Dear VRM Family and Friends,
First and foremost, we cannot adequately express how grateful we are to have you join us on this journey, so thank you from the bottom of our heart. Without your prayers, encouragement and generosity, the disadvantaged and vulnerable men, women, and children in our community would not have a safe and healing environment to call home.
Our desire is to keep you informed, so we ask you to continue visiting our website for updates as the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold. Rest assured, the Visalia Rescue Mission is staying committed to protecting our guests. So, in an effort to keep everyone safe, we have chosen to err on the side of caution.
We want you to know that we are not operating under a spirit of fear. Rather, we are approaching this situation with the balance of faith and wisdom. We know God’s hand of protection is mighty, and we trust Him in all things!
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” -Psalm 62:8
Visalia Rescue Mission is continuing to provide overnight shelter and meals from our Community Kitchen. We have been taking precautions for our guests by not allowing outside visitors into our shelters. We have also installed a handwashing station for the community coming to pick up daily meals. To date, no known cases of the coronavirus have been identified at Visalia Rescue Mission facilities, and we pray none develop.
In order to protect our guests and the faithful volunteers who serve throughout the VRM ministry, we are asking all volunteers to stay home until further notice. All volunteer orientations are canceled until further notice. Please stay posted by phone or through the website.
To minimize the possibilities for spreading the virus, meals will be transitioned to smaller gatherings as well as “to-go” options for the community.
Many staff members – particularly those in the higher risk populations – will be working remotely. You may find it slightly more difficult to reach the person you’re looking for, and we ask for your patience. Please know that we are committed to getting back to you as quickly as possible. All meetings will allow for social distancing.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
We expect you feel the stress of this outbreak, and perhaps it’s caused a major disruption to your family and way of life. Even so, we humbly ask you to remember those we serve. Regardless of an external crisis, Visalia Rescue Mission must continue serving men, women, and children with nowhere else to go. Our staff will be stretched, as will our resources.
On March 20th, we closed both of our thrift stores to be in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. Rescued Treasures and Simply Chic Boutique generate a substantial amount of revenue each month to make the ministries of Visalia Rescue Mission possible. We have received approval from local law enforcement to park a donation truck in front of Rescued Treasures Monday-Friday from 8-4PM. We welcome your donations and have taken precautions to allow for social distancing for the safety of everyone.
So how can you help?
Please pray. Pray for peace and protection over our staff and guests. Pray for the Gospel to be spread even through these uncertain times. Let those we serve be witness to the beauty of Christ’s Body coming together. Pray that the virus would not enter our shelters. Pray for increased patience as people live near one another with the possibility for tension and frustration.
Give financially. Our shelters will certainly be adversely affected by the virus – the reduction of volunteers, increased food costs and the addition of precautionary measures. If you feel called to give a little extra, we would be grateful.
Please visit these reliable sources for the latest updates on the COVID-19 virus.
Center for Disease Control
Kaweah Delta COVID-19 Information Page
This crisis is a great reminder of how important community is. You have always been incredibly generous to the men, women and children who come through our doors, and we are so grateful to be partnering with you.