FOCUS OC Director Irene Basdakis invited the Orthodox clergy, ministry leaders, and FOCUS leaders to discuss the ministry of FOCUS on 3-10-20 at St. Barnabas Antiochian Orthodox Church in Costa Mesa. Inspiring presentations were made by FOCUS Founder Charles Ajalat, FOCUS Executive Director Kenneth Kidd and Rev. Fr. Bill Tragus of St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church.
Irene Basdakis presented what FOCUS Orange County has been doing since her arrival to FOCUS last summer and where it is going today. FOCUS has organized many activities since she began working with FOCUS last summer. Those activities included hosting a 7-Week Summer Feeding Program at the Westminster Family Resource Center.
FOCUS also supported the Orthodox Churches with a blood drive at St. Mark, provided backpacks to support St. Paul’s Mission Work in Tanzania, provided food to support St. Barnabas efforts to help the Project Mexico Organization and partnered with St. Basil to adopt 9 families registered with Family Assistance Ministries at Christmas time. FOCUS procured food and made grocery bags that were then distributed to local churches and partnering non-profits for these organizations to bless their people in need. Some of the non-profits included the Friendship Shelter in Laguna Beach, Family Assistance Ministries in San Clemente and Family Resource Center in Westminster.
On an ongoing basis, FOCUS partners with others to care for the homeless living at several parks in Anaheim. The homeless receive 200 meals, personal hygiene items, sleeping mats, support and understanding every Saturday. FOCUS also helps individuals, families, working and retired senior citizens, young mothers, abused spouses and children with food, clothing, diapers, baby formula, personal hygiene, pillows and covers and other items they need.
FOCUS leaders also shared with participants needs and goals for the continued growth of the local ministry, including looking to secure a warehouse in the middle of Orange County that would be accessible to the orthodox churches and volunteers. FOCUS is also looking to secure a box truck that will allow it to have a mobile food pantry to deliver groceries and meals throughout Orange County.
FOCUS wants to partner with each parish to serve the disadvantaged in and around our communities.
FOCUS Orange County is a local center of FOCUS North America, a national 501c3 nonprofit organization.