Winston Churchill said once, “Success is never final; failure is never fatal; it is courage that counts.”
After 13 years of existence YAS will be winding down into a dormant status as of June 1, 2015. We have done our best to fulfill our mission which was to feed those in need no questions asked in our local community along side Covenant Life Church, where my husband pastored for over 21 years.
Our goal was that Christ would be glorified through our service to the community by relieving hunger and encouraging our neighbors to actively participate and contribute to help those in need by sharing the Gospel practically.
What we believe as an organization was that providing the basic need of food gives an opportunity on which people in need can build lives of greater economic security out of love not from a law. We believe that once the basic need of food is met, other community service agencies will be more effective in their efforts to help people in need move toward economic security.
We believe that feeding those in need is an urgent moral and practical responsibility based on the words of Jesus in Mathew 25:35 which says, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” and in Deuteronomy 15:11 it says we need to have an open hand to the poor no questions asked which is why we are not government funded or supported.
We also believe according to Leviticus 23:22 we are to leave the leftovers for the poor, the widow and the stranger. This is the Gospel message displayed in what we at YAS believe. Helping the poor, and our neighbors in need whom have run into difficult times. We have graciously received food that otherwise would have been thrown out from our local community stores, churches and other food organizations and redistributed it therefore taking a burden off the state and our environment.
As a person, I love helping and serving the underprivileged. Many people helped my siblings and my mom when we were very poor and even myself when I was a single mom.
My husband, who was the senior pastor of the church where YAS is, when he was alive, allowed me to start this outreach ministry at Covenant Life Church at the end of 2002 and many came along side to help whether by serving or giving but it slowly took off. We started out with people just knocking on the doors of the church needing food. Prior to this I tried to start a motel ministry but the Lord did not see that was for me, it is for someone like Wally at Project Dignity, who does an incredible job taking those who need help during a very rough time living in motels and gives them wrap around services to strengthen their lives to get them back on their feet. But at this time, the demands of those in need and the organization keep growing but the finances are lacking. The need is still so great.
All of us on the board of directors for YAS feel that we have to close down here in this location for this season but are not closing down the 501 (c) 3 and are keeping our assets until such a time that we either reopen or relocate if the Lord opens that door.
This is a very difficult decision that I have had to pray through, seek a lot of counsel and accept trusting that this is the Lord’s hand and I need to have courage to do the right thing. However, all my godly counsel and the YAS board are in 100% agreement for the season that we are in even after being in operation for 12 1/2 years
I have in the meantime found locations around us who can help carry the responsibility of those in need which of course for me is my priority.
For me personally, although I worked more than full time for YAS, there weren’t sufficient funds to pay me and it was never the original design of YAS nor did my husband foresee his cancer resulting in his passing a year ago. I will need to work to receive full-time pay starting in August or September. The church has helped support me and house the YAS ministry for this past year since my husbands passing but at this time, I need to let Covenant Life’s new pastoral family lead the church.
Our family has gone through a very difficult season but we are very thankful for those who have supported us through this process.
The questions I had to ask were:
- Can we continue to advance our mission effectively and efficiently?
- Do we have sufficient resources (not just financial) to continue our programs in a manner that still makes sense?
- What are our prospects for securing the resources we need to continue our programs?
- Can we realistically create new revenue streams without chasing dollars not truly related to our mission?
- How will our dormant position impact our clients, staff, and can we take steps to alleviate the harm done to those most impacted?
- Are there other organizations that can fill the gap that would result from our dormant position for the clients?
- If we decide to be dormant, what legacy will we leave behind and how can we best honor God, CLCC, the good work and accomplishments of the organization and its leaders?
We are going dormant on growth, not decrease but we cannot handle the growth properly at the same time to grow YAS I would have to put even more hours in and at this time, I can’t work to the level needed. I currently worked 50+ hours per week .
YAS has enjoyed significant growth within the last eight years. From January 2009 until November 2009, we fed over 59,075 people with approximately 173,800 lbs. of food; which is a 232% increase of what we did in the previous year alone! In 2014, YAS volunteers worked approximately 23,100 hours and distributed 406,000 pounds of food to 72,000 people. Over the years, YAS has focused on serving healthier and more nutritious food, and increasing volunteer participation.
The table below illustrates the number of people served, the amount of food served, and the total volunteer hours spent preparing and serving food since 2008:
||POUNDS OF FOOD
What YAS accomplished in 2014
- Distributed ~406,000 lbs. of food and fed over 6,000 people monthly
- Of that we rescued 382,100 lbs. and purchased 24,000 lbs. of food, given to people in need
- Added 7 additional Stores to food rescue program
- Emergency food and supplies inventoried
- Distributed extra food to Men’s Recovery home, Mercy House, Fullerton City Lights, homeless junior high students and other small organizations
- Started & implemented a new Satellite Pantry in Santa Ana, by request
- Established a process to receive volunteer labor thru the OC court referral program, and VolunteerMatch Referrals
- Increased volunteer hours from 17,700 to 23,100
- Private contributors increased to 50 donors
- Funding increased to 18 Grants/Foundations
- Went from 2 to 4 staff members, and 1 additional experienced grant writer
- Expanded the board by one new member
- Took-on the previously sponsored expense for the rental of facility space.
- A New 2013 Ford Van was generously donated
- Remained Debt Free
- Began Empty Bowls Program with Chapman University which created awareness, finance and community relationship
- Community Corporation participation increased to 5 new supporters/volunteers
- Gave over 500 children Back-to-school backpacks full of school supplies.
- 787 full uncooked turkey dinners for families in need at the Thanksgiving 2014 Outreach
- Established & Implemented a Corporate Christmas Program with no cost to YAS
We are sad but thankful that we had the opportunity to serve the Orange area and surrounding communities.