Victor Valley Rescue Mission serves ‘neighbors and friends’
Posted Nov 26, 2019
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It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood as volunteers with the Victor Valley Rescue Mission served nearly 2,000 meals and ministered to those in need.
The 13th annual Thanksgiving Banquet on Tuesday at Victor Valley High School in Victorville was an “afternoon of love” that included a free hot meal, live music, arts, crafts, a resource fair, haircuts and prayer, VVRM Director Bill Edwards told the Daily Press.
“The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day to help our neighbors and friends in the community,” said VVRM Community Relations Coordinator Dawn Quigg. “It’s such a blessing to see so many churches, civic groups and volunteers come out to help serve.”
Quigg said students from the VVHS Culinary Arts Department took a much needed year off from cooking, which allowed the VVRM’s Red Apron Society to prepare and serve the meals.
She also added that Todd Eves, owner of Out Of This World BBQ, arrived early to warm up the meals with his 40-foot long smoker/grill.
“This is the eighth year that we’ve partnered with Victor Valley High School to host our event,” said Edwards, as volunteers in the school’s cafeteria prepared for a flood of guests. “It takes a lot of sacrifice from students and staff to spend their holiday week helping us to provide meals and to demonstrate the gospel to those in need.”
Standing at attention, a line of 16 food servers behind a counter waited to dish up plates of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole and rolls as workers in a backroom plated nearly 2,000 slices of pumpkin pie.
Much of the food for the banquet was donated by local businesses, including ICR Staffing and churches including High Desert Church and Oasis Community Church. About 175 local residents volunteered at the event.
Assigned to mashed potato duty, server Tammy Grebel was one of 20 volunteers from Victor Valley Community Church who volunteered their time at the banquet.
Davey and Debbie Lopes, who attend High Desert Church, stood next to stacks of pies, meticulously slicing each one.
“This is my opportunity to give back to the community,” Davey Lopes said. “I know what it’s like to be homeless, to live in a car and to be down and out. I also know what it feels like to have someone help you.”
Deputies with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department were also on hand to chat with guests, wait on tables and to serve pie.
While hundreds of children and adults enjoyed their meals, VVRM volunteer and VVHS employee Ramon Fraydealfaro worked to keep the area clean.
“My job here at the school is to clean the kitchen, cafeteria and bathrooms, and that’s what I’m doing here today on my day off,” Fraydealfaro said. “I’m here because the rescue mission is a great organization that is doing wonderful things for people who are less fortunate. Volunteering is the right thing to do.”
The free event also included a health fair provided by the CNSA Nursing Program from Victor Valley College, with nursing students offering health services including free flu shots.
Some of the other vendors include the City of Victorville, Impact Christian Church, Victorville Library and the Holiday Inn.