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Visalia Rescue Mission


2 Danny Little, Executive Director 3 Hunger Awareness Day, June 5-7 4 Volunteer Opportunities 5 Rescued Treasures/Grand Opening 6 Christian Rehab/Work Place Recovery 7 John’s Successful Recovery 8 Women in Recovery 9 Hands of Hope/Maria’s Story 10 1,000 Women of Hope/ Honorariums and Memorials 11 Visalia Naz 30 Hours of Famine/ Pay it Forward 12 Meals - Feeding the Chldren 13 Banquet/Community Center update 13 Christian Drug and Alcohol Rehab 14 Other Ways to Give 15 From the Board - Near Life Experience 16 Because you Care/Board
2008 has already been an amazing yet very busy year. This Mission has faithfully remained true to its Danny Little calling. We serve meals, provide shelter, and offer help to the hurting. We do this all for the sake of “Providing Hope and Restoration through Jesus Christ. “ It is simple to me. If someone is hungry, feed them. If they are tired and destitute, give them a place to sleep. If they are cold, give them a coat. The Lord has blessed the Visalia Rescue Mission such that we want to provide help for those who need it. We now serve over 530 meals a day and have over 130 men, women and children sleep in our facilities every night. On June 5th we will observe National Hunger Awareness Day. Many in our community are hungry and we are asking your help. The Visalia Rescue Mission and Pro Citrus Network, Inc. will partner with many grocery stores and restaurants in our community to raise food and donations for the hungry. I am asking that you would consider helping in this worthwhile endeavor.

JUNE 5-7 2008

At the Visalia Rescue Mission we see the hungry every day. They walk past our administration office like clock work at 6 AM, 11 AM and 4 PM daily. At the end of the month more women and children come. As their month ends they are running out of money for food. A survey done by Continuum of Care of Tulare and Kings County show that 49% of those homeless surveyed were women. 41% have been homeless less than six months and 18% have been homeless for up to two years. Of those surveyed, 64% said they had never been homeless before. This is a crisis in our community. Last year, Alan Dodge of Pro Citrus Network, Inc. contacted Danny Little to become involved with the Mission. PCN wanted to do something for the Visalia Rescue Mission by supporting our efforts on Hunger Awareness Day. We had successful food drives ant six grocery stores in Visalia. This year we are asking the community to get involved from June 5th to June 7th. We are asking individuals, restaurants and grocery stores to participate in bringing awareness to hunger.

• Restaurants and grocery stores can ask each patron if they will donate $1.92 for one meal to feed the hungry. This can be done as they check out of the restaurant or grocery store. • Collect food at your business for the Visalia Rescue Mission and call for a pick up. 559-740-4178 Ext. 14. • Individuals can drop donations to our “Rescued Treasures Super Store” at 2523 S. Mooney. • Call 559-740-4178 Ext. 14 and ask to volunteer. Letters have been mailed to restaurants and grocery stores asking them to help combat hunger. All proceeds go directly to benefit the programs at the Visalia Rescue Mission and are tax deductible. Hebrews 13:16 Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God.



Visalia Rescue Mission

Visalia Rescue Mission


Super Store-

Volunteer Update
• On Wednesday April 30th we, held a Chapel Provider Orientation. It is our goal to offer this orientation once per quarter. The next Chapel Provider Orientation/ Training will be held on Thursday July 31st. • As God leads, be a Mentor for those in recovery. Mentoring training is held on the 2nd Saturday of every month. Just one hour a week to mentor a person will be a blessing to those in recovery. Please call Robyn at 740-4178 ext. 14 if you are interested in helping out in any way. • We are looking for volunteers to help out during HUNGER AWARNESS, June 5th through June 7th.
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Thank you to all of our volunteers – past, present and future! We could not do what we do without you! Contact Robyn at: 559-740-4178 Ext. 14

The Grand Opening for Rescued Treasures Super Store was held on March 29th. Lolli and Pop the clown were there to make balloon animals for the children. There were bounce houses and barbeque. There were special guests in attendance, including Mayor Jesus Gamboa and Connie Conway, Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors. The Mayor declared 3/29/08 Visalia Rescue Mission Day! The 17,000 square foot Superstore has opened its doors with quality, gently used merchandise available for purchase by the general public. It is located on Mooney Blvd. in Visalia at 2523 S. Mooney Blvd. To have your donation picked up please call 559-733-3180.

