The old hymn "Pass It On" begins with, "Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on." Those words are put into motion at the Rescue Mission Thrift Store.


Sometimes people need help. They struggle to make their mortgage or rent, lose their job, can't make ends meet, lose their home or get sick - life happens.


Rescue Mission Thrift Store on I Avenue offers reasonably priced clothing, household items, furniture and more. And if you need a prayer, it's also available here.


"We try to do as much as we can," said store volunteer Kevin Hawkins.


All items are donated. Everything is sorted and priced. If it can't be used, it's passed on. Everything has value. The store's revenue helps support the community through the Victor Valley Rescue Mission.


With the help of volunteers the store is up and running.


Martha's Cove Thrift Store was formerly at this location. Store owners Doug and Debi Hutcherson graciously turned over the building so that Rescue Mission Thrift Store could set up shop.


In addition to the store, there is also a rescue mission. In December 2007, the Rescue Mission Alliance took over the Victor Valley Rescue Mission.


"This allows us to reach the community with greater resources," said Director Ron Wilson.


Sunday and Wednesday are outreach days. Men, women and children can receive food, clothing and blankets, in addition to financial assistance. Fellowship and prayer are also offered.


Last Thanksgiving, more than 850 meals were served. At Christmas, more than 500 meals were served and every child had a new toy. Last month, 8,000 meals were provided.


"You learn to look beyond yourself," said store volunteer Chris Marek, "not to say 'poor me.'"


The ministry continues half a mile down a dirt road in El Mirage, California, at the Awakening Ranch. A stepping stone towards healing awaits these residents. The facility is for men, young and old alike, who want to turn their lives around. Substance dependency, addictions, or just life in general, the ranch is a place for healing and renewal.


After a 15-day evaluation, this Christian-based five-step program starts with commitment; followed by growth, service, responsibility and ministry. The program takes one year to complete.


"There are great men in the program," said Director Ron Wilson.


Up to 25 men can reside at the ranch. At the moment, there are 20 enrolled in the program.


Currently, the land that the Awakening Ranch sits on is leased. But if the land the ranch sits on could be purchased, in addition to obtaining another five acres, a homeless shelter could be built.


In addition to land, their wish list reads like this: Additional donated merchandise for the store, money, volunteers to run the store and serve meals, and a reliable vehicle to transport the guys; they're presently using an old gas-guzzling station wagon. Gift baskets and gifts for outreach fundraisers would also be appreciated.


"We're not just a thrift store," said store volunteer Chris Marek.


The Rescue Mission Thrift Store is located at 9608 I Avenue, Suite A, Hesperia. They're open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 947-1747 for more information.


The Victor Valley Rescue Mission is located in the First Baptist Church at 16611 Tracy Street, Victorville. Call 955-5958 for more information.


"Look upon thy brother's need, pass it on."


Sharon Strickland can be reached at 956-7827 or at sharon@hesperiastar.com.