Kim Mitchell was one of the first through the Manna House doors last week, which gave her the edge in browsing through 160 Easter baskets. She was on the hunt for baskets for her four grandchildren, and said this kind of help means the world to her, given that she only works part-time.
Francisca Flores quickly found the perfect basket for her 18-month-old son, Juan Chirinos. They spent Easter with neighbors and family, sharing a holiday meal that includes tamales.
Manna House volunteer Jennifer Busby again coordinated the Easter basket giveaway. In past years, families were allowed to select up to two baskets, but currently, if there are five children in the family, five baskets are given out, thanks to Busby and her team, who worked tirelessly and steadily to make the baskets filled with candy, toys and stuffed animals.
“We’re not only presenting happiness to those in the community unable to provide Easter baskets to the children,” Busby said, “but we’re honoring the Lord, too ... celebrating that He is risen.”
Rhonda Bowerman was one of 209 who signed up for frozen chicken from Grocery Outlet Bargain Market and loaves of bread from Vons.
“Manna House has saved my butt many times,” Bowerman said. “They’re just amazing here. I’m a nurse and had to quit because of medical reasons, and they’ve really helped me out so many times.”
The organization not only means a lot to those in need, but also to those who volunteer their time.
Lani Marshall has been a volunteer for 12 years, and said she’s loved every minute.
“I’ll quit volunteering here when I’m no longer mobile,” she said.
Even though the holiday giveaway has come and gone, donations are needed on an ongoing basis.
“What always does us in is that during the holidays, we receive lots of donations,” Food Manager Bruce Bartlett said, “and then those donations dry up during the spring and summer months.”
In addition to food items, Manna House always runs short on blankets, sheets, towels, pots and pans, dishes, and glassware.
Manna House is an all-volunteer entity, founded in 1982, for the specific purpose of providing a Christian emergency food and clothing bank to those in need. It can be found on Facebook and donations, which are tax deductible, can be made through PayPal.