BARSTOW — While clutching 11 checks, General Manager Jennifer Rodriguez stood inside the Outlets at Barstow meeting room full of representatives from various local organizations.
"We are very proud to be able to work for a business that lets us support our community," Rodriguez said.
She had just announced that a partnership with 11 local organizations raised $12,000 in a program called "Shop for a Cause." The Outlets at Barstow created a 25 percent off one item voucher which were redeemable at participating stores. The charities then sold each voucher for a dollar. Rodriguez said 100 percent of the proceeds went directly back to nonprofit organizations.
The month-long voucher campaign generated approximately $6,000, according to Rodriguez. In addition, the organizations were invited to participate in on-site events throughout the month of October, including the Cruise for the Cure Car Show and the first ever Boo! at the Outlets' Trick-or-Treat night on Halloween.
"We are very proud to show our support for our local nonprofit organizations," Rodriguez said. "These groups work so hard year-round to make our community a better place to live, work and play. We are so pleased to be able to contribute to these causes directly."
The 21st annual Cruise for the Cure Car show was hosted by the Apple Valley Over-the-Hill Gang and raised $6,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
"We always say Barstow is the town with the big heart because there are so many charities and so many organizations," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez then handed out the checks:
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
"This money is going to go toward research and we are trying to put a lot of stuff back into our local community," said Isaac Padilla, a local representative for the American Cancer Society.
"We are a nonprofit organization that benefits the veterans in Barstow," Robert Parker said. "This money raised will go toward the child welfare fund which benefits scholarships for high school kids and boys and girls team."
BARSTOW WOMEN'S CLUB
"We have been going since 1923 from Barstow. We are the oldest service organization and our money will go toward scholarships and local charity," Beverly Stoots said.
BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB
"The Boys and Girls Club is doing really, really great. Currently, we are servicing about 50 kids on a daily basis. Some Wednesdays a little bit more because of the half day," Jessica Simms said. "But our goal is to provide a safe place for kids to come after school because there's a lot of kids out there who don't have a place to go. It's a fun, safe environment. We help them with their homework and we're always looking for volunteers."
BARSTOW SOCCER CLUB
"We try to provide a low cost competitive environment for the kids," Nicole Chavez said. "Barstow doesn't have the resources bigger cities have. This is going toward training and the tournament fees."
"Desert Sanctuary is a domestic violence shelter program here. We have been here since 1982," Executive Director Peggy Fries said. "This money is going toward our new homes. Refurbish them and get them ready so we can double our capacity which we very much need."
"We try to help the homeless in Barstow to be incorporated back into the community through art. And all of this will be used to get supplies they need and eventually hope to maybe make a home, for different programs to help them get jobs and just get them back into the community," Kevin Irwin said.
ON THE RISE
"We have been open a little over a year now and our business is growing leaps and bounds," Tawnie Wilson said. "Our goal is to help as many children of the High Desert and also the surrounding area and get them in homes. In a safe home, a safe place until they can hopefully be reunited with their families."
"It helps families who have suffered a suicide, a tragic loss through violence or criminal act," Sarah Erickson said. "The money will go directly to the cost of funerals and services. And we also run a counseling service."
"This is our third year, going into our fourth. It's been a good adventure," Major David Ebel said. "Slowly but sure we built some relationships and now we are doing really well. The food pantry is feeding up to 300 families in a week."
Mike Lamb can be reached at 760-957-0613 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter@mlambdispatch.com