While our volunteer receptionist, James, responded to phone calls on behalf of FARSB, he received a pressing message from a woman named Charity. In the voicemail, she expressed that she was a young mother without food or presents for her children just days before Christmas. James could hear the urgency in her voice. He immediately called her back to see how he could best utilize FARSB’s resources to help. James was only able to leave a voicemail at the time but was hoping she would call back soon.
As the morning passed, and a number of other phone calls went through, James continued to hope Charity would get back to him. He planned to call again before the end of the workday if he didn’t hear back. Later, James got another call from a company that had just finished a toy drive. The company had an abundance of toys yet no feasible way to distribute them due to the pandemic.
James immediately saw this as an opportunity to help Charity give her children a holiday experience that she feared she would be unable to provide just hours ago.
James told the company representative of a partner agency that would happily take the toys but urged the representative to make a call to a woman named Charity before they proceeded to call the partner agency. He shared that Charity was a mother who was experiencing financial hardships and would be very grateful to receive toys for her kids this holiday season. James was uncertain if the company would keep their word in calling Charity first, but thought to give them the benefit of the doubt.
About an hour later, James finally received a call from an interpreter on behalf of Charity. James had not realized Charity was hearing impaired. As he was informing Charity's interpreter of the many food resources available to Charity in her community, the interpreter asked James to hold as another call was coming in.
James waited for several minutes, and finally, Charity’s interpreter got back on the line, happy to share that a local company had called to offer gifts to the children. James was thrilled to see his efforts come full circle. The same company James had spoken with earlier had kept their word, and the kids could now eat and enjoy the holiday with some new toys.
Charity was grateful for the gifts, but even more grateful that James provided at least a dozen food distribution sites within a reasonable distance that could provide ongoing food assistance.
While a growing number of Inland Empire families are seeking food assistance, especially during the holiday season, FARSB is committed to helping to alleviate hunger. If you are in need of food or know someone who does, visit the Get Help page or call (951) 359-4757.