The South Bay is truly blessed to have several nonprofits that offer invaluable services to those in need.  I was recently invited to attend an event at Community’s Child, a non-profit that provides a transitional living, self-development and education program for homeless women and children, and outreach support and educational programs for disadvantaged families residing in the South Bay.

As I walked through an alley and toward Community’s Child, it was evident that an extremely organized drive through distribution was taking place for families. Upon arrival at the business, I was welcomed by Tara Nierenhausen, founder and executive director of Community’s Child; Pat Furey,  Mayor of Torrance; Mark Waronek, Board President for Community’s Child and Faviola Ocoha, Public Affairs Manager, SoCal Gas.

“Today we are kicking off the SoCal Gas Company ‘Fueling the Community Cinco de Mayo event’.  Over 200 families registered to receive food, water, restaurant gift cards, masks, hand sanitizers, socks, and toys,” stated Nierenhausen. 

As the cars streamed through the alley during their appointment time, it was evident that those on the receiving end were extremely thankful.  Words of appreciation were expressed by each driver. “Throughout the pandemic, Community’s Child has been in the forefront providing food to those in need. It is valuable to collaborate with organizations like the SoCal Gas Company to develop strong partnerships because without their support we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” commented Waronek.

“Community’s Child is a great organization and has always helped those in need.  When Covid hit communities, the SoCal Gas Company looked at how we could repurpose community giving.  We determined there was a large gap in food insecurity and began working with Community’s Child.  It was important to work with a smaller yet established nonprofit.  Our employees volunteer, on their own time, to spread joy and give back to the community.  At this morning’s event, we have employees who have driven here to volunteer from as far away as the Inland Empire,” remarked Ochoa.

Community’s Child began a Healthy Bags Program which delivers nutritious groceries to food-insecure school-age children.  From this program, partnerships and giving grew. “We are very intertwined with Torrance Memorial Medical Center, we partner with LA Food Bank to deliver fresh produce each Thursday to families, we collaborate with the office of Supervisor Janice Hahn and the Laptop Elf provided 150 refurbished laptops,” smiled Nierenhausen.

Programs offered by Community’s Child serve to enhance the mental, physical, social, and spiritual development of disadvantaged and homeless families in the South Bay.  Education Programs include classes in nutrition, health, D.V. Prevention, ESL, literacy, CPR, and emergency first aid, parenting, and employment readiness. The Community Clinic provides health, vision and dental screenings, and community resources. The Back-to-School Program provides children with backpacks, filled with school supplies. The Thanksgiving Program provides 200 food hampers. The Christmas Program sponsors 350 children.

Community’s Child works in partnership with individuals, corporations, small businesses, community service groups, churches, health care providers and other local nonprofits to ensure the provision of quality and relevant services and programs. Every year, more than 550 volunteers and 1,800 donors assist Community’s Child in helping South Bay children and their families to achieve healthier, happier, and more productive lives.

My visit to Community’s Child was extremely heartwarming and inspiring. I would like to thank Mark for the invitation to attend the Fueling the Community Cinco de Mayo event and Tara and Faviola for making me feel so welcome.  The Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce also extends appreciation to Community’s Child for being a longtime member.

Pictured: Attending the SoCal Gas and Community’s Child, ‘Fueling the Community Cinco de Mayo event, from left to right, Faviola Ochoa, Public Affairs Manager, SoCal Gas; Mark Waronek, Board President for Community’s Child; Tara Nierenhausen, Community’s Child Founder and Executive Director; and Pat Furey, Torrance Mayor.

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