The public can now sponsor the Orange County Rescue Mission Chili Van for a one-time donation, providing hundreds of meals to the homeless.
When a homeless individual in Orange County eats a warm bowl of chili from the Orange County Rescue Mission’s Mobile Chili Van, he or she may not realize that this is just the first step in the direction of a new life. According to Jim Palmer, President of the Rescue Mission, many Orange County residents in need have found that the Mobile Chili Van feeds not only their hunger, but also their soul, as they realize that the van is a connection to people who truly care and want to help.
“We have watched people go from a life living on the streets to a self–sufficient life, all because of an initial bowl of chili,” explained Palmer. “The van provides the homeless with an outlet for information and a connection to our services. The individuals, couples and families we reach when providing these hot meals often become residents of our transitional living facilities, and may not have sought or found this assistance otherwise.”
The Chili Van allows the Orange County Rescue Mission to enter the lives of the homeless in a unique way, by going to them instead of waiting for them to seek help.
“For example, we served chili to a local couple, Gene and Tasha, when they were homeless and struggling,” explained Palmer. “Today, they live with us at the Village of Hope and help feed others. Gene works in the kitchen and makes the chili we share with the hungry. That initial bowl of chili was the first step for Gene and Tasha to turn their lives around.”
Many other local individuals and families’ lives have been changed because of the Mobile Chili Van. Recognizing this opportunity, the Rescue Mission has introduced a new way for the community to get involved and feed the hungry of Orange County - local residents and businesses can now sponsor the Mobile Chili Van for a one-time donation of $480.
According to Palmer, the OCRM chili van feeds more than 400 hungry and homeless men, women, and children each week, but there are many areas in Orange County which are still in need of these services.
“Many of the homeless and impoverished throughout Orange County have no way of traveling to and from soup kitchens or shelters in order to receive a hot meal, and the support and information they need to turn their lives around,” explained Palmer. “By offering this Chili Van sponsorship to the public, we hope to be able to reach even more individuals who are in need this summer, and help them change their lives.”
At a sponsorship cost of $480, the Chili Van can feed up to 300 people at a time. For more information on the Chili Van or to sign up as a sponsor, please contact Ryan Burris at Ryan.Burris@RescueMission.org or (714) 247-4343, or visit www.RescueMission.org.
The Chili Van currently makes one stop a week in the area, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays in the parking lot across from St. Felipe de Jesus Catholic Church, 26010 Domingo Ave. in Capistrano Beach.