Volunteer Opportunities • Mentoring • C o m p u t e r Tu t o r • Chapel Speaker • Chapel Special Music • Playtime with Children • Recreation for residents • Transportation • Administration Help • Cashiers • Clothing Sorters Visalia Rescue Mission 5


When a man or woman decides to step into recovery, we are here. It’s not easy. Our residents learn that “nothing is impossible with God.” It takes a tremendous amount of courage and work for someone to change. And we’re here to help them on this long road to recovery. S.T.E.P. for MEn and WoMEn Our Spiritual Training and Educational Program (S.T.E.P.) was developed to assist those who seek to escape the slavery of addiction and sin. The core program is six months with additional aftercare services available for up to a year following graduation.

I moved from Buffalo, NY to Northern, CA at the age of 24 bringing with me 10 years of alcoholism and drug abuse. Playing in a rock band for over 10 years, I was surrounded by drugs and alcohol. Along with it came depression, loneliness, physical abuse, guilt and shame. When my third child was born and my second wife and I had been evicted because of my behavior and addictions I realized I needed help. I would go to programs playing the “sober role”, but still “closet using”. When my wife had enough, she divorced me. I remember the feelings of guilt and shame more than anything. The depression, loneliness and guilt were nothing compared to the shame I felt when I threw away a job and a final chance at having a relationship with my 12 year old son. This went on for years. In October of last year, with lots of meth and alcohol and a few boxes of memories, I decided I would end my life. The hotel clerk found me unconscious and called a friend who contacted a Pastor. When Pastor Brian came to pick me up, I fell to my knees, uncontrollably crying, thanking him, completely ashamed of whom I had become. He drove me to the Visalia Rescue Mission. I remember saying “I don’t belong here with these people”. “Don’t leave me here with these people!” Any thoughts of getting help or agreeing to a six-month residential program were totally absent. I was placed in a detoxification room. Every couple of hours a resident would come in and visit with me, encourage me to stay and join the program and share God’s Word with me.

I was never a stranger to God; I spent many years being angry with God. There I was in detox, full of shame, 6 ft 2, 160 lbs, not physically able to walk around, and afraid. I remember having thoughts of my 12 year old saying he hates me and doesn’t want me around etc…with the occasional words of God being spoken through various residents in the recovery program. On Nov. 19, 2007 I put the pen to paper and promised God that I would give my life to him, doing whatever was asked of me in the recovery program. Since that date, the fear, guilt, shame, self-pity… all has been made new, replaced with courage, freedom, compassion, and a love to serve and help others by sharing my story of hope. On May 12th, I went to work for the Mission as a staff resident. I’ve always been a believer, that there is a God, a Jesus Christ and a Holy Spirit; but today I firmly testify that I am a follower of God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit. The Visalia Rescue Mission’s Mission Statement offers us “Hope and Restoration through Jesus Christ” this is a living truth in not only my life, but in the life of anyone who chooses to follow, not just believe. Love in Christ, John M.

• Cal Bennett Office Furniture • Main Street Tire • Provision Foods

There are several business in our community who support the Visalia Rescue Mission by offering work place recovery. After a resident has graduated from the recovery program, they are able to apply for a position at one of several locations:

This has been a win, win proposition for both the Visalia Rescue Mission and the businesses.


