on Jan 22, 2015
This year Rotarian Marie Valencia with other members of the Van Nuys club brought some Christmas joy to the children on Casa Esperanza. Rotarians brought presents to this children--they even brought Santa.
For Social Workers, ministers and priests in the San Fernando area there are many families that need help. However, especially at the time of the December holidays, there seems to be some particular families that have no real way to believe in Santa Clause. So, when Marie Valencia, supported by the Greater Van Nuys Rotary and several other organizations, offered to throw a “Christmas Lives” party for THE most needy children in 40 families (about 100 children), the people who deal with extreme poverty daily were happy to provide information about those families. Armed with shoe and jacket sizes, Marie and her elves went shopping for those critical items. Stores helped fill her needs.
Choosing the proper shoes and jacket for each child, wrapping each of the items with the child’s name on the package, and then packing all of the items for each family took hours. But wrapping Christmas presents is fun, and Rotarians came to help prepare for the party.
Because a party is not fun without food, In and Out Burger brought their truck to the Union Hall. Rotarians provided the drinks and also some great cheese enchiladas.
Not only was Santa there to greet the kids, but photos of the children with Santa were taken and given to the children. Santa’s elves handed out candy and some small toys to the kids. A new guest Rotarian whose name was missed arrived with lots of balloons and compressed air so that he could make balloon animals for the children – and for some adults. Marie Valencia led the children in songs and games to entertain the parents, social workers, and the Rotarians. Yes, Virginia, in Pacoima, Christmas Lives!