What started with the Christmas spirit of giving ended up creating connections and opening unexpected doors of opportunity for an entire community. The result? Kids getting to experience the Summer of a Lifetime.
As WinShape Camps for Communities travels around the country creating epic experiences for kids, we often come across real-life heroes making an impact right where they live. Most of the time we have no clue what we’re stepping into, and we are constantly amazed at God’s ability to weave together moments that even the most creative story writers on the planet could never dream up. One of those moments happened this past summer in Chino, California.
Lisa Montijo, born and raised in California, is known by just about everyone who lives within a few blocks of her family’s home. A daughter to retired pastors from the local church, Lisa has remained close to the heart of Chino her whole life – so close that her home is a central point for the community today. Kids and families from the area are constantly gathering there for pool parties, after-school hangouts, and holiday celebrations.
A few years ago, Lisa was approached by Chino’s Chief of Police, who was looking for a way for his team to engage with the kids nearby. Because she was so well connected in the community, Lisa was asked to help organize a local Christmas backpack giveaway. The idea was closely connected to Lisa’s passions, and she was quick to say yes. Over the years, this backpack giveaway has become an annual Christmas tradition, reaching over 200 kids in the community each December.
When Local Chick-fil-A Operator David Dinasan got word of this community event from one of his Team Members, he immediately wanted to be a part of making an impact near his restaurant. This was the start of a connection that would lead to a large number of kids experiencing a life-changing summer at WinShape Camps. Watch the full story below to see how giving was just the beginning of something greater in the Chino Valley.