Published : Thursday, February 1, 2018 | 4:55 PM
The holidays often revolve around excitement and fulfillment, but it can also be a time of great anxiety for families with few resources. This is where Foothill Family’s Making Seasons Brighter program recently supported its clients with the help of community partner, Walmart.
As a supporter of Foothill Family, Walmart sponsored the Making Seasons Brighter program this past holiday with a donation of $5,500. Walmart stores that serve the area include Rosemead, Covina, Duarte, Baldwin Park, and La Puente.
“Walmart strives to support the communities we serve on multiple levels,” said Phil Serghini, Walmart’s director of public affairs. “Our partnership with Foothill Family, whose service areas overlap with a number of our store locations, was an ideal opportunity for us to deepen our impact in the community.”
Previously, Walmart donated an initial gift of $15,000 to Foothill Family’s 2014 holiday program, then called “Adopt-A-Family.” It also has supported Foothill Family’s school-based services in the city of El Monte, a program that supports behavioral health care for students in the unified school district, through a $25,000 State Giving grant.
More than 90 percent of Foothill Family’s client children are from poverty-level or low-income families who struggle to stretch very limited resources in meeting even basic needs such as food, clothing, and housing. Each year, Foothill Family therapists and case managers identify clients with the highest need and invite them to participate in Making Seasons Brighter. Donations are collected throughout the month of November and in early December, families are invited to “shop” from these donated items, free of charge, at special boutiques set up at Foothill Family Centers. Rather than watch the holidays happen around them, families become engaged contributors in making a more memorable holiday season.
“Making Seasons Brighter is a program that helps to position Foothill Family clients as participants in their holiday experience, rather than observers or recipient bystanders,” said Chief Executive Officer Steve Allen. “We are grateful for Walmart’s contribution to helping us support our clients in the overlapping communities we serve.”
As families enjoyed their “shopping” experience, they also had the opportunity to take advantage of a gift wrapping station, complete with holiday treats, games for the kids, and a thank you card table. A young client named Betsy shared her sentiments: “Thank you very much. My mom didn’t have money this year – it’s a struggle. Thank you for giving my family the opportunity to do this experience. My brothers and sisters are very happy…Seeing them happy is everything to me.”
Foothill Family was founded in 1926 and provides a range of community-based mental health and social services to at-risk populations in the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, Glendale, and Burbank. Its mission, to build brighter futures for children and families, has helped Foothill Family earn a reputation for providing high-quality services aimed at empowering families and strengthening communities. Programs include mental health and school-based services for children, early childhood development programs, family and youth services including child abuse prevention and treatment, domestic violence prevention and treatment, and services for pregnant and parenting teens. Last year, more than 24,000 children and their families benefited from Foothill Family’s life-changing programs. For more information, please call (626) 993-3000 or visit www.foothillfamily.org