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Adventist Health Facilitates Inaugural World Vision Connection in the Central Valley

HANFORD – When Darcy Pickens and her team from Champions in Hanford arrived at the Adventist Health warehouse on Friday, Feb. 02, 2018, to pick up some donated items for their recovery homes and clients, she was unprepared for what she saw.

It was the first delivery of goods arranged through World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization. A new collaboration with Adventist Health connects surplus, first-quality goods with those in need. Champions was the first partner Adventist Health selected to receive their pick of the donated goods.

Inside the warehouse was furniture, including air beds, sofas and chairs, dining sets and bookcases; children’s toys and bicycles; household items like heaters, solar shades and barbecue grills; cleaning products and kitchen tools; non-perishables like cereal, granola, nuts and spices; and even Christmas decorations.

Altogether there were 24 pallets of goods valued at more than $50,000.

“I’m a little overwhelmed at the sheer volume,” Pickens said after taking a deep breath to compose herself. “I’m just thinking about how happy our clients and program managers are going to be when they see what we’ve been given.” She wiped a tear from her cheek and smiled brightly. “We can’t provide them with fancy shampoos or a barbecue grill, so this will make where they live feel more like a home, which is our goal – to treat the whole person and give them a sense of community.”

Champions operates five group homes in Lemoore and Hanford and provides substance abuse and mental health treatment in separate men’s and women’s facilities. The items will be used in the homes by the clients while undergoing recovery.

“We try to teach them that they have a responsibility to give back to their community, so for them to see the generosity of the community that gives to them, this encourages them,” Pickens said.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that helps children, families and their communities overcome poverty and injustice around the globe. In the Valley project, they work with retail and wholesale businesses to connect surplus items with nonprofits in communities who can distribute them directly to the families in need.

“World Vision’s mission is to focus on the most vulnerable children, and the work that Adventist Health does to holistically transform communities was a natural fit for this partnership,” said Reed Slattery, National Gifts-In-Kind Director for World Vision.

Central Valley Health Foundation President Ed Ammon said Adventist Health expects to receive a new shipment of goods every month. World Vision staff will provide training and ongoing support to Adventist Health staff on proper storage, distribution and accounting of all surplus items.

 “This project has been in the works for about two years,” Ammon said as he watched the items being loaded. “I’m really excited that we’re going to be able to bless the people in the communities Adventist Health serves.

He said that each shipment will contain different items, but Adventist Health will be notified ahead of time so that they can connect them with the people who can best use them.

Of all the items that the Champions staff selected to use at their group homes, Administrative Assistant Sylvia Garcia said the new sofa set was the most surprising to receive. “They actually recline and rock, that was like really cool,” Garcia said as she watched them being loaded onto their van. “I’m just so glad that there are people out there who can donate to us. It’s going to be even more exciting when we get home and start setting everything up.”