“We are better together”

The River Community Church honored those who collaborate with them throughout the year.

The River Community Church, located at the corner of Kalorama and Santa Clara streets in downtown Ventura, is all about their community. On Sunday, February 5, at their Annual Church Meeting they honored those who collaborate with them throughout the year. From Mario Avilo (Downtown Ventura Clean Ambassador) and Scott Gulick (Downtown Ventura Safety Ambassador) to Community Partners Bruce Whitton (Bent Nail Services) and Jim Rice and Linda Jordan (Peirano’s Market).

The River showed their appreciation to those who give back to the city and to those who The River serves. Long-time donor awards were given to Charnell Smith of Aloha Steakhouse, Sharon Palmer of Main St. Meats, Orestis Simos and Alex Montoya of Water’s Edge and Mayur Patel of The Bayshore, Loop and Mission Bell Motels.

Leona Rollins, from the City of Ventura, shared her gratitude to The River for helping with the Foul Weather Shelter during the months of December 2022 through March 2023. The River opens their doors as an intake facility when the weather becomes inclement, and makes sure those being housed for the night get to the designated hotel and receive meals from partnering churches during their stay.

Mayor Joe Schroeder was another guest who learned of the many opportunities where The River meets the needs of those in the city. Sometimes it is the weekly drive-through Food Pantry, while other times it may be a hot lunch or a bag of food for the day to the under-resourced in the area.

Mayor Schroeder stated “ Just before I left for college my father walked me over to a neighbor’s house that we were not close to. She was an old widow and looking back I’m sure she struggled financially. While this was my only free week that summer my father thought it would be a good idea if I painted Mrs. Williams house for a very small amount. He told me that neighborhoods fail and therefore a town can fail if we don’t individually reach out and help each other. He believed that the highest form of giving was donating without being asked.”

“When I look at the “community giving” at the River church the social impact is obvious. I asked the congregation how we can activate more citizens so the Ventura community would continue to improve. The answer was, one person at a time. Jim Duran is the Lead Pastor and his example of community giving should inspire all of us to help our neighbors.”

Sunshine and Dustin Cheek were recognized for their faithful efforts in volunteering in this area.

Other non-profit organizations that The River partners with are Tender Life Maternity Home and The City Center Transitional Living, and those attending heard a personal testimony from a resident from each program.

That’s when you see where housing the homeless and their children are so important to helping change lives. Also honored for going above and beyond in their volunteer efforts were Ted Alan (Tender Life) and Dale Harmon (The City Center) who are currently overseeing major renovations at each of the facilities.

Lead Pastor Jim Duran stated, “We are better together”, because he knows that The River cannot operate on its own and is thankful for all those who are in collaboration with these three non-profits. If you would like more information about The River Community Church, visit their website at TheRiverCommunity.org.

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