The concept of OHH first took form in 2011. At that time, the goal was two-fold; to give back to the community and to expose middle-class youth to how others live.
Our first project took place in Kim Valentine’s garage with approximately 10 volunteers who filled small brown gift bags with hygiene items and blankets. The following day, those same volunteers did our first distributions in the streets of San Diego. We were quite shocked at how fast 50 bags went. They were gone in less than half an hour. We quickly realized there as a much greater need. And we realized that the bags needed to be more durable. Thus the backpack idea was formed. The following project was 250 backpacks. The next was 500. Quite quickly the projects grew to 1000 backpacks at a time.
By 2015 OHH had obtained its own 501c3 status and no longer had to work in partnership with other non profits. OHH also began partnering with the local high schools. Prior to each project, OHH now sends sign up sheets to the local high schools to allow for students to sign up and thus obtain community service hours. Our volunteers have grown to now as many as 75 at a project. Our deliveries service all surrounding counties with deliveries to Los Angeles, Long Beach, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Anaheim, Laguna Beach, Santa Ana, and the Inland Empire. Our project has even expanded to the Santa Ana bike trail where bikers attach trailers of backpacks to their bikes and pass them out along the trail. We also have baskets in local businesses filled with our backpacks for distributions by members of our community. Thank you to Judicate West in Santa Ana, Purcell Law in Santa Ana, Chambers, Noronha & Kubota in Santa Ana, Gibson and Hughes in Santa Ana, and Flawless Skin and Body in San Juan Capistrano for their support and allowing their business to serve as host sites for our baskets of backpacks. Together we now deliver backpacks to the needy all year round.
Tax ID: #36-4806249
Where will I sleep tonight? Will I have a roof over my head?
Anyone forced into homelessness has asked themselves those questions, and anyone who has asked themselves those questions has never forgotten how it made them feel.
My name is Kim Valentine. At the age of 14, I was asking myself those questions. That is why I founded Operation Helping Hands, a non-profit organization that provides essential hygiene and necessity items to homeless individuals throughout Southern California with the participation of local youth.
Homelessness comes in all forms. Sometimes yes, it is the result of poor life choices. Yet often times, individuals are forced into homelessness due to circumstances beyond their control. Some like myself chose the unstable life of homelessness over a predictably dangerous and abusive situation. Thus, one day I was the 9th-grade student body president and straight-A student, and the next, I was living on the street.
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