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Groups ask for community sport for 'essentials for young lives drive'

March 16, 2009|By Sarah MoonCommunity Correspondent

To honor and celebrate Mother’s Day, HomeAid Orange County in partnership with Children and Families Commission of Orange Countyis preparing to launch their second annual Essentials for Young Lives Drive on April 27-30, 2009 to benefit 16 non-profit organizations that serve homeless families and their children.  They are asking corporate and community organizations to participate by conducting a drive within their organizations and/or be a public drop off site for community donations. 

Following the core concept of HomeAid Orange County’s housing development program to work in partnership with volunteers, Essentials for Young Lives is a community-wide effort to collect much needed items for homeless infants and toddlers. HomeAid partners with businesses, community organizations and individuals to collect baby products such as diapers, baby wipes, and baby hygiene products. The items are then delivered to HomeAid’s service provider partners who provide services to homeless mothers and their children.

“As economic conditions worsen, the safety net for many of Orange County’s most vulnerable residents, homeless mothers and their young children, is stretched beyond anything we’ve seen in recent memory, said Maria E. Minon, M.D. and Chair of the Children and Families Commission of Orange County. “Ensuring that babies and toddlers have proper nutrition and basic necessities to be healthy and ready to succeed in life is one of the Commission’s core purposes.” 

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Launched for the first time in Orange County in 2008, more than 60 companies, schools and community organizations collected nearly 118,000 essential baby items. The goal now is to increase participation and donations to provide a six month supply of these essential items.

“Annually, during the December holiday season most non-profit organizations receive bountiful contributions, but by the middle of the year their shelves are low, if not empty. Our vision is to collect enough essential baby items to last until winter,” said Essentials for Young Lives Committee Chair, Sonia Lister of Jackson, Demarco, Tidus and Peckenpaugh. “We are reaching out to the community to help us reach our goal.”

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