This Wednesday evening could best be described as one Elsie Martin never saw coming.
As visitors and potential buyers attend a special Home Preview Party hosted at the now commonly known ‘Church House’ located at 382 N. First Ave., Oakdale, Martin will no doubt think of her late husband August Martin.
“You know what’s funny … my husband wanted that particular church to move out to our property when we started having weddings out at our place,” Martin recalled. “He really did. Now it’s funny that it’s a fundraiser. It’s so weird. It’s like just another one of God’s plan.”
The Home Preview Party is an event which will be hosted this evening, Dec. 21, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 each and all proceeds benefit the Children’s Guardian Home in Oakdale. Attendees will be treated to a first time view of the church to home transformation, as well as beverage service, appetizers and dessert items.
“Alan Martin bought the church from the city for a dollar,” Martin, founder and director of the Guardian home said of the building prior to its relocation and transformation. “He decided to have an open house and have the money go towards a non-profit organization.”
The historic church building was moved from the corner of East E and North Third in Oakdale following the sale and has been renovated for use as a private home.
“He wanted to do something for kids,” Martin continued. “So he chose the Guardian House.”
Martin shared while she was surprised by the generosity; she viewed it as she does many things which happen in her life, most specifically in relation to the Guardian House – a blessing.
“I’m just so blessed that we have so many people supporting us,” she said. “People really are amazing.”
Now in its 14th year of serving Stanislaus County and more specifically the Oakdale community, Children’s Guardian House is one of four facilities run by Children’s Crisis Center of Stanislaus County.
To date the Oakdale location has helped over 13,000 children. According to Martin, it costs approximately half a million dollars per year to run the facility.
“We take care of the house. We take care of everything,” she said of the early 1900s West F Street home, noting the non-profit organization covers any and all needs the staff may encounter and not have the budget for.
“They take care of the staffing,” Martin stated. “Whatever they need, we just give them a check. There’s always something that’s needed.”
When Martin says ‘everything’ she means it. On any given day, she can be looking for bark, a shelter to hold bicycles to keep them dry from the elements, shampoo, diapers, computers, coats, the list goes on.
“We have a small board, but we have a mighty board,” she said of her dedicated volunteers. “I’ve been very blessed that everybody is really, really great.”
As for the Wednesday evening fundraiser, Martin’s premium concern was on refreshments and ensuring that attendees left feeling pleased with the $25 donated to tour the unique home.
Tickets for the Home Preview Party may be purchased at Oak Valley Community Bank, Oakdale or by contacting Martin at 209-606-3681; Sonja Herndon at 209-380-2121 or Elisa Luna at 209-343-7632.