July 06, 2013
For many of the nearly 30,000 children in the Los Angeles and Sacramento county child welfare systems, the holiday season can be less than joyful as resources are stretched and caregivers are unable to afford the ‘extras’ that so many of us take for granted.
“CLC created the successful “Adopt a Family” project in 2006 in recognition of the impact that having even a few gifts to open during the holidays can have upon a child in the foster care system,” said Leslie Starr Heimov, Executive Director of the Children’s Law Center of California (CLC), which provides legal representation for abused and neglected children and youth under the jurisdiction of the dependency court.
“CLC is very proud of our ‘Adopt a Family’ project, which has grown exponentially each year since its inception,” said Ms. Heimov. “This year we are thrilled to have given holiday gifts to 300 children in Sacramento County, along with 450 children in Los Angeles. Our staff enthusiastically rallied around this effort, and together our Los Angeles and Sacramento offices distributed over 6,400 gifts! This project continues to have a tremendous impact as so many families are struggling to afford basic necessities and were unable to purchase holiday gifts. The community stepped up and recognized hat there is much we can do. Giving even a little makes a real difference.”
In addition to gifts for foster children, the project identified that some of these children, along with their caregivers, were in need of food, blankets, and warm clothing. CLC and many donors provided these items as well as gift cards to grocery stores in order to assist the entire family along with the child or children CLC represents. CLC continues to help needy children and families throughout the year. Community members may participate by purchasing gifts directly, by donating new/unwrapped toys, clothing, books, baby care items, household items and gift cards, or by monetary donation.