Laura Vieira Saunders was overwhelmed by the generosity of others.
In this case, Julian Holifield, Frank Warren and Steve Lewis.
She mentioned them by name after they stepped up earlier this week to offer up Ray of Hope with a new home.
“When (Holifield) called me, I cried in disbelief,” said the Ray of Hope executive director on Friday.
The non-profit organization that’s known for working with children in need – this includes the homeless – ironically, was without a home.
Ray of Hope, which was re-established after a seven-year break – Saunders during that time had to deal with an assortment of family health issues – along with the other places in the South Mellon Avenue industrial building were forced to leave, no fault of their own.
The new home for Ray of Hope is the 6,500 square space above Manteca Bedquarters on West Yosemite Avenue near Main Street. It is part of the city’s oldest commercial structure that was built 103 years ago as the International of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Hall.
“This place is so big that we can house all of our programs and more,” said Saunders, who added that the place is in need of some TLC.
For that, she’s hoping for volunteers to step up once again with painting of the rooms, laying out flooring and installing carpet to “turn this space into a welcoming place of hope for children who have been abused, neglected or just in crisis due to the circumstances beyond their control,” Saunders said.
She added: “Ray of Hope will welcome anyone that can donate carpet, flooring, time, labor and more to make this a place where children can receive all the needs to thrive.”
Since coming back to Manteca, Saunders was surprised to see Ray of Hope was needed more than ever.
The new home coupled with the support of the community helped restored her faith as well as that of Ray of Hope board member Carol Roberts.
“Yesterday, we were in a panic as to how we would serve our community without an office,” she said. “Today, we are overjoyed by the endless possibility,” said Roberts, recognizing the efforts of Holifield, warren and Lewis from the Manteca Bedquarters.
To volunteer, donate, or for more information, call 209.883.6255 or log on to email@example.com.