Saddleback Church Gives Hand to At-Risk Kids

Volunteers will help pack Thanksgiving dinners that 475 students earned for completing an Orange County anti-gang program. Donations were made through the church and through Ralphs.

On Tuesday, volunteers from Saddleback Church and Ralphs will be in a Lake Forest parking lot, packing Thanksgiving meals to be given to 475 students who have successfully completed an anti-gang program.

The OC GRIP program, run by the district attorney's office, Sheriff's Department and other local agencies, is intended to improve at-risk students' school attendance, behavior and grades.

The fourth- through eighth-grade students can pick up their Thanksgiving meals, each of which will feed a family of 10, at their schools starting Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

The dinners were donated through Saddleback Church and Ralphs as part of the county Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership. About 600 students, from 23 OC GRIP schools in eight cities, were eligible for the program; 475 successfully completed it.

“We have many selfless volunteers at Saddleback," said Rick Warren, pastor at Saddleback Church.

Andromeda November 11, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Susan, no wonder kids misbehave and go sideways. The bad ones get all the positive attention and the free stuff. Why should someone who completes an anti-gang class get a Thanksgiving turkey meal package that feeds 10 people while the kid who keeps his nose clean and follows the rules of society gets ignored? "Kind Acts" should reward the good kids and good behavior. Once the anti-gang graduates perform well in school and follow the laws and voluntarily perform community services, then give them free turkey dinners. But not just for completing an anti-gang class. That's absurd.
Cheryl Grimes November 11, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Andromeda, you are missing the bigger picture here. The church is reaching out to people who may never have any other encounter with "church". And through their kindness, they may help change that person's life and the life of others around them. When the kids are brought up to think that gangs are a way of life that they may fall into, hopefully the program really changes that thinking too so they can become a citizen who contributes to society one day! You think that the kid that "keeps his nose clean and follows the rules of society" are ignored, but those are the ones who grow up to get good jobs and receive so many blessings for living a clean life. So in the end, they really win. God bless you.
Cheryl Grimes November 11, 2012 at 06:51 PM
PS. If you really need food, Saddleback helps feed thousands every month through their food pantry. Call the church for more information.
michael majowicz November 12, 2012 at 04:21 PM
i like my turkey jesus free
Andromeda November 12, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I'm just saying. I have never ever ever joined a gang before. I could have. But I always chose to follow the law and not to get involved in gangs. So where's my free turkey dinner for 10, Rick Warren???


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