The High Desert has plenty of people in need. That's certainly evident any time a holiday rolls around, but the reality is there are many people in our region who need help every week of the year.
The list of nonprofits and churches trying to help those who need food, clothing, shoes and places to stay and other things is surprisingly long. And not all of those being helped are homeless, either.
The nonprofits and churches are all busy this week, setting up Thanksgiving meals, backpack giveaways, coat and sock drives and other things. Next month, it will be toy drives, warming stations and meal giveaways, among others.
But for the many groups that focus on food, there now is a way to work together to do the most good. The High Desert Food Collaborative recently began and already features 30 nonprofit and faith-based organizations, all working to provide food for the needy.
The collaborative is supported by San Bernardino County 1st District Supervisor Robert Lovingood, the Community Action Partnership and Kaiser Permanente.
The goal is to create synergy among all the region's charitable groups, a synergy that will allow them to be more effective individually and collectively, and thus help more people.
Some of the ways the collaborative is expected to help the groups helping the needy include: Identifying best practices, sharing equipment and surplus food, and teaming to explore grant funding.
Lovingood, the Community Action Partnership and Kaiser Permanente all deserve credit for supporting the collaborative, but Kaiser deserves special thanks. According to a Kaiser representative, the idea for the collaborative came about when Kaiser employees noticed duplicate requests for supplies and equipment from groups that aid the hungry.
That led to a couple of meetings facilitated by Kaiser, the Community Action Partnership and the Victor Valley Rescue Mission. The next thing you now, the High Desert Food Collaborative was born.
Now all the nonprofits and churches trying to feed the hungry are working together to do so. It should result in more needy being fed, less duplication of effort and a community that cares about the less fortunate.
There are plenty of charities trying to help the needy in the High Desert and they are all worthy of your support. But now, no matter who you choose to support, you can feel confident that your money is going to help and the charity of your choice is working with others to ensure the best possible outcome for the less fortunate.