LONG BEACH, CA – The Long Beach Rescue Mission recently delivered 1000 Easter baskets to Roosevelt Elementary School students in celebration of the Easter holiday.
Local volunteers alongside Rescue Mission residents and staff delivered hand-crafted baskets to eager elementary school students in hopes of spreading the Easter spirit.
The Easter basket drop-off comes after an almost month-long Easter Basket Drive held at the Long Beach Rescue Mission. Local residents were urged to drop off supplies or already completed and wrapped baskets with items geared toward children like toys, crafts, snacks, and most importantly, educational items.
MMR Constructors, out of Long Beach, were among the many local businesses and organizations to contribute to the donation effort sending over a truckload of baskets. During the delivery, Naima Daniels, an employee with the company, expressed her admiration for what the Rescue Mission does and also spoke about her company’s continued partnership with the non-profit.
“Pretty much anything they (the Rescue Mission) needs help with, we are going to help and donate,” said Daniels. “My boss Darryl has a very large philanthropic heart and he loves giving back to the community. I never realized how much I love doing it, until I started helping.”
On donating the baskets, Daniels continued, “It’s just so fun! You get to shop wondering, ‘okay, are the kids going to like this, this year? It’s just a lot of fun to put it together.”
The annual Easter Basket event, usually held at the Mission, invites local families on a specific day to come by and pick up baskets for their children. This year, the staff decided to change things up by delivering the baskets directly to where the kids would be, at school, so no child or family would be missed.
Ruth Lanuza, Volunteer Program Coordinator at the Long Beach Rescue Mission, spearheaded the project helping to coordinate deliveries, volunteers, and the drop-off. Although she would not take full credit, Lanuza is praised by her colleagues as the brains behind this operation.
Nick Roberts, Project Coordinator for the Rescue Mission, who was also involved in the execution of the project, was more than excited for this particular event and the opportunity to give back to the community that does so much for the Rescue Mission.
“We do a lot of work with those that are struggling with homelessness and addiction…but, the community is such a part of who we are as an organization, ” said Roberts. “We’re right in the middle of a neighborhood, and we want to continue to show that love to our community. By providing Easter baskets with a little bit of love lets them know this is what we represent, and we want to share that with them – and for them to know that we are here for them in any regard.”
In addition to the Easter Basket Drive and drop-off, the Mission was also able to host its annual Easter meal for the local community. Similar to the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, Rescue Mission residents and those in need in the local community were invited to fellowship with one another and partake in a hot meal.
Donations for the meal were provided by the local community, as most meals are, thanks to monthly food and monetary donations. According to the Rescue Mission’s website, “Providing a meal is often the first step to meeting the immediate needs of men, women and children who are in a state of despair and hopelessness. With your help and generosity, our kitchen serves around 250,000 meals per year.”
The Mission hosts multiple special meals throughout the year including for Easter and other major holidays, but prides itself on the daily meals it is able to provide to the local community on a daily basis. For more information on meals and how to donate, visit https://lbrm.org/what-we-do/provide-meals/.
Volunteers are always welcome for meal service as well as in other departments at the Rescue Mission. Those interested in giving of their time, can fill out a volunteer form online here. More information can be found on the volunteer page including upcoming mandatory volunteer orientation dates, areas inside the Mission in need of volunteers, and more.
For more information on the Long Beach Rescue Mission, visit https://lbrm.org/.
By Alysia Burke