Spotlight on Service: Helping Children in Sacramento, CA

This Spotlight on Service comes to us from Sacramento, California. Parents and students from two preschools, along with other generous volunteers, came together to help disadvantaged children at the Sacramento Children’s Receiving Home and the Mustard Seed School.  

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Lindsay Dilloway and Krisann Vistica of Ti Amore Children's Center pose next to Brady Oppenheim (right) of the Sacramento Children's Receiving Home. 

When you were a kid and you woke up on Christmas morning, what’s the first thing that you did? This is a question that I asked the students at two different preschools. Most of them exuberantly yelled, “Ran to the tree to open my presents!” My next question was, “How would you feel if you didn’t have a tree to run to or presents to open?” I was met with a lot of little, confused eyes looking back at me. Sad, upset, bummed were some of the answers that I finally received.

There are children among us that are either homeless or have been taken from their home and put into an unfamiliar environment. These children will not have the same experience on Christmas morning as most of our children will. Our local community came together to help these children have the best Christmas they can. We selected two different organizations that devote their focus to helping children in need. The first is the Sacramento Children’s Receiving Home, which, as a shelter, can be “a refuge, where children stay for an average of 35 to 40 days and can heal from the abuse they have suffered (SCRH.org/About). The second is the Mustard Seed School which provides education and other services to help meet the needs of homeless children.

What did we do for these organizations and the children they serve? We completed three different donation drives and made 150 holiday cards!

A little more on these two wonderful organizations;

As taken from the Mustard Seed School’s website;

Mustard Seed School was established in 1989 to help meet the needs of homeless children. Many school age children do not attend school because of their homelessness; some lack immunizations, birth certificates, or other documents, some are in transit, and almost all lack a support system. In spite of their situations these children are eager to learn and to be accepted.

From fifteen to thirty-five children may attend our school each day, and an average stay is just three to four weeks. A major goal of the Program is to prepare and enroll homeless children into public schools, and preschool for younger children, when families have found housing stability. (http://sacloaves.org/programs/mustardseedschool).

As taken from the Sacramento Children’s Receiving Home’s website;

The Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento is committed to positively impacting the lives of children, youth, and families affected by abuse, neglect, behavioral health issues, and trauma in California. The facility is licensed annually by the State Department of Social Services to provide care for 98 children ages 1 to 17. The Children’s Receiving Home is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the admission of children. Children are in crisis when they are admitted to this facility, and our objective is to be supportive and as constructive as possible during their stay here. (https://www.crhkids.org/programs)

What we did for the Sacramento Children's Receiving Home (SCRH);

Ti Amore Children’s Center Donation Drive and Holiday Card Making

Ti Amore Children’s Center is located in Fair Oaks, California and they believe,”…that children have achieved a lot in their first few years of life; they CAN DO a lot.” (http://www.tiamorechildrenscenter.com/learn-more-1.html). Yes! They certainly can and they DID! The students at Ti Amore assembled and decorated 40 holiday cards to give to the children at the SCRH. Because of these caring students, the children there will wake up Christmas morning to hand-made holiday cards! The parents also generously donated much needed supplies for the school!

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Little Hands Can Donation Drive and Holiday Card Making

Little Hands Can also hosted a card making party and donation drive. 27 “little hands” created 60 holiday cards for the SCRH. These were added to the 40 cards that the students at Ti Amore made. Think about it. Because of these wonderful, little helpers, 100 children at the shelter will wake up to a loving card on Christmas morning. The parents who attended the event showed their giving spirit by bringing art supplies and personal hygiene products to give to the SCRH.

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What we did for the Mustard Seed School

Madrone Montessori Donation Drive and Holiday Card Making

Madrone Montessori, a preschool located in El Dorado Hills, California talked with their students about the wonderful work that the Mustard Seed School does. The students created 50 holiday cards for the Mustard Seed School to give out before their holiday break. The parents also participated in a donation drive where much needed socks, underwear and various paper products were collected.

Addie, a student at Madrone, also had an opportunity to make Christmas Wreath cookies for the staff at the Mustard Seed School.

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When a community comes together, wonderful things can happen! Much needed donations and 150 holiday cards were given to two fantastic organizations that help children in need in the Sacramento region. The children that they serve will benefit from the kindness and generosity of our local families. Thank you!

Happy Holidays!