The 200 plus members of the Canyon Lake Woman’s Club are given the opportunity each month to donate to Helping Our People of Elsinore (HOPE), an organization formed in 1990 to help meet the needs in the community.
At every Woman’s Club monthly meeting, every table has a HOPE “sack” on it, providing the women an opportunity to donate to HOPE. Last Year, $1156 was collected from the table donations and the Woman’s Club added $1900 to that contribution.
The Woman’s Club Philanthropic Chair Terri Ireland visited HOPE on a recent Monday and found out just what it was all about as she filled boxes with canned goods that had been donated.
There are nearly 1500 people (over 600 families) who come in for food and personal items but this number is growing weekly. Anyone who turns to HOPE for help is qualified. The applicants fill out an application and an income qualification is considered. HOPE administration says they “error on the side of compassion” rather than turn anyone away. A small percentage is homeless which is determined by lack of address.
Roughly ten stores donate weekly through the “Fresh Rescue” program which is a retail partnership. They donate products they can no longer sell. This donation by the stores amounts to five to six thousand pounds per month. The volunteer labor is based on $11 per hour and amounts to over $80,000 a year of donated time.
The volunteer base is approximately 70 people who can be counted on. They volunteer as their schedules permit.
The cash donations are used for overhead expenses, such as gas for deliveries and picking up store donations, electricity bills and items that are needed to keep things running smoothly.
On Mondays, the volunteer workers package and sort items. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, other volunteers distribute the needed grocery items. Once a month drivers take food to shut-ins. Future plans include a Mentoring Program designed to help those who desire to get back on their feet; the mentor will help them make weighty decisions. Those interested in mentoring a family or a single adult, are asked to contact Brett Masters at the Dream Center of Lake Elsinore.
HOPE is open to the public to provide food and resources on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. HOPE Food Pantry is located at 506 West Minthorn St., Lake Elsinore. To contact the pantry directly, call 951-245-7510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. HOPE’s mailing address is 114 East Peck St., Lake Elsinore. Those seeking to volunteer may contact the Dream Center website under the “Get Involved” tab. For more information, visit dreamcenterle.org/hope.