Virtual Toy Drive – Home Again & CASA of Los Angeles
We knew the holiday season was going to look a little different in 2020, yet we were disappointed to learn that many toy drives were cancelled this year due to the new COVID restrictions.
Yet we could still help make the holidays special for children during the Pandemic! Thank you for helping us collect gifts virtually for two amazing organizations supporting children in Los Angeles – the Home Again Family Shelter and CASA of Los Angeles.
Martin Luther King Jr. Toiletries Drive
When we CARE for someone, we look after or provide for the needs of another person. The health of a community can be seen in the many ways we CARE for our neighbors – especially our students. Students who attend Glendale Community College are striving to create better lives for themselves through education and job skills training. However, in addition to attending classes, many students hold jobs and still do not have enough money for food and toiletries.
The Glendale Community College Food for Thought Pantry helps address the problem of hungry and homeless students.
During Martin Luther King Jr. week, we hosted a Pop-Up Giving Event at the Crescenta Commons in La Crescenta collecting toiletries for the Food for Thought Pantry . All week, families showed how much they CARED by donating hundreds of toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoos, soap, razors, feminine supplies and more!
Thank you to the Crescenta Valley High School’s Prom Plus Club, Monte Vista Elementary Girl Scout Troop 6961 and all our friends and neighbors who CARE so much for the college students in our community.
And we want to give an extra special shout out to Burbank Girl Scout Cadette Troop 316 for taking all of the toiletries collected during our drive and creating over 800 individual kits! The effort and thought they put into creating these kits show just how much they CARE.
Read all about the good work being done at the Glendale Community College Food for Thought Food Pantry and our Martin Luther King Jr. Toiletries Drive Pop-Up Event!
Family Portrait Day – Home Again Family Shelter
Family is the glue that holds communities together. The dictionary defines a family as “a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household”. However, a family can be any group that involves a sense of belonging, connectedness, love, respect and support.
Our Family Portrait Day at the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission Family Shelter was a celebration of all families – families transitioning out of homelessness, families volunteering together, and families of all shapes, sizes and configurations!
This is Suzette. She is celebrating the birth of her new baby 5 days ago. She lives at the shelter with her 3 small children after the death of her partner. Suzette is working hard as an accountant and saving money to move into a home of her own. Congratulations to the new mom!
We hope these family portraits will serve as a happy reminder of all things family. Click here to learn more about The San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission and how you can help support neighborhood families move out of homelessness.
Everyone has a gift to give. What’s yours?
A very special thank you to Gary Allen for his generous sponsorship of this event.
Birthday-In-A-Box Kits – YES (Youth Emerging Stronger)
Joy is the emotion you feel when you receive a big giant present on your birthday! And joy is also the emotion felt when you spend summer camp creating surprise Birthday-In-A-Box kits for runaway, foster and homeless youth living in Los Angeles.
Thank you Canyon Star Girl Scout Twilight Campers for creating these kits to bring joy to the youth supported by YES – Youth Emerging Stronger which is an organization dedicated to ending youth homelessness and improving the county’s foster care system.
Kids helping kids . . . proof that joy comes in packages of all sizes!
Click here to learn more about YES and how you can help support young lives in our community.
Tech Help for Seniors – The Fair Oaks by Regency Park
Sharing Our Gifts
Everyone has something unique to give. And when we share our gifts with each other, magic happens! We paired our tech savvy teen volunteers from Crescenta Valley High School with seniors living at The Fair Oaks by Regency Park in Pasadena. Our teens helped the seniors trouble shoot problems with their phones, tablets and computers and the seniors reciprocated by sharing life advice with the teens.
Here are some snippets of wisdom the seniors had to share:
“Kids need to learn how to ask for advice from parents by telling them what they are thinking. Kids don’t want negative lectures from their parents.” – Florence
“Always be honest. If you do that, you don’t have to remember what you said. The truth comes out the same every time. If you don’t tell the truth, you get confused as to what you said and your blood pressure goes up and you can get a stroke. And who needs a stroke?” – John
“Appreciate your friends. It’s really important.” – Alejandra
“Get good friends, keep good company and help each other.” – Josie
“Listen to your parents.” – Alice
Thank you teens and seniors for sharing your gifts with each other!
Martin Luther King Jr. Toy Drive – Home Again Family Shelter
This was the word of the week. We were constantly reminded throughout our Toy Drive that community is much more than simply a collection of people who live in a particular place. Community is a group of people who care about each other, work to create a sense of belonging, and come together for a shared goal or purpose. Thank you to our community of volunteers, Crescenta Valley Girl Scout Troops 1261, 6961, 7401 and 2671, our Monte Vista Elementary School family and our La Canada Flintridge Community Center Preschool Family for their support and generosity.
Collecting over 765 toys (including 2 brand new tricycles, 4 Pack ‘n Play Portable Playards, 1 Little Tikes car, and 10 TwirlyGirl dresses) for children living in a family shelter does not happen by itself!
It only happens when everyday people come together to do small things in a great way. And magnificent, miraculous things happen when a whole community mobilizes for the good of others.
Pop-Up Giving Meet & Greet – Montrose Christmas Market
We hosted our very first event at the Montrose Christmas Market in December with hope for our new venture and gratitude for those who came by to cheer us on and support new beginnings for ourselves and others. We invited neighbors to write notes of cheer and inspiration to local seniors in Montrose, newly arrived refugee families living in Los Angeles, and foster youth who have aged out of the foster care system.
People wrote notes of gratitude to surprise friends, family and even strangers. And neighbors of all ages stopped by to add notes to our Gratitude Board. One of our favorite notes came from a 5 year old who wrote “I am thakful for live on Eruth”. We agree. We are thankful for all who share this earth with us.