|From left: Provecho owner Rosie O'Connor; Faithful Servants board members Tiffany Emmer, Carrie Gremard, Lori Michel and Marsha Daniel; Menifee 24/7 editor Doug Spoon. Not pictured: Hazel Yoshida.|
Today, Michel and four other women operate an organization that has helped hundreds of people in Menifee and outlying areas. Paying out of their own pockets with help from generous donors, they serve a meal to the homeless in a Perris park every Saturday, help find temporary housing for single mothers, provide clothing for those in need, facilitate pet adoptions, and much more.
For their efforts, the ladies behind Faithful Servants have received the Menifee 24/7 Volunteers of the Month award, sponsored by Provecho Grill.
"Everybody is a faithful servant," said Michel, insisting that the award be shared with all the board members and giving credit to the many supporters of her group. "There really isn't a need too small or too big. I've always had a heart for helping others, and I knew this was the best way to bring people together."
For the last year and a half, Michel has worked together with Tiffany Emmer, Carrie Gremard, Marsha Daniel and Hazel Yoshida in monitoring the group's Facebook page to interact with those in need, soliciting donations and rounding up supplies.
Last fall, they provided food and supplies for four families displaced by a fire in Sun City, with help from Provecho Grill, which sponsored a fundraiser. Every Saturday afternoon, they prepare and serve food to about 50 people in Foss Park in Perris. If they learn of someone in need, a plea for help is posted on the Facebook page and offers usually come in promptly.
"Most of the time we get offers of help right away," Michel said. "People make donations through Pay Pal and in other ways. We have a few very big supporters and a lot of other people who help. When we don't get responses for help, we accept that as a sign that it's not the right time. Then it's in God's hands."
Recently, members of Faithful Servants found a homeless man selling dogs in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store. The women bought all the dogs and helped get them all adopted.
Daniel, whose efforts were the first in the group brought to the attention of Menifee 24/7, is perhaps the most visible in the group. She is often out in the community, asking for help for those who have contacted Faithful Servants.
"We have some good-hearted people who donate," she said. "We have a storage unit where we keep furniture for when it's needed. We help victims of domestic violence, people who need to get into sober living ... if somebody needs a couch, needs a place to stay, we try to help."
Faithful Servants is in the process of obtaining nonprofit (501c3) status, which will enable donors to receive receipts for their gifts. In the meantime, the women behind the scenes are grateful for the help they receive and welcome more.
Their cost of buying and preparing food for the Saturday meals in the park runs from $50 to $70 per week. There are additional costs associated with paying for hotel rooms for the homeless, making sure animals are spayed, neutered and adopted, and so much more.
Faithful Servants received a $50 gift card to Provecho Grill, a popular Mexican restaurant in Sun City that regularly supports the community.
For more information about Faithful Servants, visit the group's Facebook page or call 951-698-1672.
If you would like to nominate a Menifee resident for Menifee 24/7's next Volunteer of the Month award, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In 200 words or less, tell us why you believe this person should be the Volunteer of the Month. Please include your name, name of the volunteer, and the service the person provides.