Those who have ever had to prepare children for school know how much goes into it – buying them clothes, shoes, school supplies, and a backpack to name just a few. Yet for families-in-need, this can be cost prohibitive. More often than not the children end up wearing worn-out shoes and come to school with limited school supplies. While this can weigh heavily on well-intentioned parents, it can also take a toll on a child’s self-esteem. Thankfully, the South Orange County Exchange Club, a long-time supporter of The Raise Foundation’s outreach efforts, once again helped a family that had two children eager to start school. The Club’s generous members provided the children new shoes, new school clothes, all the required school supplies, and new backpacks. The children are thrilled and their parents very grateful and surprised at the outpour of support.
According to Reylena Lopez, a Raise Foundation staff member who serves as Coordinator of the Community Health Enrichment Collaborative Family Resource Center (CHEC FRC), the family was specifically chosen for two reasons. First, they have made effective use of the services provided by the FRC with the goal of strengthening their family (e.g., taken parenting classes). Secondly, the parents actively volunteer and serve on the FRCs Community Engagement Action Council (CEAC). “We wanted to honor the parents who are making a difference in their community and especially in their children’s lives,” said Lopez.
The Raise Foundation applauds the South Orange County Exchange Club for its caring heart. Over the years the group has helped support many initiatives hosted by The Raise Foundation and was honored with the organization’s prestigious Blue Ribbon Award a couple of years ago during the Child Abuse Prevention Month Kick-Off Ceremony.
James Gorman, President of the South Orange County Exchange Club, shares that the national project of the National Exchange Club is the prevention of child abuse. “We at the South Orange County Exchange Club are actively participating in the national project by striving to make a difference in the lives of children and their families such as through this adopt-a-family project. Judging from the thank you notes that the Club has received from our adopted families over the years, we are indeed making a difference and trust that we will continue to participate with The Raise Foundation into the future.”
“The smiles on children’s faces can translate into heightened self-esteem…and what more can anyone hope for when the community works together!” shares Raise Foundation spokesperson Keri Gee Semmelman.
For those interested in joining the South Orange County Exchange Club, they meet at Polly’s Pies in Laguna Hills on Wednesdays at 7:15 a.m. Go to South Orange County Exchange Club for more information. And if interested in adopting-a-family for the school year during The Raise Foundation holiday gift wish list project, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.