I have received so much joy in return. Thanks to my experiences with Mercy House, I have decided to return to school for a Master Degree in Social Work because I realize that this is my calling. Helping others helps me, and this is what life is all about.”
Coats for Our Clients
The Dizzy Daisy offers warmth this winter season
Orange County florist shop, The Dizzy Daisy, graciously extended their support to the clients in our care this winter season. This lovely shop planned a winter coat drive to make sure that those in our care would have the coats and warm clothing they would need during the cold, rainy weather. The Dizzy Daisy was also joined by Miss City of Orange, Nicole Renard, and Miss Orange County, Izamar Olaguez, who helped to contribute to the drive, and remind others to drop off their donated coats as well. Thank you, Dizzy Daisy, for helping us meet the needs of the homeless in our community!
Socks to Serve
Los Coyotes Elementary finds a way to give back
Karen Moore, PTSO President at Los Coyotes Elementary, wanted to find a way that the students and their families could give back to those in need during Christmas. Having a heart for the homeless, Karen decided to organize a sock and hygiene drive that the elementary students could assemble together, and donate to Mercy House. Karen explains, “I started this project because I see it as a fun and simple way for kids and their families to help others in need. It is really important for our kids to understand that not everyone has even the basic necessities to live, and that we all need to take care of each other. I’m hoping that all of the kids and parents at Los Coyotes were humbled by this project, and will continue to reach out to the needs of our community.”
Thanks to Karen’s efforts, each classroom assembled thirty pairs of socks filled with toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, and other hygiene items. The teachers also took the time to explain to the children the meaning behind the project, and the joy of blessing those in need. Karen adds, “I always feel the need to chime in as well and say, ‘You guys have a Christmas list a mile long, and this is ALL these people are getting for gifts this year.’ In my daughter’s 1st grade class, we set it up like they were going ‘shopping,’ and got to add in one of the items to each pair of socks, along with a handful of candy. They liked that they got to choose which items went in, and wanted to make sure their own socks were very special!”
Because of the generous support of Karen and the students at Los Coyotes Elementary, Mercy House received 513 pairs of stuffed socks to hand out at our Armory Emergency Shelters. Thank you, Karen, for your support and compassion for those in our care!
Bibiana and Josh
Youth with a Passion to Give Back
Bibiana and Josh decided to partner with Mercy House after Josh had some leftover money from his Nike soccer sponsorship. They decided to use the extra money and partner with their youth group to order shoes for our Family Redirection Program. Bibi, Josh, and their youth group were able to provide 40+ shoes, and personally came to hand out the shoes to our clients! We are always encouraged by the countless young people who desire to give to their community.
Making an Impact That Matters
Impact Day is a year-round celebration of Deloitte’s commitment to local communities. Member firms around the world host Impact Day activities where Deloitte professionals spend the day volunteering. This year, Deloitte employees spent the day beautifying our Regina House Shelter by organizing our donation garage, playroom, planting flowers and repainting the awning above our picnic tables. We are so grateful for the work they have done and know are Regina House mothers and children are too!
Aurora and Leonela
A Mother and Daughter with A Heart for Others
“The reason that I volunteered at Mercy House is because I feel that is my calling, to help the less fortunate. I am a Senior Social Worker and that is pretty much what I do all day everyday, help people and families. Another very important reason for me to volunteer was to do something with my daughter that would also teach her how to be compassionate with others and to let her see for herself how blessed and fortunate she is to have all she has in comparison to these families. Leonela is naturally sweet and helpful. Leonela expressed to me that the reason why she volunteered was to complete hours for a school project and to do something together with me. However, during the time that we volunteered she would often tell me how good it made her feel inside to be at the shelter helping these families and that she wished she could do more.”
USC School of Social Work Interns
Emerging Leaders Creating the Future of Service
As the 2014-2015 MSW Internship Program comes to an end, we are reminded of the incredible successes that our Interns have completed. Whether they were working in our program office, making client visits, doing intakes at the Armory Emergency Shelters, or serving at the Anaheim Check in Center, they have directly influenced our agency and the clients we serve. The USC MSW Interns work, both past and present, has helped us reach our housing placement goals and has continue to help mold our Internship program. We want to express our sincere thanks and are truly grateful for their support and dedication!
Andrew and Carla Nelson
Making Volunteerism a Family Tradition
What started out as a high school graduation requirement has quickly turned into a family passion. Over the past several months we have volunteered our time at the Mercy House Family Shelter. This shelter feeds and houses about 100 families each night.
Our early morning shift we offer coffee and breakfast while handing out bagged lunches for our families to have during their day on the streets. What was rewarding to us was getting to know these families and their children’s names. On our evening shift we often greeted our families back and they shared their day’s events.
It is hard to ask a homeless person “how was your day?” But when asked they were always glad we remembered their name and that we cared enough to ask after them. It taught us that no matter what a person’s circumstance is everyone needs and deserves respect.
Giving Back to the Community
Since 2005, the Western Digital Foundation and TEAM WD have been extraordinary supporters of Mercy House. From back pack and school supply drives, holiday stocking stuffers and Christmas parties, they come together as a group to provide additional services for our clients. Their hands on volunteerism includes over 45 hours a year serving meals to the homeless at our Orange County Emergency Shelter Programs. They can even be seen on the links providing support for Mercy House’s Annual Golf Tournament events! We are grateful for partners like Western Digital, who exemplify corporate engagement in our community
Employees Give Back
Mercy House had the great pleasure of working with a group of employees from the corporation PIMCO. Upon arrival, PIMCO graciously presented Mercy House with a $1000 check. From there, the volunteer group painted, planted and provided a delicious lunch for the women and children living at Regina House. The volunteers also brought crafts and games for the children to play with. However, all activities were done once the volunteers brought out Rosie, a mini horse! It was such an awesome and memorable day for the mothers and children and a day they will always remember.
Family Service Team
This group, composed of church families, has been with the One OC Family Service Team program since last year. On Sunday, June 23rd, a group of 15 adults and children came out to Joseph House, our transitional shelter for single men and veterans.
“The group did an amazing job cleaning the shelter and provided lunch and dessert for the men!”, said Volunteer Coordinator, Marissa Norys, ” We are so grateful for the support and we can’t wait to work with them again in the future!”