Within a business park in San Clemente, CA sit two buildings, sharing a common wall. One is the home to Family Assistance Ministries (FAM) and the other is the future home of ConAm Building Co. March 16th called on FAM to do what it has existed to do for 21 years, serve the community members in need. COVID 19 brought uncertainty, fear and an opportunity to do things bigger and better. We saw an increase of 110% in the number of families and individuals needing food, rental assistance and case management.
FAM established in 1999, supports the south Orange County community with a variety of programs aimed to prevent and end hunger and homelessness. FAM operates a food pantry in San Clemente which served over 35,000 people last year. Heavily reliant on volunteer support FAM sees 361 regular volunteers who immediately decreased to 30 after many were encouraged to abide by the stay at home orders as they were in the high-risk category to contract COVID. This created a threat to our operations. We needed to react and respond to this change quickly while creating a safe space for staff, volunteers and those we serve.
Sharing a common wall with FAM, Nicholas Lutz, President of ConAm Building Co, wanted to help. ConAm Building Co is a general contracting firm headquartered in San Clemente with a long history of outreach through their ‘one project one village’, charity platform. “We at ConAm are honored to have the opportunity to give back to our local community in this trying time. Far too often we all overlook what is so necessary right in front on us, FAM however addresses those needs head on. The work that FAM does for our local families is needed now more than ever and ConAm is proud to help.”
Nick and ConAm understand the importance of the services FAM is providing to our community. Food and housing are essential, and he wanted to partner in a big way. ConAm has allowed FAM to fill his entire building with pallets of food, toiletry items and Christmas toys. FAM has been able to create a safe staging area for volunteers to rejoin in the provision of food to those in need. The ConAm Building Co. office has played a major role in providing:
- 3.4m pounds of food to 32,574 hungry people since the onset of COVID
- Backpacks and school supplies were collected and distributed to over 550 children as they began their school year from home
- Space to social distance to 150 volunteers each week
Most importantly, the ConAm Building Co office has provided hope. Hope to the board of directors and staff determined to continue operations. Hope to volunteers, brave in their willingness to come and support while following safety procedures. Hope to the seniors in need of a lifeline during times of great uncertainty. Hope to the children who are home and relying on FAM to obtain school supplies and boxes filled with fresh fruit, vegetables, milk, cheese, meats and even cookies.
What is ahead is a season of gratitude but also a season of continued need. The ConAm Building Co. office has been an important part of our ability to serve the children, adults and seniors in need of Thanksgiving meals and Christmas gifts for the holidays. In partnership with our gracious donors, we served 700 households with Thanksgiving Family Feasts. Adopt-a-Family for Christmas will grow this year to serve over 1,000 children with gifts.
How can you help build hope and partner with FAM?
- Stay connected (FB/Insta/mailing list)
- Share this with a friend or family member
- Consider volunteering to drive trucks, sort food, answer phones and
- Consider making a yearend donation of funds to help support the work of FAM in the community