Anderson Children's Foundation

Catholic Charities

Essential Supplies for Coachella Valley Chlildren (2021-2022)

This grant from Anderson’s Children Foundation will fund new shoes, socks, and backpacks for school-aged students in an area where over 35% of children lived in poverty even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Riverside County has been one of the hardest-hit areas in California, with among the highest case rates and deaths, and low-income families such as those of farmworkers and service industry workers in the Coachella Valley have suffered disproportionately.

Attending school and participating in outdoor activities without adequate shoes and supplies can impact a child’s ability to succeed. The items that Catholic Charities provides are among those most requested by low-income Coachella Valley parents. Not only do children outgrow shoes, they also wear out shoes and socks quickly while engaging in the high-energy activities so important for child health. Backpacks improve organizational skills and homework completion rates. Having their own backpacks ensures that children can keep their notebooks, textbooks and other essentials with them wherever they are: at school, home, the library, etc.

Access to these essential school items will help increase students’ emotional and physical health as well as their ability to focus on academics. With children having spent much of the past year learning remotely, it’s vital to their educational and social well-being to ensure that they’re fully ready to return to school this fall, and to make the coming school year as normal as possible for them.

Contact: Jessica Cortez

Eastern CV Food Distribution (2020-2021)

Catholic Charities’ mission is to fight poverty and its consequences resulting in new opportunities and changed futures. We do this by providing a wide array of crisis intervention and supportive services to thousands of adults, children, and seniors in need every year.

The 2020 grant from the Anderson Children’s Foundation will support Catholic Charities’ Eastern Coachella Valley Food Distribution program, which provides weekly emergency food to nearly 200 Coachella Valley households with young children. This grant will help Catholic Charities replace its 2008 box truck used for food distributions, helping the organization cope with the increased need for emergency food distribution caused by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Catholic Charities has helped struggling individuals and families in need for 40 years and is one of the largest and most accomplished human services organizations in San Bernardino & Riverside Counties. Catholic Charities is a critical safety net organization that works to address the basic needs of people living in poverty. Catholic Charities serves all people in need - regardless of religious affiliation and without discrimination. Over the past year, our staff and volunteers provided a wide array of flexible, culturally-sensitive, tangible crisis intervention and supportive services that benefited over 25,000 individuals through three core program areas: Family & Community Services; Counseling Services; and Immigration Services.

Back to School Clothing and Supplies (2018-2019)

With support from Anderson Children’s Foundation (ACF), Catholic Charities will provide 100 children living in poverty with uniform compliant clothing, a backpack, socks, shoes and earphones they need to be successful in school.

The children who will receive these items come from families with no means to provide these required school items. It is all too common in the Coachella Valley that children, through no fault of their own, are negatively impacted by their families’ financial situation.

Coming to school without adequate clothing and/or supplies hurts a child’s ability to succeed academically. Many schools have strictly enforced uniform codes – some send students home if they are not in uniform. For those without uniform policies, children who come to school in ill-fitting or worn out clothing are at risk of being ostracized by peers, severely impacting their emotional health and ability to focus on their studies. Backpacks increase a child’s ability to stay organized and ensure a safe place to transfer homework to and from school. Earphones are an important component of this program. Coachella Valley schools require students to provide their own earphones to use computers – and earphones are required to complete components of California’s standardized testing. This project is specific to the Coachella Valley due to overwhelming demand for these items in this region where over 35% of children live in poverty.

Catholic Charities is in a unique position to provide these necessary items to some of the most impoverished children throughout the Coachella Valley. Caseworkers have established relationships with needy families in the area and require income verification forms to identify which children would most benefit from this program. In addition, staff work with area school district social workers who refer families to Catholic Charities when financial constraints are impacting a student’s ability to focus on their studies