The Help Group serves more than 6000 children and their families through its Family-Centered Support Programs, Mental Health & Clinical Programs and Residential Services. Many of these families struggle to pay their bills every month. Some of the children have been abused and neglected and are now part of the foster care system. Many children have few possessions to call their own.

Here are just a few of the families who will benefit from your generous support of our online holiday giving campaign:

Luisa is a survivor of domestic violence and currently raising three children, ages one, four and nine. Luisa’s middle child, Andres, attends The Help Group’s Stepping Stones Therapeutic Preschool Program. Always in search of a safe place to live, Luisa and her children have moved from shelter to shelter and from apartment to apartment due to lack of income. Andres arrives at school every morning wearing ill-fitting clothes – shoes too big to run around the playground, pants that drag on the ground and a stained jacket with a broken zipper. Toward the end of the month when Luisa’s food stamps have run out, Stepping Stones provides Andres with a lunch so he has something to eat mid-day. Luisa attends every parenting class at Stepping Stones and is an active participant in Andres’ program, but she is struggling to pay her rent and put dinner on the table every day.

Maria and Felipe are in their 70’s and in poor health, but have adopted their five grandchildren, all of whom have developmental delays and learning disabilities due to exposure to drugs and alcohol while their mother was pregnant. Stepping Stones has served four of the five children, and the youngest is preparing to graduate in January. Maria has been an active participant in the Stepping Stones program since 2008 by attending parent meetings and family therapy. The whole family lives in a one-bedroom apartment, and the children share two twin mattresses every night. Between medical bills from Maria’s recent illness and the grocery bills to feed this family of seven, there is no money this year for a Christmas tree or gifts for the children.

Rubina and her children have been clients of The Help Group’s Outpatient Services for the last two years. Rubina is a single mother to three children – two boys, one of whom has special needs, and a daughter – and is committed to providing a stable, nurturing home for her family. Rubina works part-time, relying on her parents to provide child care, but she does not have a car, so she spends more than $100 every month on bus fare to get to work, to attend appointments with her therapy team at The Help Group’s Van Nuys Campus and take her special needs child to the doctor. The whole family desperately needs new winter coats to keep them warm and dry while waiting for the bus, but Rubina can’t even afford second-hand coats on her limited income.

These are just a few of the thousands of families served by The Help Group throughout the year. Contributions to the online giving campaign will do so much to make the holidays brighter for these needy families. Donations will pay for presents for the children, groceries for the whole family, holiday decorations and special gifts like musical instruments and computers. The Help Group is grateful to its community of friends for their generous support of this holiday giving campaign. Best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful holiday season.

*Names have been changed to protect the families’ privacy.

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