News from the Mission

VRM Back 2 School Block Party Recap 2023

Aug 5, 2023 | News

On Thursday, June 1, 2023, 2500 personal invitations inviting students and families to our second Back 2 School Block Party. On Saturday, July 29, 2023 they all came out to V.R.M., and we had ourselves a party! Leading up to the event, sponsors gave close to 10,000.00 dollars, and the community donated thousands of school supplies, from rulers to colored pencils, to fill the 1278 pack backs that were donated or purchased.

This year we were blessed to partner with V.U.S.D. Family & Community Resource Center. This fantastic team actively connects with many families and students needing support and resources. They personally signed up hundreds of students, preparing them for the upcoming school year. Through conversation with one of our vendors, a family shared they were weeks away from being displaced and had no options moving forward. Within minutes we connected them to the right people from the Resource Center, and they will work through this challenging time and find the shelter and care they need. V.R.M. loves the relationship will are building with V.U.S.D. Family & Community Resource Center.

As we got closer to 7:00 am, 98 volunteers showed up ready to serve our community. After a few donuts and group photo these volunteers handled business. A large group from Ace Hardware Distribution Center managed parking. They stopped traffic, crossed family after family across the street, and cheered them on. As students entered the community center, they were greeted by dozens of volunteers from Visalia First,┬áBreakfast Lions Club, and countless others from this fantastic community. Volunteers of all ages handed out 973 backpacks and thousands of folders, notebooks, and glue sticks. After receiving their backpacks, students had the opportunity to receive free haircuts from one of 18 hair stylists and barbers that freely gave their services. Over the next 3 hours, 209 students received haircuts and are ready to start the school year off right. The fantastic smiles on these students’ faces made all the hard work worth it.

Before heading out of the community center, students could hear the gospel from one of our vendors Childhood Evangelism. This fantastic group of volunteers connected with over 200 students and gave a fun presentation with Legos. In this presentation, they shared the story of Jesus, and 50 students responded and prayed to start a relationship with Jesus. This is why we do what we do because we believe the heart of change comes from a relationship with Christ.

As students headed outside, they received a goodie bag filled with excellent treats donated from Walmart, Save Mart, and Costco and put together by a group of high school and college volunteers. In the parking lot, we had 18 vendors from the community. Jim Barnes and his team from P.A.L. were able to do minor repairs on 36 bikes. Texas Roadhouse gave out pencils, free kid’s meal coupons, and a photo op with their mascot Andy Armadillo. Free books from the Assistance League, stickers from Spirit 88.9, and unique connections from our vendors provided many resources that morning.

Thank you to our following sponsors, volunteers, and vendors who made the V.R.M. Back 2 School Block Party a huge success.

  • Visalia Unified School District
  • Spirit 88.9
  • Grace Community Church
  • GateWay Church
  • Teter
  • Praise Center Church
  • First Church of the Nazarene
  • Jacob Frage Tulare Real Estate Team
  • 4CG
  • Lions Breakfast Club
  • Legacy Real Estate
  • Visalia First
  • Health Net
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Kaweah Health
  • P.A.L. Bike Repair and Safety
  • Childhood Evangelism
  • Tulare County Association of Governments
  • Central Valley Regional Center
  • Assistance League
  • Well Care
  • Project Fatherhood
  • United Health Centers
  • Men Who Fish
  • Family Health Care Network
  • Tulare County Department of Health
  • I9 Sports