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Gem of Tustin Award; a Win for the Community


Last week, I was honored and humbled to receive the “Gem of Tustin” Award, at the recommendation of Mayor, Dr. Allan Bernstein. My friend TyRon Jackson, who often partners with Orange County Rescue Mission to serve the homeless and hopeless of our community, was also honored with this award, much deservedly so.

According to the City of Tustin, “A Gem of Tustin is someone who is driven to provide exceptional service to the Tustin community. These selfless individuals dedicate their time and resources to ensure the community’s needs are the highest priority. They devote countless hours of hard work and continue to explore opportunities to enrich the lives of Tustin’s residents.”

But it is only with the cooperation and support of the City of Tustin that these accomplishments have been possible. Village of Hope in Tustin, our flagship campus, currently serves 262 men, women and children. And it is also the home to the Tustin campus of Hurtt Family Health Clinic, providing medical, dental and mental health care to those in need from throughout our community. And, the Rescue Mission’s first site for transitional housing for homeless veterans also makes it’s home in Tustin, the Tustin Veterans Outpost. The City of Tustin has cooperated with Orange County Rescue Mission, and is an example to the potential of what can be accomplished with private and public cooperation.

Nonetheless, to be considered as someone who meets this criteria in the city that I call home and deeply care for is nothing short of remarkable. I am so grateful for this honor, and I am proud to serve the City of Tustin, and the Least, the Last, and the Lost of this community.

I would like to share with you the kind words that were spoken on behalf of myself and TyRon, words that warmed my heart and were a wonderful encouragement to me.

I am honored to recognize Jim Palmer and TyRon Jackson who have been actively involved in the community for many years.

As President of the Orange County Rescue Mission, Jim has assisted many homeless individuals and families. The services and care offered by the Rescue Mission include: long-term housing, meals, employment, clothing, shelter, spiritual, medical, counseling, legal, life skills, and education. In a recent partnership with the City of Tustin, the Rescue Mission offers programs for veterans through the Tustin Veterans Outpost. The Outpost program integrates many of the positive aspects of the military, such as the camaraderie, work ethic and disciplined lifestyle. This empowers homeless veterans to draw from their successes in the military, and they learn how to apply those skills to civilian life.

The City is extremely grateful for The Mission’s dedication to serving homeless families and veterans. We are fortunate to have several organizations within the city dedicated to serving the homeless and veterans. Another exceptional example is Operation Warm Wishes.

TyRon Jackson founded Operation Warm Wishes in 2008. The organization is dedicated to serving the homeless, troubled youths, struggling families, veterans and senior citizens. Their mission is to inspire, motivate and encourage those who are struggling. Through various events throughout the year, Operation Warm Wishes collects food, clothing, shoes, and toiletries and distributes to those in need.

Unfortunately, many homeless individuals, families and veterans struggle to find support and resources. However, both Jim and TyRon have made exceptional strides in ensuring those individuals are supported, encouraged and given the love and motivation one needs when experiencing challenging times.

Thank you again to the City of Tustin for this amazing award! It is such an encouragement to me to know that I am serving my city well. The Orange County Rescue Mission is proud to call Tustin home and to care for the Least, the Last, and the Lost of Orange County.

Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.


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