LaVonne & Yolanda
Every day of the year, this dynamic team prepares roughly 900 meals for our guests, helping transform many broken lives along the way . ..
There are few things more important than the meals we serve to homeless men and women at The Mission at Kern County. For most of our guests, a meal is their first experience with us. It shows them how much we care.
The unlikely pair who lead this extraordinary effort to provide three meals a day, 365 days a year, for hundreds of people are La Vonne and Yolanda. Both women struggled with homelessness and addiction before recovering at the Mission more than a decade ago. Ever since, they’ve served in our kitchen, becoming best friends who share a passion to feed our guests well.
“I never expected to wind up in the kitchen here,” La Vonne admitted. “But God called me.” Yolanda feels the same way: “I wasn’t looking for this job. I just thought it would be good to put on my resume. But 13 years later . . .”
As the two women have dedicated their lives to the Mission, they’ve experienced the joy of serving their least fortunate neighbors. “I feel really good when people eat the food we prepare,” La Vonne says. “I put my all into every meal, because God gave me His best through the people here and it transformed my life. Now I want to give every person who comes here my best, too.”
“One of the greatest blessings of serving meals here,” Yolanda adds, “is seeing how lives are transformed into Christ’s image. It’s a privilege. Just a smile and prayer make a big difference for our guests.” Both women agree that’s especially true at Thanksgiving. “The joy that fills the Mission at Thanksgiving shows people that a better life exists,” La Vonne says. La Vonne and Yolanda both know that the meals they serve start with YOU. “From my heart, I want to thank all the donors who support us,” Yolanda says. “Without them, there is no Mission and no meals to serve. I’m so grateful to work on behalf of all the people who helped me when I needed it.”