This holiday season, Pasadenans can help support local children in need by adopting a Holiday Angel.
Spearheaded by Foothill Unity Center, Holiday Angels Project offers community decorated angels for residents, families and organizations to adopt. Each angel, which represents a child, should be returned with a $25 value gift.
The goal of the program is for each child to get a gift this holiday season. More or less 1,500 kids are seen to benefit from the program, according to Foothill Unity Center Chief Development Officer Raina Martinez.
This is the first time the Holiday Angels Project returns since the pandemic started in 2020.
According to Martinez, prior to the COVID pandemic, angels were labeled with a child’s name, interests and sizes. For this year, the angels’ labels will be more general because the center can no longer get families to come in and fill out forms to provide information about their kids.
“This year we’re moving back more to the Angel Project, but the Angels are a little more general,” said Martinez. “They’ll have a label on the front about the categories of gifts. So we have categories like toys, arts and crafts, clothing, and books.”
Martinez said in addition to the individual gift that will be given to the children, the center will be giving a game or a puzzle to families in need, as she added that the center is promoting a theme of family togetherness.
Wishlist donations for this year’s Holiday Angels Project include $25 gift cards (Aldi, Amazon, Burlington, Kohl’s Marshalls, Target, and Walmart); family board games such as puzzles, and art & craft sets; books and dictionaries; and toys (scientific/educational, construction sets, dolls, action figures, vehicles, sports, homemaker toys).
In addition to the Holiday Angels Project, the center will also conduct a Holiday Food Drive for families in need.
The Holiday Food Drive wish list includes $20 to $25 grocery gift cards, cake mix, canned yams, corn muffin mix, cranberry sauce, gravy packets, jell-o pudding, marshmallows, pies, stuffing, whole chickens and cornish hens.
According to Martinez, families without children will only get food boxes while those with kids will get food boxes in addition to the toys and the gift bags for the kids.
The food boxes will be distributed in the fourth week of December while the holiday treats for families with kids will be distributed on the 21st.
Families that want to benefit from the center’s programs for the holidays can sign up at the center at 191 North Oak Ave. in Pasadena or call (626) 584-7420.
The center is in need of the community’s support for the success of its programs. “It’s just truly a community driven effort,” Martinez stressed. “We couldn’t do what we do without the community’s support.”
Members of the community can support Foothill Unity Center’s programs by donating, volunteering, and collecting items. To learn more, visit: www.angels.foothillunitycenter.org and www.holidays.foothillunitycenter.org.
Foothill Unity Center, a multi-service agency, serves as the region’s primary provider of integrated services that help individuals and families move out of poverty to reach economic stability.
For over 40 years, it has helped residents in need with programs that focus on food, health, crisis case management, job development, volunteerism and housing and homeless services.