By Crystal Harrell
’Tis the season for spreading cheer and helping those in need during a time of great giving. Several different charitable organizations in the Coachella Valley are doing their part to gift the community a wonderful holiday season. The public is encouraged to join in these efforts to make the Christmas season even more magical.
Martha’s Village & Kitchen is one of the largest providers of homeless and impoverished services in the Coachella Valley and Riverside County with over 8,000 people in need passing through its doors yearly. The organization began in 1990 when the founders served meals to their homeless neighbors, fast forward to 2021 Martha’s now has its main campus located in Indio, CA, and three satellite offices throughout the Coachella Valley.
Using a “continuum of care model” to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, Martha’s extends countless opportunities for people in need, including food services, emergency housing, children’s services, healthcare services, cooling services and much more.
With the holiday season upon us, Martha’s Village is on a mission to let homeless children know they are not forgotten. The public is encouraged to help children and families who are struggling financially experience love, laughter, and joy this holiday season by providing unwrapped toys for a child. Donations can be dropped off at Martha’s Village & Kitchen from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday at the Indio campus.
“We are in need of hygiene kits to give out during public showers. Many people use the showers and then leave to look for employment and look for housing. Consider donating soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and shampoo to help your community,” shared a Martha’s Village volunteer.
The Martha’s Village Store is also open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Inventory changes daily, the public is encouraged to come see what treasures they can find.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit www.marthasvillage.org.
Women and children in the Coachella Valley have a refuge here each night since 2017. There has been a 47 percent increase of individuals and families experiencing a housing crisis and in need of emergency services. Many women are escaping violence and abuse at home with young children. At the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, they find a safe refuge with plenty of room for their children too.
The gifts of the community make it possible to provide shelter for families experiencing homelessness and poverty, which includes seven to eight family rooms that can accommodate mothers with young children. The Coachella Valley Rescue Mission is a safe shelter for 60+ women and children in its Women’s and Family Shelter.
The Rescue Mission also serves the Coachella Valley community by offering quality, affordable catering. The Mission Catering is managed by professional chefs who create delicious dishes, perfect for public events. Better yet, the residents participating in this program gain valuable knowledge and experience for future employment in the culinary field.
This holiday season, the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission is seeking donations of gently used clothing, kitchen, household, sports, tools or business items that can be an enormous help to the ministries of Coachella Valley Rescue Mission in ways that might not be imagined. Wherever donations are used, those donating can be sure that it will be used to help homeless, needing and overwhelmed men, women and families.
The public is welcome to drop off usable goods at the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission’s Boutique in Coachella at 1398 6th Street, or the Mission at 47470 Van Buren Street, Indio.
To arrange pickup of salable furniture and larger household items, please call 760-347-3512, and ask for EXTENSION 300.
For more information on donations or to volunteer, visit www.cvrm.org.