River Community Church, Spark of Love and Water’s Edge Restaurant distribute toys to needy Ventura families.

Pastor Jim Duran and volunteers brought joy to the needy.

by Richard Lieberman

On Sunday, December 20, the River Community Church along with partners Spark of Love and Water’s Edge Restaurant distributed over 2,000 toys to Ventura families in need. Water’s Edge Restaurant supplied a pre-packaged meal for each recipient and the church also supplied a gift bag filled with presents for children of each family.

Water’s Edge Restaurant has been providing meals for Tender Life Maternity Home, The City Center Transitional Living and The River Community Church since the Coivid-19 pandemic began. They have also provided meals for volunteers in the community.

Precautions were taken for a safe and secure community give-away that included everyone who participated having their temperature taken, they were asked about any possible COVID-19 symptoms, everyone is also logged, and a paper trail created for any additional follow up if necessary, mask wearing was required for all at the event. Also, hand sanitizers were placed at strategic locations on the church grounds, along with gloves.

“Shortly after the pandemic hit there was a restaurant that wanted to give back to the community, so they called Ventura Visitors Bureau and they contacted me, and I told them what we do, and they said however you want to do it.” Said Jim Duran Pastor of the River Community Church. “So, one day a week we get a food tray that goes to the City Center for Transitional Living, one day a week we get a pan that goes to the Tender Life Maternity Home and three days a week we get meals which provides meals to our volunteers here at the Church” added Duran.

Over one hundred families registered and participated in the give-away that included over 500 children. Each child received at least five toys each for an approximate total of 3,00 toys. “The toys are coming from Spark of Love supported by Ventura residents who have donated to the charity and we are a distribution point for them,” Duran added. “The community just came together incredibly well to bless these families,” Duran further stated.

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