Rainbow Community Development Center provides basic needs, food and safety net services (eviction prevention, prevention of utility cutoffs, and temporary short-term shelter). We help thousands of people annually to have the basic things they need. Imagine being mentally retarded, having been evicted, living in your car with your wife and baby and having that car taken away from you; imagine the coldest winter and having to take your children to the library after school until it closes to have warmth because your power have been cut off a few days before Thanksgiving; imagine having to go to a public restroom to wash up because your water has been cut off; imagine going through a job training program and getting a job, but you have no transportation to get there, no bus fare; or worse, imagine rummaging through dumpsters for food. These are not imaginary scenarios, but real stories of the clients we serve far too often at Rainbow. Our safety net services are critical and we will use these funds to help prevent evictions; find shelter for homeless people when there is no available space in shelters and stop the cutoff of utilities.
In addition to our mission, we are thrilled to partner for our 13th year with the Holiday Giving Project to support local families in need. I want to thank you in advance for the gift you are about to make to support the families we serve. Help us not only continue to help families in need weekly, but also to provide holiday food baskets for at least 450 families and give coats, clothing, boots, gifts and toys to at least 800 children in need. When we do, we give so much more than the material things, we provide Hope. While most of us have so many choices of food to eat as well as coats, clothing and boots to select daily, these families don't. And unfortunately, many of them are facing eviction or having their utilities cut off. We want to ensure that these families don't have to face the holiday in the cold, or not prepared for the cold, or with no food. This has been said to be the "Most wonderful time of the year". However, these families don't experience that joy and they are right here in our community, not in some remote third world country. Even though many of them are working families, they struggle with having the minimal resources necessary to provide for their basic needs. Imagine being without electricity, being without shelter, being without food or healthy, nutritious food when you have health conditions like high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, etc.
Rainbow Community Food Pantry provides healthy, fresh produce to our clients weekly. I was raised in poverty. Because of my upbringing, I used to think clients should be grateful to have any food we give them. Most pantries only provide nonperishable, processed foods. After having a headache for three days that would not go away, I woke up one morning with blood running from my eyes. I discovered that I had high blood pressure and was at great risk of a stroke. It changed how I looked at food and the impact prepackaged foods have on our bodies. Many families don't buy fresh produce because it's too expensive, but are putting their children and their own health at risk. We provide at least 4-6 grocery bags full of fresh produce to our clients each time they visit our pantry. Families should not have to make a choice of whether to keep a roof over their heads, keep their utilities on, purchase the medicine they need to maintain their health, or purchase food to feed their household. If only 200 people donated $25, we would reach our goal . With your help, we can provide Hope for the Holidays.