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San Bernardino Salvation Army Promotes "Adopt-A-Family"

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SAN BERNARDINO -- “The breadwinner may have lost a job, there may simply be more children than the parents can financially support this time of year; or perhaps the family has faced a debilitating death of one of the parents. Whatever problem causes the disruption or the ceasing of Christmas plans, our Adopt-A-Family program is here to help,” says Major Steve Ball of The Salvation Army’s San Bernardino Corps.

The San Bernardino Corps of The Salvation Army at 746 West Fifth Street will bring much needed support to struggling families this holiday season.

Families living in The Salvation Army’s service area of San Bernardino, Colton, Rialto, Highland, Grand Terrace, Bloomington and who consider themselves “in need” this holiday season can come to The Salvation Army for help. “Families with exceptional need are identified by our staff and may be included in the Adopt-A-Family program to receive special assistance.” says Major Ball.

In early November families apply to the Salvation Army branch nearest them, making known their need for assistance. These families will receive a Food and Toy Box consisting of non-perishable food and gifts for all children age 0 - 12. If a family is identified as having exceptional need, and an adopting sponsor is found, then they are entered into the Adopt-a-Family program.

Other families, businesses or groups then choose to “adopt” a family. “We’ve had numerous cases,” Major Ball explains, “where organizations will ‘adopt’ more than one family, just to contribute to helping others who are in difficult times have happier family holidays.”

There have been cases when the adopting group will invest several hundreds of dollars or more in a family. “There’ll be Christmas gifts and food,” Major Ball says, “but we’ve seen instances where home repairs have been covered, where new clothes have been furnished, where the family’s only car was made functional again. One adopting group even bought its newly-adopted friends a much needed refrigerator.”

According to Major Ball, the whole idea, however, is to assist, not overwhelm. It’s just a matter of “whatever it takes” to aid their selected family in getting past the otherwise stressful season. Maybe it’s simply food that’s needed, perhaps it’s bedding that’s lacking during our cold winters, it might be traveling to a family member in serious need. Or maybe it’s a bag full of toys and stuffed animals for the family’s children.

Families that have “adopted” others have created lifelong friendships with those people, even helping an adult or teen land a job that turned their circumstances around. “We’ve had a family we’ve known for years,” says a woman whose family has “adopted” others annually. “There’s no longer a need for yearly assistance, but we enjoy them and want to stay in touch.”

“Adopting a family this holiday season doesn’t mean taking on responsibilities or shouldering a burden,” Major Ball explains. “It’s truly sharing the Christmas spirit with others who may not be as fortunate as you. It’s helping families to enjoy the holidays like the rest of us do, lending a hand when it’s needed.”

Elaine McFadden received Adopt-A-Family services as a single mother on welfare. “You have to believe that there are people out there like The Salvation Army that will help you,” said McFadden.

Living on the verge of homelessness, McFadden needed a place to stay with her two children while she was attending classes at Riverside City College. Her lifelong friend Sabrina suggested that McFadden visit The Salvation Army for help.

The Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Family sponsor provided McFadden money to use as a deposit to move into a new home. During Christmas The Salvation Army invited McFadden and her children to visit a toy store, where her children were able to choose Christmas presents. “My children would not have gotten toys for Christmas without program,” said McFadden.

McFadden was surprised one year when The Salvation Army told her “You’ve been adopted.” A local family had purchased gifts for McFadden and her children during Christmas. “Just to have all those presents under the tree were great,” said McFadden.

McFadden’s life has improved. She attended Loma Linda University to study nutrition and become a registered dietitian. McFadden later received her Master’s degree in Public Health Promotion and Education. McFadden realized most people were unaware of the changes that had been happening to our food system and how those changes could critically impact health.

McFadden now hosts her own radio show, Smart Health Talk, every Thursday 4:00-5:00 pm on KCAA NBC News Radio 1050 AM. “Nutrition is my ministry,” said McFadden. Smart Health Talk teaches people the importance of eating healthy, organic food. “When you start putting quality food in your body, you start being a role model to children and the community,” said McFadden.

McFadden’s children have found their own success. McFadden’s daughter, Ashley, works as a General Manager for Glen Ivy Resort. McFadden’s son, Brian, will be attending UC Berkeley to receive his Ph.D. in Philosophy. “I was able to break a cycle of poverty in my family,” said McFadden. “You have to fight for a better life.”

Willing to adopt a family? Know of a family in need? Call the San Bernardino office of the Salvation Army at (909) 888-1336 and ask them to sign you up.

"Arrive Alive on I-15"

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The California Highway Patrol implements a DUI Safety Corridor to save lives

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Saving lives is the core mission of the California Highway Patrol (CHP). In order to accomplish that mission, the CHP must address one of the biggest threats on California’s roadways: impaired drivers. Although the number of alcohol-involved collisions is on the decline, there is still more work to be done.

