Our staff made the special delivery in a festive caravan blasting Christmas music while dressed in costume. One mom burst into tears upon seeing the generous outpouring on her doorstep and said, “Thank you for the gifts. This is a beautiful surprise, and the gift cards will help me buy presents for my kids.”The yearly event is put together by Sanctuary and Support Services and various community partners to celebrate families and provide items they may be unable to get for themselves. This year, recipients are families with children who attend King Elementary School in West Fresno. A different Fresno County elementary school is selected each year.Misty Gattie-Blanco, Director of Fresno EOC Sanctuary and Support Services, said, “While Fresno EOC leads this event, it would not be possible without donations from community partners and private donors. Seeing the smiles and sometimes tears of joy from the children and families are why we continue to organize this event.” This year, we had donations and support from community partners, including, but not limited to PG&E, TETER Architecture, Target, and Costco.Making Spirits Bright has reached 820 families, including 2,913 children living in Fresno County since 1994.
Sanctuary and Support Services has been serving homeless individuals and families since 1992 and currently operates an emergency shelter, bridge housing, and multiple permanent housing projects, as well as street-based outreach services.
In 2009, the program expanded to provide comprehensive case management services to victims of human trafficking in Fresno, Madera, Merced, Kings, Tulare, and Kern counties. In response to community needs, the program continued to expand and opened an LGBTQ+ Resource Center in downtown Fresno providing drop-in services and activities to members of the LGBTQ community.
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