By Miguel Gonzalez
Editor & Founder
Helping the less fortunate has become Ron Wilson’s goal in life. The Pastor and Director of the Victor Valley Rescue Mission understands that what starts with a meal, usually ends with a smile and a positive direction. “We feed around 500 families a month and we see the demand increasing, especially around the end of the year,” Wilson said.
Wilson explained that over the past four years, the profile of those in need has changed dramatically. “It used to be that most of the people we would help would be persons with addiction problems. Thanks to the bad economy, that profile has changed to middle class families that sometimes are only a pay check away from becoming homeless.”
In San Bernardino County, homelessness increased 39% in the last four years and the primary cause is loss of job or unemployment, Wilson said. In addition, 23% of the homeless have children, 32% of them have their children in foster care.
To meet the increasing the demand for food, Wilson relies on the donations of supermarkets such as Fresh and Easy, Target and Food 4 Less and also the private donations of those who worry about their fellow human beings. “Becoming homeless is something that can happen to anybody and our duty is to help those in need and give them a hand up, not a hand down.”
A typical box of food contains 9 meals for each member of a family of four. Before a family can obtain one of these boxes, they must prove hardship and account for each member of the family. “Unfortunately we sometimes come across families that look to get more food. With our limited supplies we need to make sure we have enough to go around to everyone,” Wilson explained.
Wilson estimates that in the Victor Valley there are around 1,200 homeless people, many of them families.
As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, Wilson and his staff of volunteers are getting ready to host two events that will feed a combined 3,500 families. “We need donations of non-perishable food, money and toys for those kids whose parents can’t afford to buy them one.”
The Mission also runs a thrift store that helps to subsidize cost of food. Wilson said that said thrift store takes donations of “anything that can be re-sold.”
Wilson explained that helping others and teaching them to believe in a better life is something that fills his heart and the hearts of his dedicated staff of volunteers. “Helping others brings a feeling of joy that can’t be expressed, that’s why we will continue to do the The Lord’s work here. Our hope is that others help this holiday season,” Wilson concluded.
For more information on how to donate, please contact the Victor Valley Rescue Mission at: (760) 955-5958 or visit www.erescuemission.org.