Visalia Rescue Mission

Visalia Rescue Mission


Sue’s Story
I was born in Mariposa, CA and both of my parents were alcoholics. I started drinking in Middle school and started smoking pot in my freshman year of high school. Pot, I could quit, but the alcohol was different, it seemed it was always available. It started out innocent; I never wanted to become an alcoholic. I always said I would never put my kids through what I went through, but I didn’t know anything about addiction or alcoholism. This is my second time in treatment. Back in 2000 I went through a 30 day treatment program. I was sober for five years and then in 2005 I relapsed. The whole time my daughter wanted me to quit drinking, the more I drank the more she wanted me to go back into treatment. I had quit my job, I was homeless and I felt like giving up. I was in so much pain I felt like Satan was literally in me. I finally called my daughter and told her I was ready and to hurry. She and my older son came and picked me up and took me straight to my counselor’s office. I told him his classes weren’t working and I need treatment and I need it today. The counselor made two phone calls. The Visalia Rescue Mission was the second call, they asked if I could be there that day, I said yes. Since I have been here I have rededicated myself to Jesus. I now know and have a relationship with Him. I am very thankful for the Visalia Rescue Mission, because they are teaching me not only how to stay sober but how to live a different lifestyle, a Christian lifestyle. –Sue B.

H.A.N.D.S. of Hope
Mentoring Program
HANDS of HOPE is a ministry of the Visalia Rescue Mission for men and women. It’s a volunteer mentoring program for the residents living at the Mission. House of Hope is a six-month program includes counseling, Bible studies, discipleship and life skills classes. Hands of Hope mentoring program is an investment of time and self gives from 1-8 hours per week. The mentoring relationships last anywhere from six to eighteen months (lasting friendships Maria with her mentor Sheila Blankenship. can last a lifetime). God placed a desire on my heart to become a mentor to help make a difference in someone’s life. My goal is for them to find encouragement, love, strength, hope and restoration in the Lord and help them know their true identity in Christ. I am there to listen, love and support morally, spiritually and emotionally. Some of these women have never had anyone in their lives that they can trust, so I try to build a relationship on trust so they can learn to build and maintain healthy connections with others. Watching the lives of women changed by God’s love and power has increased my faith in Him and these experiences have changed my life. It has been extremely rewarding for me. –Mentor, Sheila Blankenship

My whole life I’ve always been looking for myself, feeling as if something was missing, empty inside. At 14 my problems really began with boys and drinking. I started running the streets hanging around with older kids, trying to find myself. It was to the point were I didn’t care about what I was doing to my body and at fifteen, I got pregnant with twins. I slowed down the drug use until the twins were born. Soon after the twins were born, I was introduced to methamphetamine. I started using heavily when I was about nineteen years old. When I was, the only thing that mattered to me was staying high. I would steal, lie and cheat and do anything I had to do to get high. I can remember clear as day how depressed, dark and gloomy my life had become. I can remember my dad telling me frequently how bad he hurt when he thought about Jesus coming and that I would be left behind. I would just brush him off. I remember crying to God and asking him to take the addiction from me. For Him to do whatever it took. I just didn’t really believe it would ever happen. But He was listening and He knew what it would take. I hit rock bottom when they took my kids from me, I finally realized I had a problem. But when He took my children He gave me life, because I now have Jesus. I’ve been clean for nine months, I have my children back and I have a future. There is no longer emptiness and I love my life. I just thank the Lord that He heard me, He changed me, and He loves me. I also thank the Visalia Rescue Mission for everything they do. They are truly an example of God’s unconditional love. –Sheka
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Sheka’s Story

Maria’s Story
I remember growing up in church all my life; I was not around drugs or alcohol. I never saw my parents fight or anything like that. I remember my family telling me about drugs and what they would do to me, that drugs were no good. At 12 years old I wanted to find out for myself. That’s when my whole life went down hill. I started running away from home just to be out on the streets. The first drug that I used was meth and then that led to alcohol. I was hanging around with my so called “friends”, not realizing, they didn’t care about themselves, how could they care about me? I can remember being strung out on drugs for 16 years of my life… so lost in my addiction. I lost so much during those years; I just didn’t realize just how

much I had lost. I lost four children to CPS, I lost my mother and my sister. I remember I couldn’t even get clean when they were on their death bed. I now know that God has always been with me, through it all. After 16 years I finally got tired of it. God was calling me. I got help from the Visalia Rescue Mission. I’ve been at the House of Hope for eight months. I gave myself to the Lord, I am going to school for my G.E.D., and I am looking for a job. I just thank God for being there with me from the beginning. Thank you, –Maria F.
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Women’stoAuxiliary “She opens her arms the poor and
extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20

