San Clemente Military Family Outreach

History

San Clemente Military Family Outreach History

The nonprofit all-volunteer organization that is now San Clemente Military Family Outreach began in 2002 as Friends of San Onofre Marines (“FOSOM”). FOSOM was founded by a career military officer, Marine Lt. Col. William McReynolds and his wife, Sidonia, who had retired to San Clemente and saw a great need to provide emergency assistance to low income families in north Camp Pendleton. Their charitable work started with a dinner for 125 Marines deploying to Kuwait in November 2002. The McReynolds guided FOSOM for five years before needing to retire from its leadership.
At that time, St. Andrew’s by the Sea (“SABTS”) Methodist Church and its members had become quite active with FOSOM, helping in a variety of ways including donating baby clothes and diapers, car seats and other needed items; helping provide Thanksgiving meals, Christmas gifts, and Easter baskets to families. In 2007, SABTS members established the San Clemente Military Families Support Group to keep the McReynolds’ work going and even expanding it. In 2008 the Support Group officially began doing business as San Clemente Military Family Outreach (“SCMFO”).
During 2018 SABTS and a group of volunteers filed incorporation and non-profit status documentation and during 2019 the IRS granted SCMFO 501(c)3 nonprofit status. SCMFO now enjoys a wide variety of support from the community (both ecumenical and otherwise) but SCMFO maintains strong ties with SABTS. SCMFO is grateful to SABTS for its continuing support, not only with donated office space and phone service, but by allowing us to use its facilities for events (the Fellowship Hall, the lawn and even the parking lot).

20th Anniversary

In 2022 we will celebrate our 20th Anniversary as an organization dedicated to providing emergency assistance to active-duty military families, primarily rank E6 and below, stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, We look forward to the next 20 years of service, in mission with St. Andrew’s by the Sea and the surrounding Community. Semper Fi!

The Foundational Principles Set by SABTS Continues Today….

SCMFO’s priority continues to be to respond to the day-to-day requests for emergency assistance—including unexpected and un-budgeted financial challenges. In 2021 alone we provided more than $57,000 in Direct Assistance to military families. This assistance included purchasing Commissary Cards, MCX Gas Cards, other gift cards, infant and toddler clothing, diapers and wipes, paying for major car repairs, non-covered medical and dental expenses, emergency compassionate travel expenses, purchasing air conditioners or air purifiers to help children with respiratory illnesses and purchasing washers & dryers. We have learned that the needs are endless for families at the pay grade of E6 and below who have a hard time making ends meet each month, let alone paying for unexpected, unbudgeted emergencies.
Additionally during 2021, SCMFO spent another $43,000 in towards Program Activities targeting other non-emergency needs of military families. SCMFO’s claim to fame remains our annual Turkey giveaway providing 1,000 families all the fixings they need for a great Thanksgiving dinner. SCMFO also supports morale events which are designed to assist in meeting needs throughout the year. Two of our biggest events are the Baby Shower for 40-plus expectant military moms in January/February each year and the Parent & Child Luau for 100 in late spring early summer. We also have Valentine’s Day, Easter and Father’s Day events -among others. Additionally, when SCMFO is approached by caring community groups with similar objectives, we do whatever we can to facilitate their projects to benefit the families we serve.

How We Connect with Families

We couldn’t do what we do without the help of Deployment Readiness Coordinators (DRCs), formerly called Family Readiness Officers (FROs) on base who refer families to us for help. Our other invaluable resources are our selfless, tireless, dedicated military wives’ liaisons. These women (military spouses, who are also volunteers or members of our Board) make sure families know about us on base, handle outreach and RSVPs for our baby shower and springtime tea/luau, refer wives to us for assistance, and help coordinate events large (like the Turkey Give Away) and small (like the gift wrapping party we host at Christmas time). They are essential to our mission and we love them.

Fundraising & Spending

Our fundraising from the Variety Shows and Salute to Military Stars has risen exponentially every year since 2005, with the Annual Salute’s auction and fundraising initiative netting more than $25,000 in 2021 due to the generosity of bidders and donors.
This event and donations from individuals, groups and businesses throughout the past few years have enabled us to begin 2022 with approximately $97,000 for SCMFO and Mary’s Feast direct assistance and events. Because we continue to operate as an all-volunteer organization, enjoy minimal overhead and receive substantial in-kind donations, we are able to use 97% of our funds toward providing direct benefits for military families at Camp Pendleton. Our budget and financial records are maintained based on rigorous accounting practices and procedures.
Fundraising Events

Variety Shows:

The SCMFO Variety Shows, held from 2008 to 2015 (8 years!) were the brainchild of Bob Crittendon, who produced every one of them. The shows were held in the auditorium at the San Clemente Community Center downtown. The tickets prices were kept fairly reasonable and the overhead minimal, so we always had a full house and raised a nice amount of money. The appreciative crowd enjoyed great entertainment arranged by Bob, often gratis, plus the “Stars of Tomorrow”—local high schoolers who had excelled in a talent competition. A raffle was our main fundraiser at the event, along with sales from a snack bar. It was always a joyful night with lots of great fellowship. And Bob always looked great in his tux!

Mary’s Feast:

This is a sub-group of volunteers that were originally formally organized by SABTS. Mary’s Feast provides support to SCMFO, particularly with the annual Baby Shower and projects conducted at San Onofre School throughout the year, and these could not happen to the extent they do without it’s work. All the baby items collected at the heartwarming Mary’s Feast Celebration and Fundraiser during early December are given to expectant military moms at the SCMFO Baby Shower, with extras given all year long. Donations to Mary’s Feast are used for San Onofre School needs annually.
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