I have held gold in my hands, I have held diamonds in my hands, I have even held some powerful world leader’s hands while shaking hands, but in my humble opinion, nothing compares to the powerful meaning of passing these graduation certificates into the hands of these extraordinary men and women who have overcome during their time here at the Orange County Rescue Mission.
The maturity and longevity of the Orange County Rescue Mission has allowed for years of refining a program into the most comprehensive wrap around services offered to those in need. Where homeless men, women and children come to stay for 18-24 months, we know this time commitment is an investment for the future. Every rule, every detail, every aspect of the Orange County Rescue Mission’s program is intentionally in place to empower individuals to break the cycles that have landed them in vulnerable places of homelessness, addiction and dysfunction. This transformation does not happen over night.
On a quarterly cycle, we celebrate the individuals that have fought for change, worked for self-sufficiency, clawed their way out of debts, restored their broken families, faced their pasts, earned their educations, stood on their own two feet and rewritten their futures. Many of these men and women have never attained the privileges of a graduation before.
To applaud their efforts and hard work is an important celebration, not of the end of this program, but the beginning of the rest of their lives. This program is not easy, but the results are real and eternal.
I treasure these celebrations and it is always an honor to share these moments with others who have been heavily influential in the work of the Orange County Rescue Mission. This evening, I was able to share the stage with good friend and Mayor of Costa Mesa, Jim Righeimer in congratulating all of our graduates, including Gina and her five children in their accomplishments.
Click below to watch a video of our Spring Class of Graduates sharing about overcoming their pasts and where they are going with their new lives and accomplishments.