We had the good fortune of connecting with Shane O’Garro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shane, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
The first thing you should know is that we are a church, it’s in our DNA to help our community. When we first started the church, we would clean up the beaches or volunteer in the food bank. But as we did more in the community, we decided to not just help out other organizations, but also create our own thing.
In November of 2020, we created our outreach arm titled, For I Was…. Through this program of the church we started by giving away $25 grocery gift cards to 5 families in San Diego county. In the month of June that $25 was boosted by a generous donor to $100 grocery gift card. In total, we have given over $1,100 worth of grocery gift cards to families. In September 2021, we hosted our first food distribution in the Mira Mesa area. We ended up feeding about 60 families in San Diego.
Our outreach arm is really focused on helping people get a leg up in the world. We tend to focus on the households which have income but not enough to get the things they really need because all their money went to bills. As we continue to do more in the community, we are not interest in doing what everyone else does, we are only interest in fresh, new ideas that have an opportunity to be uniquely us and life changing.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As the Senior Pastor of The Church of Salvation, we are set apart from all of other churches because we are real. Our statement is we are a bridge from judgement to impact. We believe we have all made mistakes, but we should be allowed to get up and move forward. The best place to do that is in church, because God says:
Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! – Micah 7:18-19
This allows us who have had made some mistakes in the past to become an impact in the future because our past is no longer holding us back. This allows us to participate in helping the community through For I Was or simply being part of community that wants to grow as much as we do.
Our challenges has been like everyone else, engaging our members while enticing new ones. Being from Boston, it took me a long time to learn the language of SD and truthfully, I am still learning, but I am much further than when we first got here. The other challenge has been how do we work within the system that is set up here vs the system we were used to. But all these things get better with time.
The biggest lesson I learned up to this point is to keep going. We went through homelessness, people betraying me to people insulting us and the church to people threatening me. Believe it or not, we are only 3 years old as a church and all this plus more has happened. The only thing I could do was keep going. No matter what I faced I stood on the pulpit or spoke through zoom giving hope and talking about the love of God. I have meet people who have quit because no one was coming to their church, but even then we kept going. My advice to people is no matter the weather, just keep going. Trust me, my gift had to be my escape.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
That is funny thing as I actually did that when my best friend came into town. I took him to Sunset Cliffs. The scenery is amazing over there. Then on the other side, we went to Shelter Island. You know we had to get some Peppoli’s. Their food is so good. I then took him to fashion Valley. It is a great mall for anyone like us who are used to indoor malls. We then went to Los Americas to visit the outlets and then back up to UTC La Jolla. We like the lounge feel of the mall, in fact his business is mobile barbershop, so the lounge feel was really cool.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?