Students, church, community unite to help people in need

Foundation seeks to support residents
By: Amanda Calzada, Placer Herald correspondent
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How to help

People interested in assisting the Cindy Mendoza Foundation or benefiting from it should email 


or “like” the foundation on Facebook for updates about fundraising events like talent shows, mini golfing and restaurant dining.

A community helping a community started with one surprise romantic getaway for a Rocklin woman and her husband.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Cindy Mendoza, who was surprised with a romantic getaway by Ashley Brown of Adventure Christian Church.

Brown is the founder of the Cindy Mendoza foundation, which surprised Cindy and Moses Mendoza with a stay at the Delta Queen hotel in Sacramento at a Christmas Eve service.

The 19-year-old freshman at William Jessup University approached Pastor Shane Marks with the idea of giving Mendoza a break from her pancreatic cancer by treating her and her husband, Moses, to a stay. It was hard to not tell Mendoza about the trip, she said.

She had known Mendoza for seven years, but after becoming close with her for the past two years, she called the woman her “second mom.” Mendoza, a well-known member of Adventure Church, holds an administrative position at Adventure in student ministry affairs. She is a strong fighter against her cancer.

Resonate College, a youth group organization for college students at Adventure Christian Church, began fundraising for the trip in late October by asking church members for donations.

The Mendoza getaway was only the beginning of forming “a community helping a community,” as Marks put it.

“We’ve both learned this town has a lot of people hurting – we’ve both discovered a call to help that, little or big. I feel like this is what we’re called to do,” said Marks, who works closely with Brown on the foundation and said he is inspired by Christ to help those in need.

Marks and Brown also meet with the 50 members of Resonate College on a weekly basis, all of whom come from Rocklin, Roseville, Elk Grove, Folsom and throughout the Sacramento area.

Mendoza feels honored to know that a cause in her honor is helping those in need.

“It’s very humbling; she (Brown) called and asked if she could do that – I felt very honored and special,” she said. “They can do this for several other families in the community. I think it’s a great idea.”

Although the foundation is associated with Adventure Christian Church, it is a separate, independent project from the church that fundraises outside of church collections.

In March 14 the group organized its inaugural fundraiser at Incredible John’s Pizza in Roseville. Both Marks and Brown agree the turnout wasn’t bad for the first fundraiser.

“Whatever God ends up doing with this organization, we just want to help people,” said Marks, who added the goal is to help at least one family in the Sacramento area in need per month through financial assistance or covering expenses like firewood.

Brown and Marks invite everyone in the community to contribute, volunteer or benefit from the foundation, as it is not just limited to helping those at Adventure Christian. Additionally, the foundation is not limited to those fighting cancer.

“Serving people is awesome,” Brown smiled. “You’re giving them some-thing that isn’t material-based hope, opening them up to the church, giving them love.”