California Dolphin: statewide California news

Corona woman’s group brings school supplies, food to needy

Some years ago, Corona resident Carol Nassar and her daughter were shopping at an Ontario mall when they spotted a 10-year-old girl with holes in her shoes who wished she could have a new pair for school.
“My daughter, who was 13 at the time, focused on that little girl and said she wanted to help people when she got older,” Nassar said.
Her family’s desire to help others led Nassar to found Karol Kares Nancy’s Here in 2015 with her business partner, her sister, Nancy Buckner. A nurse in Pittsburgh, Buckner specializes in working  with the elderly.
The non-profit group provides school supplies and hygiene care packages to single-parent homes in need and to underprivileged college students.
“The idea of helping students also came from my daughter, who used to take school supplies and hygiene items to her brother in college only to find that he had given them away to other students who needed and couldn’t afford them,” Nassar said.
Her organization, which consists mostly of herself with help from some friends and family members, has helped about 500 students at the UC Riverside and 100 foster family and homeless students at Norco College, Nassar said.
They also help Alvord Unified School District students who need extra food on the weekends with bags of essential food items each Friday afternoon while school is in session.
Karol Kares Nancy’s Here will host a drop-off  donation event Saturday, July 22,  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Promenade Park, 615 Richey St., Corona to collect school supplies and hygiene aids such as deodorant, dental floss, detergent, soap and feminine products. Cash donations and gift cards are accepted as well.
A fund-raising event, Performing for a Better Future, will feature singers, dancers and band members from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Historic Corona Civic Center Auditorium, 815 W. Sixth St.. Funds raised from the $25 ticket price will go toward providing backpacks, clothing and shoes for members of single-parent families.
“Carol’s organization came to us at the perfect time,” said Mark Hartley, dean of student life at Norco College.
The school had just renovated its bathrooms to be in compliance with a new state law requiring community colleges with shower facilities to make them available to homeless students, he said.
“Carol came like an angel with toiletries and hygiene supplies in little bags that we could give to the students,” he said.
Karol Kares Nancy’s Here also takes food items from the school’s food pantry that are about to expire and gives them to elementary school students who need food to sustain them through the weekend.
“It makes me happy to see that the kids are happy,” Nassar said. “College students can feel fresh when they start their day and when struggling single moms get some help, that gives me a push to continue.”
Moreno Valley resident Denise Herman, a friend of Nassar, offers support and counseling to some who receive the group’s gifts.
“It’s an excellent program that offers people hope that there is a solution to their need,” Herman said. “When someone is willing to go the extra distance for you, that makes all the difference.”

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