MARTINEZ, Calif. – Eve Cameron, founder of Passion to the Streets, presented the Martinez Unified School District (MUSD) with $10,000 worth of gift cards at the school board meeting Dec. 9. “They are a gift from the whole community,” she said. “They (district) know the homeless families, and can give them out, not just at Christmas, but when there is a need throughout the year.”
Passion to the Streets is an active nonprofit organization of concerned Martinez citizens who hope to provide solutions for homeless people. “I grew up with a passion for cars because my dad always had one. Her dad is Eddie Togonon, a longtime car collector. Together, they originated car show as a fundraising concept for Passion to the Streets, inspired by The Les Schwab Car Show.
The money came from the fun and success of the 2nd Annual Car Show at Alhambra High School, in June. There were 150 vehicles in a show consisting of an array of makes and models of cars, a few RVs and even some student bicycles.
Each entry paid $25, but according to Cameron they would not have been able to make it to the $10,000 mark without ticket sales, contributions, donated raffle prizes and the silent auction of items such as the weekend use of a new Mercedes, while the winners car was expertly detailed by Walnut Creek Mercedes.
Cameron said the generosity of Hagin’s Automotive, Photography by Franci and so many more made it possible. “There were too many to name, but each person helped make a difference,” she remarked.
Cameron’s motivation to start the no-profit came after she had been away from Martinez for 26 years. “I returned to a homeless situation that I never could have imagined. I started to blast open invites on social media to get community members to meet me for coffee or dinner so we could discuss what was going on in our community,” she remarked.
Cameron brainstormed and recruited for a year before developing a core group of people who were committed, and shared her passion. “I had no idea what God was preparing me for,” she said.
Lisa Contreras, Passion to the Streets treasurer said the gift cards are for Safeway, Shell, Big 5, Target, Wal-Mart, TJ Max, and bus passes are for County Connection.
Before the meeting Lian Busby, Passion to the Streets board member explained that the gift cards will help change the minds in the community to become more loving and respectful to every person, including homeless families for future generations, one family at a time.
She said others on the board that contributed countless hours of work are Vice President Kevin Murray, Gina Hull, secretary, Becky Randall, Pastor Scott Williams (First Christian Church), and Nicholas Carter.
MUSD Superintendent of Schools CJ Cammack awarded Passion to the Streets a certificate of appreciation, and he and all of the trustees expressed their appreciation to Cameron and her supporters.