|For Immediate Release
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
AT-RISK YOUTH EARN 420 TURKEY DINNERS IN THANKSGIVING GANG PREVENTION INCENTIVE
*Media must RSVP to attend the turkey dinner delivery; space is limited
SANTA ANA – Turkey dinners will be hand-delivered to approximately 420 at-risk students who succeeded in a Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership (GRIP) challenge to improve their attendance, behavior, and grades in time for Thanksgiving. The turkey dinners were donated by Albertsons’ Orange County customers and Saddleback Church as part of the ongoing GRIP gang prevention effort to keep kids in school and out of gangs.
The dinners will be delivered to the students’ homes tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, starting at 3:00 p.m. Media interested in attending should contact Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office Chief of Staff Susan Schroeder at (714) 347-8408 or Spokesperson Farrah Emami at (714) 347-8405. Space is limited. The first television and print news agencies to respond will be designated the pool cameras.
GRIP currently operates in seven cities and is run by the OCDA, Orange County Probation Department, Anaheim Police Department, Buena Park Police Department, Orange Police Department, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) in the Cities San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Stanton, and the north unincorporated areas.
“Some of these kids were tough to reach. When the GRIP team walked in, some of these kids were throwing gang signs and acting like they didn’t care. When they were told that their good behavior could earn something for their families, they broke down in tears. I am proud of the kids who met the challenge,” said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “I am so grateful to Saddleback Church and Albertsons, who are investing in these kids and their families. For these kids, it’s more than a bag of groceries, more than a turkey. It means their family could gather around a table and share the meal that they earned, creating a new family dynamic and new family memory.”
“We’re overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement to be able to unite with the District Attorney and Albertsons in this incredible opportunity,” said Brian Uyeda, Pastor of City PEACE at Saddleback Church. “We are blessed to have selfless volunteers who work tirelessly and sacrificially in an effort to change lives.”
“Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather and celebrate the year’s blessings. This season, these students have every reason to celebrate,” said Sue Klug, president of Albertsons Southern California Division. “We’re excited for their special achievement and thankful for the generosity of Albertsons customers who are making this donation possible.”
At the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, 450 students at 25 GRIP elementary and middle schools were offered the opportunity to earn a Thanksgiving turkey dinner for their families by succeeding in a gang prevention challenge. The terms of the challenge were determined by each school and included no gang activity or clothing, no disciplinary action, perfect attendance, and improved grades. All of the 450 students are in grades 4 through 8.