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Community > Community Outreach > Run A Ways Outreach

South County Outreach Food Pantry

December 2016

Four members of the Elks Run-A-Ways Camping club paid a visit to the Lake Forest office of the South County Outreach. They came baring gift cards to be distributed at the Outreach’s Christmas Toy Give-Away. Past Wagon Masters Pat Martino and Andy Costello along with club members Frank Gunning and Jim Wessling brought the gifts which were purchased with donations from the Run-A-Ways club members. Members choose to make the contribution in lieu of a holiday gift exchange between members every year at their Christmas party. Past Run-A-Ways Wagonmaster Pat Martino said of the event, “Our campers club of thirty-four members is just a small club within the eleven-hundred-member Mission Viejo, Saddleback Valley Elks Lodge, but our members are happy to help support this worthy organization in this small way.” Martino added, “We bring a stack of $15.00 gift cards and Outreach puts them along with the toys in the family’s Christmas boxes. We expressly ask that they be given to the teenagers in the family so they can buy a small gift for themselves or a gift for another.”

In 1989, Saddleback Community Outreach was founded as a non-profit, non-sectarian organization providing emergency assistance to South Orange County residents. In 2004, Saddleback Community Outreach was re-named South County Outreach to reflect the growing South Orange County community. With the support of community organizations, businesses and individuals, South County Outreach has grown to a $3.2 million dollar organization. In 2016, South County Outreach has distributed almost one million pounds of food and provided 58,836 services to 9,400 South Orange County residents.

Past long time Outreach Director, and still serving as an Outreach volunteer, Ken Carpenter warmly welcomed the Elks and thanked them for their ongoing support. Carpenter said, “We often have toys and gifts for the toddlers and small children but the teenagers seem to be left out. These gift cards are a way we can make certain there is something for them as well as the others.” 

(photo) South County Outreach Ken Carpenter receives gift cards from Elks Run-A-Ways Pat Martino, Frank Gunning, and Jim Wessling 


December 22, 2015

Members of the Mission Viejo Saddleback Valley Elks camping club “The Run-A-Ways” visited the South County Outreach Food Pantry in Irvine a few days before Christmas. The Run-A-Ways, a small club within the local Elks Lodge came bearing little gifts as has been the custom for the past five years. The club recently held their annual Christmas party and in lieu of a gift exchange, once again left donations for gift cards to be purchased and donated to South County Outreach. Past Elks Lodge President and Wagon Master Pat Martino was accompanied by Run-A-Ways assistant Wagon Master Jim Wessling, and club members Frank Gunning, and Andy Costello. Twenty-one (21) fifteen dollar ($15) department store gift cards were presented to Outreach Director Ken Carpenter. “We add the gift cards to our family food baskets,” said Outreach Director Ken. “We usually have things to give the small children but we seldom have anything for the teenagers. Our intention is to include these gift cards for the teens in the family to buy something for themselves or buy a gift for someone else. These twenty-one special gifts will make Christmas just a little happier for twenty-one families.” Director Carpenter thanked the men and wished a Merry Christmas to all the members of the Mission Viejo Saddleback Valley Elks Lodge.


L to R: Andy Costello, Outreach Director Ken Carpenter, Run-A-Ways campers Wagon Master Pat Martino, Camping club members Jim Wessling, and Frank Gunning.

South County Outreach Food Pantry at 7 Whatney Suite B Irvine, CA. 92618