TEMECULA, Calif. – (July 31, 2014) – Hundreds of area children will be going back to school this fall with a fresh look and more confidence thanks to one major retailer and hundreds of volunteers including more than 100 from Pechanga Resort & Casino. Outside the Temecula Promenade mall at 6:00a.m. on a recent Saturday, volunteers were paired up with a child from a low income family. The duos were each given a $125 JC Penny gift card so they could walk through the store and pick out new clothing and shoes for the school year. Kids could be seen leaving JC Penny with big bags and beaming faces as they ran to meet their moms and dads who waited for them in the store’s parking lot. The yearly event put on by The Salvation Army helps more than 200 children in Riverside County. Youngsters were accompanied by volunteers from 10 Temecula area businesses including Pechanga Resort & Casino, which had 118 volunteers, the largest showing of people.
“Pechanga has a long tradition of providing critical resources for the children and families of our community,” said Ken Perez, a member of the Board of the Pechanga Development Corporation who was one of the volunteers. “Many of our members struggled for basic necessities like new clothes and supplies for a new school year. We know confident and comfortable children also translate into better academic performance.”
Many of the parents of kids who got to shop could be heard throughout the morning thanking volunteers and the Salvation Army representatives for their efforts. Many volunteers also reached into their own pockets and covered remainders if children’s items totaled more than $125.00.
“We are grateful for the support of Pechanga and our other community partners,” said Major Butch Soriano of The Salvation Army. “Without them, this very needed event may not happen and these children would not receive the necessary clothing and supplies to start the school year.”
The Salvation Army operates 7,546 centers in communities across the United States. These include food distribution, disaster relief, rehabilitation centers, anti-human trafficking efforts, and a wealth of children’s programs. Our work is funded through kettle donations, corporate contributions, and the sale of goods donated to our Salvation Army Family Stores. Eighty-two cents of every dollar we spend supports our various missions across the country. We are a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, and contributions are deductible for Federal Income Tax Purposes to the extent permitted under Section 170(b)(2) for corporations.