The OLA family actively reaches out to the larger community in a wide variety of ways, locally and around the world. This gives parishioners many options when seeking to live out their call to support "the least of our brothers and sisters." Choose the programs that speak to your heart...
The dedicated volunteers who coordinate these programs depend on the support of the whole community to achieve their goals. It's the power of our combined commitment.
Alternative Gift Christmas Market
This proud OLA tradition celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 2010. Now in its 27th year,this is the Christ-centered alternative to mall madness. Shoppers are invited to look carefully at a “shopping list” of items needed by the poor around the world and in our own backyard. They mark their choices and receive a beautiful Christmas card for each "gift" to present to relatives and friends. It’s easy! Representatives from local, national and international programs are on hand to answer questions and tell you how your gift will make a difference in the lives of real people. An “after-market” for late shoppers is available on the first Sunday of December between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the patio. Additional forms are available at the parish office or on the Welcome Cart through Dec. 17, 2012. Or click here to view or print a copy. Read more about this important OLA tradition.
Angel Tree Program
This program is on hiatus until 2013. The Sunday before Thanksgiving, Angel Tree distributes the names of children whose incarcerated parent cannot send a Christmas gift to them. Donors return wrapped presents to the patio in mid-December and they are distributed to families.
Distribution of family names and information takes place on the patio after all Masses several weekends before Christmas. The names of local families are provided by Uncommon Good, OLA’s St. Vincent de Paul Society, and the San Gabriel Valley Regional Center. Donors have the option of providing gift cards for a family shopping trip, wrapping gifts/food and bringing them to the Uncommon Good office, or delivering the gifts/food in person. Single donations of toys or gift cards are also accepted. For more information, contact Kathleen Noonan at (909) 399-0563. Read the guidelines for sponsors...
Bags in Benches
Parishioners find grocery bags in the church pews, along with a list of food items needed by the local food pantry serving the poor. They are asked to return the following weekend with a bag full of non-perishable food donations such as canned fruits, vegetables and meats, rice, crackers, snacks, beans, noodles, pasta and pasta sauce, cookies and candy. (Please do not include opened packages, fresh fruits or vegetables, fresh meat or fresh bakery.) Uturn Teen Ministry coordinates this project.
Fair Trade Sales
Chocolate products will be added next Sunday to coffee certified as “fair trade” for sale on the patio the second and fourth Sundays. Regular and decaffeinated coffee in ground and whole bean form are $9 per one-pound bag. Higher Grounds Trading Company, our supplier, promises some of the fullest-flavored, smoothest coffees and chocolate the world has to offer. They are produced by fair trade cooperatives that utilize environmentally sustainable, organic farming methods. These cooperatives guarantee farmers a living wage that enables them to care for their families and improve their communities. Democratic principles within the cooperatives also give women a voice in decision-making. More...
St. Vincent de Paul Society
A monthly collection is taken up after all parish Masses on the third weekend of the month for the good works of St. Vincent de Paul Society. Members of this ministry interview local individuals and families requesting emergency assistance for food, shelter, clothing, medical care, counseling, transportation, etc. Members also meet once a month to coordinate the program and update training. More...
OLA Food Collection
Donations of non-perishable food are collected at the trailer parked on the north side of the church. These donations are delivered to the Beta Center in Pomona, one of three food pantries operated by Inland Valley Hope Partners (www.InlandValleyHopePartners.org). Acceptable donations include canned goods of all kinds, peanut butter, cereal, rice, beans, canned meats, baby food, personal hygiene items, and baby diapers. Please do not leave perishable items such as fruit. Hope Partners are supported by the Annual Walk for the Hungry in October. This year OLA's walkers raised over $3,500 for local hunger programs sponsored by Hope Partners. (See below.)
OLA Bread Table
Each weekend, surplus bread and baked goods donated by a local merchant are offered to parishioners for a freewill donation at a table in the auditorium. Funds collected at this table are donated to Inland Valley Hope Partners for local programs serving the hungry poor. A ministry at OLA known as "Bread Angels" consists of volunteers willing to pick up the surplus goods and deliver them to OLA or to other locations in the local area such as the Beta (Pomona) or SOVA (Ontario) food distribution centers. For more information, contact Deacon Bob Steighner by phone at (909) 626-3596, ext. 234 or by email.
Monthly Community Meal
OLA provides all the food for the Claremont Community Meal hosted at Sumner School (1770 Sumner Ave.) on the last Sunday of the month. The meal is served between 3 and 4:30 p.m. to families at risk or homeless. OLA parishioners provide donated food items to Sumner School by 2:30 p.m. If you are able to help, select an item from the menu and prepare enough to serve 25 people. Please let Deacon John Tullius know what you would like to bring by calling (909) 576-6276 or emailing email@example.com. Menu: green salad and dressings; your choice of main entre; potatoes; vegetables; macaroni and cheese; or dessert. In addition to the meal, OLA also provides volunteers: Craft Coordinator (supplies to be provided by OLA); Sports Coordinator (organizes games for the older kids on the playground, ball are provided); and Transportation for pick-up and return (Foothill Blvd to Sumner School) for families without cars.
Monthly Shelter Meal
OLA provides a meal on the first Sunday of the month for residents of a local shelter for homeless families in transition. Our House is located in Pomona, north of the San Bernardino Freeway, and is the last remaining, year-round shelter for homeless families, in the entire Inland Valley. It is operated by Hope Partners, a consortium of local faith communities. If you are able to help, select an item from the menu and prepare enough to serve 25 people. Please let Deacon John Tullius know what you would like to bring by calling (909) 576-6276 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Menu: green salad and dressings; your choice of main entre; potatoes; vegetables; macaroni and cheese; or dessert. Please plan to arrive at the shelter by 5:30 p.m.
Early in January, the OLA community collects donations of new underwear and socks for the homeless. These donations are brought to the local Winter Shelter Program which serves about 200 homeless persons nightly during the coldest months. The collection is scheduled the weekend of Jan. 5-6, 2013, at OLA. Look for the bins on the patio and at entrances to the church. Please do not bring clothing or blankets.
International Programs connected to the OLA community
The OLA family is privileged to be "home" to four programs with international reach founded by OLA parishioners. All of them serve the poor in developing countries and provide aid directly to the people in need, without any intermediary government or agency filter. Your financial support could not be better applied to help our brothers and sisters in places where even a small donation can make a big difference. Your prayers are essential for the success and safety of their founders as they travel to Mexico, Haiti, and Tanzania with tangible proof of the generousity and love of our faith community. More...