“Neighbors helping neighbors” is Oceanside Community Service’s motto, and since 1949 the organization has been doing just that.
“When the community cries out for help, we’re there,” OCS Vice President Nancy Baxter said of the charity’s mission. “When someone’s down on their luck and they give us a call we can help them out. And if we can’t, we steer them to other services that can.”
The organization maintains a food pantry and a list of families in need of clothing, medical assistance, food, fuel and supplies. Its members visit the elderly and homebound to determine their needs, and provide assistance in securing medical equipment and special transportation for those in need of medical treatment.
None of this would be possible, however, without the support of the Oceanside community and its myriad of civic groups and organizations, which every October join forces at OCS’s annual Dinner Dance, the organization’s chief fundraiser.
Breaking from the norm, OCS decided to honor the Oceanside Federation of Teachers at this year’s Dinner Dance, held at the Oceanside Jewish Center on Oct. 26, for its extensive contributions to the community.
“Normally we don’t honor anyone,” said Sandie Schoell, an OCS trustee and vice president of the Oceanside Board of Education as she feverishly handed out raffle tickets to the dance’s attendees. “But the work they’ve done for Oceanside Community Service has been so incredible.”
The OFT has helped with OCS’s various toy, turkey and food drives held throughout the year, Schoell said, and has provided food assistance cards to the organization. “They go above and beyond,” she said.
“The OFT has always been a great supporter,” OCS President Leo Bonacasa said as he greeted guests as they came in the door. “Our motto is ‘neighbors helping neighbors,’ and that’s what they do.”