“If you have two coats, give one to the poor. If you have extra food, give it away to those who are hungry.” — Luke 3:11
The philosophy of the Northern Nevada Dream Center is everyone should have hopes and dreams — even the less fortunate — and the organization is working to make sure even the least fortunate among us can have hopes and dreams in Carson City.
What began informally as an effort to in some way reach out to the community five years ago has become a major community outreach program. NNDC, which operates on the campus of Capital Christian Center — the C5 Church — on Snyder Avenue provides various services to those in need and the homeless in Carson City. NNDC incorporated about a year-and-a-half ago.
The Dream Center is now planning for Christmas Dinner it’s holding for all those it serves at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 at the C5 Church’s Activities Center. NNDC has a corporate sponsor for the event in Dayton’s James Gaskets, which makes gaskets for Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Erin Van Sickle of Catering For Causes will cook for the event and Carson High senior Shaelyn Sanchez is also participating in the event as she’s leading a winter clothing drive for her senior project.
NNDC is part of a network of more than 120 dream centers across the United States and the world. A church in Los Angeles began the first dream center about 20 years ago.
While NNDC networks with other dream centers, it’s completely funded through donations and fundraisers and is an all-volunteer organization, with about 60 people volunteering their services.
What’s unique about NNDC it provides the bulk if its services by going out into the community. NNDC operates a food truck which delivers to low income neighborhoods, the home-bound and motels and the organization delivers free clothing as well.
It does operate a workplace training program in which those who participate can earn their GED or receive computer skills training. For the past couple of years, NNDC has also operated a mentoring program for teenage girls.
In addition, NNDC has provided more than 3,000 bags with toiletries and other personal items for the homeless. Director Susan Sorenson said the Dream Center now serves 1,200 to 1,300 people a month.
She said the program also works to complement and not compete with other organizations such as the Ron Wood Family Resource Center, FISH and the Salvation Army.
Sorenson said the number of people the program serves has more than tripled in the last 10 months.w “In the last year, we’ve just exploded and grown,” Sorenson said.
“We see people suffering in our town and we try to make a difference. If we see a need we try to meet the need.”
At the dinner next Saturday there will be crafts for children and Santa Claus will make an appearance. Those in attendance will also have the chance to receive free clothing and will be given groceries to take home.
Van Sickle came aboard as the result of meeting Sorenson in the Walmart parking lot. In her business, Catering for Causes, she provides full-service catering with a portion of the proceeds going to a charity of her client’s choice. She also does four pro-bono events a year and next Saturday’s dinner is one of them.
Sanchez is conducting her winter clothing drive through February and donations are being accepted at Carson High School and the C5 Church. All donated clothing will go to the Northern Nevada Dream Center.
All donations being made for the dinner will be matched for the Northern Nevada Dream Center by James Gaskets.
For more information or to make a donation, visit http://nndreamcenter.org.