LOS ANGELES, November 19, 2018 -- Last year, a few months before the holidays, Miguel* lost his mother and sister in a car accident. He and his wife Maria* took in his sister’s two boys to raise. Around the same time, Maria learned she was pregnant with her fourth child.
Miguel and Maria felt overwhelmed. Hillsides staff gave the family tools to reduce daily struggles and to help Miguel work through his grief. When the couple was told that their family had been selected to be part of Hillsides holiday Adopt-a-Family Program, they worried it was too good to be true. They wrote down a list of needed items – pajamas, underwear, sweaters, shoes, blankets, baby items, and a few toys for the children – not really believing their wishes would be answered.
On Christmas morning, when the family opened up their gifts, the veil of sadness and desperation that had descended on them lifted. The family felt safe, secure, and full of hope knowing that someone cared about them.
Many of the nearly 17,000 children, youth, and families Hillsides serves struggle during the holidays. Without assistance, they would not be able to afford holiday gifts or meals.
This year, Hillsides is once again launching an Adopt A Family program, where community members can provide families with holiday gifts and gift cards for food. The goal to help 100 families in need. Community members can choose the size of the family they wish to adopt, ranging from small (1 – 3 people), medium (3 – 5 people), or large (five plus individuals). The cost of adopting each family member is approximately $100. The deadline for shopping and dropping off gifts is December 20.
To adopt a family, please contact either Community Resources Director Laura Kelso at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-254-2274, ext. 11251, or Community Resources Coordinator Stephanie Lopez at email@example.com or 323-254-2274, ext. 11258. Donors will receive a family profile with specific needs and wishes of each family member and instructions on shopping and dropping off the items. Or donors can adopt a family online at https://hillsides.wedid.it/campaigns/5782.
For those unable to commit to adopting a family, Hillsides is also asking for gift cards in increments of $25 to stores such as Food 4 Less, Ralphs, Smart & Final, Walmart, and Vons. Those interested in purchasing gift cards can contact Kelso or Lopez.
Hillsides, with its affiliate Bienvenidos, is dedicated to healing children and young adults, strengthening families, and transforming communities through quality comprehensive services and advocacy. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the agency serves nearly 17,000 children and families in Southern California throughout more than 40 sites, including school-based mental health offices in Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Baldwin Park. Foster care and adoptions services are offered in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. To learn more about Hillsides, please visit www.Hillsides.org. Visit Hillsides on Facebook @hillsideschildren, on Twitter @Hillsides, or on Instagram @HillsidesPasadena.
*Names changed for privacy concerns.