Tenderlife Maternity Home Walk-a-thon 2017

Please join TenderLife Maternity Home on Saturday, March 4, 2017 for a WALK for our annual
“Tenderlife Maternity Home Walk-A-Thon”

River Community Church
889 E. Santa Clara Street, Ventura, CA

Registration time begins: 9:00am
Walk begins: 9:30am

If you can’t come but would like to donate to Tender Life or a specific walker…
• Sign on to the Project Understanding website, click on the “donate now” button…
• Scroll down the page, to “Designation” “Tender Life Walk”…. and then at the “additional Information” field type the sponsor’s/walker’s name.

Proceeds to benefit: Tender Life Maternity Home

Tender Life provides pregnant women with safe housing and supportive services in an environment that instills dignity and promotes self-sufficiency.

“Tender Life, where courage meets compassion to build new lives.”

Download sign up and pledge forms here

2017 Hope Worth Giving Breakfast

Project Understanding of San Buenaventura is pleased to announce its 6th Annual Hope Worth Giving Breakfast which will be held on Thursday, March 30, from 7:30 – 9:00am at the Pierpont Inn located at 550 Sanjon Rd., Ventura.

• Listen to testimonies of lives we have and continue to transform
• Learn about our programs: The Food Pantry, SHORE, Homeless to Home, Tender Life Maternity Home and our Tutoring Centers
• Learn how to get involved!

Guests will be given an opportunity to make a financial contribution at the event.

This event is generously sponsored by: The Oxnard Monday Club, On Q Financial – The Jaffe Team, Bill & Elise Kearney, Trinity Lutheran Church, The Fred Evans Team – ReMax Gold Coast Realtors.

Hope Worth Giving is free to attend; however, a RSVP is suggested. All those who plan to attend may do so by visiting www.hopeworthgiving2017.eventbrite.com

Table sponsorships are available and start at $600. For more information, please contact Lisa Marquez (805) 236-4583 or email lisamarquez1@allstate.com.

Shining Star Awards 2017

Enjoy the photo gallery from Shining Star Awards…

This month Project Understanding will serve 1,300-1,500 neighbors in need. Because most of them will be served by a volunteer, at the Shining Star Awards last week, we honored outstanding Volunteers and Community Partners! Award recipients are pictured to the left.

The “secret” awards announced on Thursday evening were: Shining Star Volunteer of the Year – Lynn Geller; Shalom Award – Karol Schulkin; Donors of the Year – Larry and Carol Dawes; Board Member of the Year – Kellie Meehan and Charleen Morla; and Employee of the Year – Janine Dykstra.

The pre-announced awards included program volunteers of the year: Food Pantry – Joanna Norstedt; First Step Center – Nita Perkins; Tutoring – David Ensminger; Tender Life – Karen Collier and Carolyn Tabor; Administrative – Gina Norstedt and Meg Perry.

Other pre-announced awards were for: Collaborating Partner – CAPS Media; Community Partner – Bejune Foundation; Business – MortgageCouch; House of Worship – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Ventura Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Ventura Councilmember Cheryl Heitmann served as Master of Ceremonies. Many community leaders presented awards, including several government officials: Michael Powers, Chief Executive Officer, Ventura County; Matt LeVere, Ventura Councilmember; Patti Quiroz, representing Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson; and Jeannette Sanchez-Palacio, representing Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. County School Superintendent Dr. Stan Mantooth presented on behalf of the educational community.

Other presenters included Betsy Chess, Limoneira; Dave Schulze, Ventura Church of Christ; Sheldon Brown, Ventura Breeze; Lisa Anglin, Fidelity National Title; Rick Pearson, North Oxnard United Methodist Church (former E.D. of Project); Kevin Clerici, Downtown Ventura Partners; Aaron Shiah, ServiceMaster Restoration & Cleaning by Integrity; Suki Sir, Turning Point Foundation; and Dan Stevens, namesake of the Dan Stevens Shalom Award (former pastor of Orchard Community Church).

“When Santa Claus Dreams”

An Ode to Volunteers

Santa Claus envies me,
He dreams of riding in my van.
All he drives is a sleigh,
I volunteer for a Food Pantry!

Santa sneaks into houses.
I am invited into grocery stores.

He crawls down the chimney.
I march in at the loading dock.

Santa leaves behind a few toys.
I wheel out carts of life-giving food.

I carefully steer treasure down a long ramp
And park by my van.

I carefully transfer each item:
First, boxes of fruits and vegetables,
Next, cases of salad, hummus and pasta,
Then sausage and luncheon meats.
I chauffeur boxes of bread,
Then I will pursue pumpkins,
And embrace bouquets of flowers.

Already I can see neighbors walking through our front door:
As they come in, some will be smiling,
Some will stare at the floor, too nervous to look up,
Some will look wooden,
Some will look wounded.

Each will receive a warm hello.
They will hear questions with respect.
They will choose fruits and vegetables,
Salad, meat, bread, a pumpkin,
And flowers.

They will walk out with more than they can carry.
Smiling, they will return home
On a bus or in a car.

I feel bad for Santa Claus,
His toys run out of batteries
Or break or become boring.

The treasure in my van evicts fear,
And renews hope.


What would it feel like to help a needy family at Christmas or Hanukkah? There are so many families in need and so many people who truly want to give. We have found the perfect way to bring them together!
By giving hope and support to parents who need it, you can transform the life of a family for the Holiday season. This is a great way to get your small group involved in giving. You can sponsor a family as a group or individually. You may also donate items, funds or gift cards.
To bless these families with gifts during an otherwise very financially demanding and stressful season is worth the gift’s weight in gold! The joy it brings the children is heart melting and worth every penny!
Please contact Janine Dykstra at jdykstra@projectunderstanding.org or by calling (805) 861-3809 for more information or to confirm sponsorship of a family. Sponsorships must be confirmed no later than December 1, 2016.