Each time I walk into URM I find that my surprise at how much they do and what goes on every day is something I seem not to get used to and the impression does not diminish with time.
I have written about some of the things they do. I cannot begin to cover it all. If you click on the title of this post you will be directed to the URM website where there is a lot of great information.
I digress. Back to the point here.
In late May of 2010 it looked as if Hope Gardens was going to be shut down. Many people stepped up and helped. There were a number of tools put into place so people could help this critical effort. One of these tools was a text number where each text would generate $10. I am trying to see if this number is still in place. If it is that is great. If it is not there are other ways to help. There is a page on the URM website where one can donate at https://secure3.convio.net/urm/site/Donation2?df_id=1300&1300.donation=form1
You can also donate by phone or mail:
Donate by Phone:
(from land lines): 1-888-77-THE-WAY-HOME (toll free) or 213-673-4876
(from cell phones): 888-778-4392 or 213-673-4876
Donate by mail:
Union Rescue Mission
545 S San Pedro St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
I started thinking about the $10 text donation application that was active during the Hope Gardens crisis. I thought to myself that many folks might have no concept of what $10 can do in the hands of the folks at URM. I will supply a few pieces of information.
Over the course of one year Union Rescue Mission provides a million meals to people.
UPDATE as of 7/27/10: URM gave me some updated figures that take into account all the expenses associated with serving a meal rather than just the food cost. The current cost per meal is $1.84.
The meals are healthy, multi course, balanced meals. It is pretty darn good stuff. I have eaten a number of meals there myself and I will refrain from too much commentary in regard to eating better at Union Rescue Mission than I ate in most of my marriages.
The staff, including the executive URM staff eat the same food as served to the folks who come to the mission.
Meals served 365 days per week, three meals per day.
The cost of the food is offset by donations of food items in many cases. Buying in bulk reduces cost as well and terrific fund management makes a huge difference as well.
Fund management? Recently the news has been reporting that the earthquake victims in Haiti have seen nothing change. Their lives are in shambles. The money is not getting to the people. The government reports that they do not want to supply food because the vendors that sell food will have no business. Those vendors are also out of work because the starving people have no money to spend on food. Corrupt mismanagement of funds. Big organizations like the Red Cross are powerless to make much of a difference.
Back to URM. They stetch a dollar farther than one can comprehend. Their doors are open to the public and they are more than happy to take folks around the facility. No hidden places, no hidden doors, no hidden agenda. You can watch where the money is going at any given moment.
If you want to help in moments with no complications consider this:
To donate $10 to Union Rescue Mission, text the letters URM to 85944. You will receive a confirmation text message. Reply with the word YES to complete the transaction.
I guess I could talk about things like the water walks where the URM folks take to the street when it is over 85 degrees and pass out water bottles. Medical, dental, legal services. Educational services. Life transformation services. Hope Gardens, winter shelters and the list goes on and on.
You can make a difference.