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2021 Austen Warburton Community Service Award

MCCF honors The River of Life Christian Church and Foundation on October 21

Santa Clara, Calif. - 09/20/2021 - Our Greater Giving Local Focus charity event will return virtually on Thursday, October 21 starting online at 5:00 p.m. Mission City Community Fund will present the 2021 Austen Warburton Community Service Award to the River of Life Christian Church and Foundation for expanding programs to cater to all the needs in and around our community during the COVID pandemic and beyond.

The River of Life Christian Church in Santa Clara started its ministry in 1995 under the Leadership of Pastor Tong Liu and his wife Belinda Liu and in 2007, Pastor Liu began the River of Life Foundation (ROLF) as a bridge for the church both to local communities and to support children's homework in other countries. A food pantry was established with fresh healthy food to help people in our local community while overseas, the Foundation established four children's homes in Africa. Sam Loh, President of ROLF, quickly led expansion of programs in 2020 to coordinate with the USDA, local churches, organizations, cities and counties on a program called Farmers to Families to benefit our vulnerable community of laid-off workers and those whose hours had been cut during the pandemic. With many brave and dedicated volunteers, the pantry is serving over 10,000 families per month, providing emergency food boxes and health care kits, delivering 5,000 hot meals per month, and delivering groceries to senior citizens and families with medical conditions who are unable to drive. Their Meals with Love project was launched for the greatly affected ICU, ER, and Urgent Care medical community working long shifts with little time to take a break or eat during the pandemic shelter-in-place. The Foundation has handed out over 1 million masks to frontline health care workers, hospitals, emergency personnel, essential service providers and in partnership with Gardner Family Care, they have provided free laptops to South Bay students in need for online learning. The Foundation recently started the Operation Care program where quality products such as furniture, small appliances, tools and equipment are received and given to needy families at no cost and already reaching 20,000 families. Globally, ROLF is fully supporting 180 mostly orphaned children under the age of 12 in five African countries ensuring safe lodging, education and protective medical care, distributing over 10,000 Christmas gifts in 12 African countries and continuing international aid to affiliated children in China, Taiwan, and Myanmar, while also establishing educational programs for students in The Philippines and Cambodia.

"The River of Life Foundation opened their doors to feed thousands of community members during COVID-19 in partnerships with the Second Harvest Food Bank and Martha's Kitchen. Loyal volunteers opened their hearts to help organize and distribute food to many, made sure essential household products and hygiene supplies were available, and distributed school supplies for students learning from home," commented John Elwood, MCCF Board Member. "There couldn't be a more fitting organization for all they do for the community who struggle during the pandemic, and Mission City Community Fund is proud to present the 2021 Austen Warburton Community Service Award to the River of Life Christian Church and Foundation." More information here: www.theriverflows.org.

About Mission City Community Fund

Mission City Community Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit formed in 1986 providing over $3.7 million in local grants focused on Five Areas of Giving: Education, Social Services, Health Care, Theater and the Arts, and the Environment. Their annual charity event Greater Giving Local Focus returns virtually this year on Thursday, October 21, 2021, online starting at 5:00 p.m. for a memorable hour of inspiring stories, auction items, and awards for community leaders as a fundraiser to establish grants for local nonprofits.

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