The Viola Blythe Community Service Center of Newark is a nonprofit, nonsectarian corporation organized to promote, support and advocate social and human services to any person who is in immediate need. This mission is accomplished by a variety of programs, including emergency food and clothing distribution, referrals to other agencies, special programs that address current community needs and holiday programs at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Viola Blythe helped homeless, helpless and hungry men, women and children in Fremont, Newark and Union City for over fifty years. The City of Newark provides Viola with a facility for warehousing and distribution of food and clothing. Viola has received tremendous recognition for her selfless service to the community, including Channel 4 “For Those Who Care” Award, J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award, Newark Volunteer of the Year Award, the Salvation Army “Others” Award, and the Junior Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award.
Viola Blythe served as an example to all of us that “Service to Humanity is the Best Work of Life!”
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Executive Director – Debbie Caravalho-Rodriguez
Debbie serves as the Executive Director (over 22 years) at the Viola Blythe Service Center in Newark. She is a native of Newark Ca. and has three children and three grandchildren. She graduated With Honors from Ohlone College with a degree in Liberal Arts. Debbie is the daughter of the late Viola Blythe and has dedicated her career to helping others in the Tri-City area (Newark, Fremont and Union City). Her commitment has created a sustainable environment where people feel safe and proud, families can thrive, and children can grow.
Debbie has successfully developed innovative programs, practices and services that have resulted in a hub for food, clothing and other donations for the low-income families and individuals. The Viola Blythe Community Service Center has fresh and non-perishable food items, clothes, baby supplies, toys, jackets and more. Debbie recruits and coordinates volunteers to help with the success of the Center. She is in charge of the daily services including client intake, sorting food and clothing, stocking the food pantry, fundraising and completing necessary grants and reports. During the holiday season the Center provides holiday baskets, toys and a Children’s Christmas Party for over 300 children. Debbie coordinates the Adopt-a-Family Program.
Debbie grew up with a great teacher (her mother, Viola Blythe) and she is proud to carry on the legacy of her mother’s work that began in Newark over 50 years ago.