The Auxiliary: • Offers Birthday parties at the Mission (Some have never had a birthday cake) • Holds Spa Day • Serves Graduation Refreshments The Auxiliary funds: • Scholarships for child care • Scholarships for Education and Employment • Updating Facilities The Women’s Auxiliary is organizing 1000 Women of Hope to benefit the Visalia Rescue Mission’s women’s programs. Headed by board chair Jeannie DeGroot, the auxiliary has done a tremendous job purchasing much needed items for both the Shelter of Hope and the House of Hope. New beds have been purchased for the Shelter and carpet for the House of Hope.

Barbara & Glenn Miller - by Jane Lightner Ruth K. Smith - by Sara & Mike Knight Adrian & Willy Dlepersloot’s 50th Wedding Anniv. - by Jon and Jeannie Van Ryn Sheila Walter - by Linda and Richard LaFleur

On April 24th, 32 of the youth at Visalia Naz joined with thousands of other youth ministries all over the country in the “30 Hour Famine”. This is a ministry whose intent is to make people aware of the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of millions of children in third world countries. The youth raise money for “World Vision” which is an organization that distributes money to families and villages with great need.

rence was the opportunity for some of our younger girls to pray for a homeless man on the street. He specifically asked us to pray that God would set him free from his addiction to drugs. I could see that many of the girls started to see this man as a real person that is hurting, and not just a “bum”. We gave our teens T-shirts that say, “Ask me why I’m hungry” and asked them to wear them to school on Friday. Did last weekend make any real difference? Did we change the world? Well you never know which drop of grace will cause the landslide of God’s grace upon the world. I choose to think that we did change the world and we can change the world every day that we act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 In Christ, –Michael DeBoef

Leana Biederwell - by Vincent & Margaret Barrett Gerald Lopes - by Eddie & Geraldine Lopes Richard & Doreen McVaigh - Debra S. Williams Charlie Pirnstill - Edward & Janette Zisko You can honor those loved ones by donating to the Visalia Rescue Mission in their name.

There’s no cookie cutter way to do “30 hour famine”. Some youth groups do it over the weekend and stay together the whole time. Some youth groups sleep on the streets, trying to identify with the homeless in their area. Some simply spend their 30 hours of hunger doing the things they would normally do, except without food. We chose to have our last dinner Thursday night at the Visalia Rescue Mission, have a service down there and then go on prayer walks throughout the community. One particularly notable occur-

What is 1000 Women of Hope?
1000 women x $100 = $100,000 Commit to be 1 of 100 women. Invite your friends … To be involved contact Robyn 559-740-4178 Ext. 14

Pay it For wa rd
A teenager named Victoria Moore walked into the Mission office, with a donation. Donations are always wonderful things, but when young people make them, it is special. As a class project, six girls from Central Valley Christian School were asked to raise money for a non-profit organization. Why not have fun while doing it? So…they held a dance . Victoria said they chose the Visalia Rescue Mission because years earlier a family member had stayed here. Danny Little, Executive Director, graciously accepted the donation. Pay it forward…what a concept. Visalia Rescue Mission 11

Women’s Auxiliary
Jeannie DeGroot – Chair Linda LaFleur – Vice Chair Judy Simpson - Treasurer Wendy Little – Secretary
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Meals/Feeding the Children
We served over 600 people on Easter. No one went away hungry. Numerous volunteers and Crossroads Church helped with the children’s activities. We serve 3 meals 365 days a year. To help serve, call Robyn 559-70-4178 Ext. 14.