To help remove the threat before more lives are destroyed, the CHP’s Riverside and Temecula Area offices will use a federal grant to conduct a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) safety corridor along a 45.3-mile segment of Interstate 15 (I-15) in Riverside County, the major access route between the inland and coastal populations.

“With a proactive approach to eliminating DUI, we can continue to reduce the number of collisions that occur along I-15,” said CHP Capt. Amanda Snowden, commander of the Riverside Area office. “This grant will help to keep the momentum going by removing impaired drivers before they destroy any more lives.”

According to the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, during the course of three, 10-month periods (December 1, 2007, and September 30, 2010), an average of four people were killed and 63 others injured each period in alcohol-involved collisions along this stretch of I-15.

Beginning December 1, 2012, CHP officers will conduct stepped up DUI enforcement along I-15 throughout the 10-month campaign. This traffic safety effort will also include a task force and public awareness campaign by the CHP to help reinforce the anti-DUI message.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Fontana Awarded for Working toward a Healthy Future

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Fontana - The Mayor and City Council announce the City’s achievements based on its participation with Let’s Move!, a comprehensive initiative launched by First Lady, Michelle Obama in dedication to solving the problem of childhood obesity within our generation. As part of this initiative, Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties, calls upon local elected officials to adopt long-term, sustainable and holistic approaches to addressing childhood obesity. Based on the Fontana’s Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) survey responses; the National League of Cities (NLC) has awarded The City of Fontana the following medals:

• Bronze and Silver Medals in Goal I: Start Early, Start Smart

For promoting participation in Let’s Move! Child Care among early care and education providers using at least three approaches; and having an active interagency collaboration on early care and education programs.

• Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals in Goal II: MyPlate, Your Place

For prominently displaying MyPlate in 100% of municipally- or county-owned or operated venues that serve food and for registering as a MyPlate Community Partner.

• Bronze and Silver Medals in Goal III: Smart Servings for Students

For having at least 70% of public schools participating in the School Breakfast Program, and at least 60% of public elementary and middle school students and at least 45% of high school students participating in the National School Lunch Program.

• Bronze Medal in Goal IV: Model Food Service

For identifying all food vendors and contractors for municipally- or county-owned or operated venues that serve food, along with the dates when their contracts can be amended or renegotiated.

• Bronze Medal in Goal V: Active Kids at Play

For mapping all play spaces.

The City of Fontana looks forward to continuing its partnership with LMCTC to help reverse the childhood obesity epidemic within our generation. For more information about the Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties initiative, please visit www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org.

To learn more about Healthy Fontana and the ways in which Fontana is working towards a healthier future for its residents, please visit www.healthyfontana.org

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Awards Bethlehem Community Development Center $496,578

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Pasadena based, Bethlehem Community Development Center (BCDC), has recently been awarded $496,578 by the Administration on Children Youth and Families’ Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for BCDC’s Hope for Street Youth (HSY) Program. This program will provide street outreach services to homeless youth, runaways and parents via school and community agencies. The ultimate goal is to reunite families and provide these youth with the services they need to survive and thrive in our community. BCDC is an access point in the community for youth development, transitional assistance (for ex-offenders, homeless youth and adults, and the unemployed), and other compassionate services.

State Assemblymember Anthony Portantino attended the check presentation event. He said, “I think that this program is tremendously important . . . to have a program like this in Pasadena that is going to identify, find and reunite children with their families and with their siblings to help them transition into adulthood is a good thing.” Tina Williams representing the office of Pasadena City Councilmember Jacque Robinson also spoke of this important program. She commented, “when an agency receives an award, we celebrate because now there’s another resource for youth in our community.”

The award was presented to BCDC’s Executive Director, Pastor Christopher Bourne, by Luvina Beckley Knight, the CEO of M.H.M. and Associates. Pastor Bourne acknowledged MHM’s help in securing these funds for BCDC, “they’ve been able to direct us in fulfilling our vision and dreams, so I’m very thankful for all of the hard work that they do.” Toni Tryon-Dickson from Bourne Inc is another partner with BCDC and provides emergency shelter services for youth. Regarding their role in this program she said, “We are looking forward to something great and marvelous with this partnership.”

BCDC is headquartered at the Bethlehem Church of Christ ‘Holiness’ located at: 1550 North Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103. For more information regarding this program, please contact Pastor Bourne at (626) 794-5211.

Grams Mission BBQ Toy Giveaway

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As so many families are in need of clothing and shoes, Grams Mission BBQ is in the process of planning their 4th Annual Toy Drive for the holiday season.

Many who donated last year helped make the toy drive a total success. Grams is hoping the community continue to support families in the community this year by donating.

On Friday, December 7, 2012 beginning at 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Grams will kick-off for their guest to join them in the collecting of unwrapped toys. On Saturday, December 22, 2012 from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., will be a Christmas party for children and at that time, they will be giving away toys, gifts and a light snack to all the children.

For more information or to bring a donation, contact Chairperson Lenora Taylor at Grams Mission BBQ, 3527 Main Street, Riverside, (909) 264-4134.

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