The mood was highly spirited as over 150 people, mostly families, gathered to join MiNDS and CSU Fullerton at this year’s Neighborhood Outreach Dinner and Celebration.
This was the sixth annual event that marked the community development work of MiNDS and the fourth held in Fullerton, Orange County. It was co-sponsored by CSU Fullerton and hosted at the Richman Park Community Center.
This special event was held in honor of the local residents in the spirit of community building and provided an opportunity for volunteers to discuss the specific needs of the families.
Dr. Jessie Jones, Director of the Richman Center noted, “We are here for each other and we are in this together”, commenting on the support and services provided by various agencies in an attempt to revive the neighborhoods.
Local resident owned catering service had set up taco booths and organizers thought it important to support the local businesses, first and foremost.
Maylana Martin Douglas, a former UCLA and WNBA star (Minnesota) told her story and spent a great deal of time with the youth in the audience that were really touched by her accomplishments.
Dr. Taif Kaissi, co-Founder of MiNDS emphatically stated, “I have no faith if it isn’t for the spirit of community service that drives us all”.
Dr. Faisal Qazi, President of MiNDS said, “Going forward we would follow up with individuals that have identified specific needs and work to provide them support yearlong”.
Many volunteers were fasting as part of the month of Ramadan and ended their day with breaking of fast while introducing themselves and heard from Berry Ross (St Jude Medical Center, VP of Healthy Communities), Dr. Laura Roads, (Dean of CSUF College of Health and Human Development), and Chaplain Roger Vendervest (St. Jude Hospital). Everyone felt emotionally moved and was grateful for the opportunity to serve.
MiNDS is a community development foundation that began as a charitable specialty healthcare organization. The organization is planning to launch jobs training and finance 101 programs in specific neighborhoods.