The Annual Banquet

TOILETRY & LINEN ITEMS • White Towels • Wash Cloths • White twin bed sheets • Blankets • Pillows • Chap Stick • Deodorant • Hand & Body Lotion • Large Bottles of Shampoo and Hair Conditioner • Disposable Razors • Brushes • Toothpaste • Tooth Brushes
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FOOD ITEMS • Pasta, Pasta Sauces • Canned Vegetables • Instant Potatoes • Canned Tuna • Chicken & Meat • Salad Dressings • Pancake Mi x & Syrup • Flour and Sugar • Cereal (hot & cold) • Peanut Butter & Jelly • Coffee • Mayo, Mustard & Ketchup

LARGE ITEM NEEDS • Lawn Mower • Blowers • Yard equipment

The Visalia Rescue Mission’s annual banquet, “The “Celebration of Hope”, was held at the Visalia First Assembly of God Church on March 27, 2008. The Visalia Rescue Mission Choir sang “My Chains are Gone, I’ve been set free.” The choir consisted entirely of residents in the recovery programs at the Mission led by Julie Blaswich, Executive Assistant to the Director. We are thankful for the band Nick, Ryan, Nate, Grant and Angela. The banquet was an amazing evening with excellent food and testimonies of each resident‘s journey to the Mission and how they came to find “Hope and Restoration through Jesus Christ.”

Community Center plans are well under way and we are planning for a late summer groundbreaking. The architects, contractors and engineers are busy getting the documents to the City of Visalia for the needed permits. Visalia Rescue Mission 13

Other Ways To Give…
SaveMart S.H.A.R.E.S.Card SaveMart offers non-profit organizations the opportunity to earn cash with our electronic Save Mart S.H.A.R.E.S. Card. The new S.H.A.R.E.S. gift card program is fast and efficient for you to help the Visalia Rescue Mission. All you have to do is agree to use a Save Mart S.H.A.R.E.S. Card to purchase your groceries at any Save Mart Supermarket, S-Mart foods or FoodMaxx store. When you get your S.H.A.R.E.S. Card, (the card has no cash value yet) go to your local store and put the amount you plan to spend on the card, and then use it as a credit card. 3% of your purchase will go to the Visalia Rescue Mission. You refill the card whenever it gets empty. To get your S.H.A.R.E.S. Card, call Robyn at 559-7410-4178 Ext. 14. Thank you for helping the Mission.

Near Life Experience
You have heard of people having a “near death experience”. Well, I think there are many people that are having a “Near Life Experience”. They are living life but that’s it. They are not sure what the true meaning of life is. In our society today things and stuff are so available and life is so fast pace that it is easy to be confused with why we are really here. When people come to the Visalia Rescue Mission for help they are often times at the bottom and close to perhaps a real near death experience. Sometimes very close. As they come to understand what a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is all about and that through Him we have eternal life, they gain an understanding of what “real life” is. Life through Jesus Christ. Are you having a near life experience? Perhaps your material needs are met but something is still missing? You’re close but not sure what is next. Next is stepping out in faith and seeking the only one that can give eternal life. Jesus Christ. Eternal life is as close as asking Him into your life to be your savior. Seek Him and you will find Him. Romans 3:23 Blessings… –Mark Shelton

Tickets Go On Sale June 6th 1-888-825-5484 •

Christian Cinema will donate a portion of all purchases and rentals to the Visalia Rescue Mission if you go to the website



Visalia Rescue Mission

Visalia Rescue Mission


Because You Care…
…we’re serving more and more.

Total Meals Served
2008 – 55,678 - up 9% 2007 – 156,746 2006 – 134,970

Board of Directors
John Anderson Ron Ballou Jeannie DeGroot Wayne Ingram Bill Jordon John Koster Murray Minnema Brad Reenders Mark Shelton Bruce Tyler Mark Vanciel Dennis Vanderham Randy Vogt Danny Little Executive Director

Total Bed Nights 2008 – 13,949 2007 – 39,693 2006 – 34,849

Total Number of Graduates
2008 – 20 2007 – 45

Total Chapel Attendance

2008 - 9,932 2007 – 24,366 2008 is proving to be a busier year than 2007. We have already served over +281 additional meals over what were served last year at this time. Won’t you consider helping us feed the hungry?

Alone, our undertaking is too massive.

Together, we can bring about and help sustain real change in people’s lives. If you haven’t done so already, please come and see the Visalia Rescue Mission. All our facilities are drug-free and a safe environment for overnight guests, residents, and visitors. One person can and does make a difference, that one person could be you.

VISALIA RESCUE MISSION 559-740-4178 322 NE 1st Avenue Visalia, CA 93291
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