First published in the Dec. 22 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
La Cañada Presbyterian Church’s Parent Education Program recently hosted donation collections and events supporting two of its charity partners, Hope Gardens and FosterAll.
Hundreds of gently used items from clothing to furniture were collected during a period of several days last month on the LCPC campus in support of Hope Gardens, a transitional housing campus offering a haven to single women and children experiencing homelessness, and permanent supportive housing for senior women. Snacks, children’s activities, resources and a time to connect with other families were provided.
LCPC Parent Ed was also able to donate 50 Recovery Bibles to the Hope Gardens Family Center in Sylmar through the Erskine Compassion Memorial Fund, which was established in 2018 to support and encourage individuals and families in need.
To celebrate the holiday together and show appreciation to foster families who have opened their homes to children in need, LCPC Parent Ed supported a Christmas toy drive for FosterAll from Nov. 16-Dec. 1, collecting new toys for children ages 11-13.
Then, on Dec. 3, LCPC opened its campus to foster families for a fun-filled day that included games, crafts, music, entertainment, a delicious meal and Santa’s Toy Shop. LCPC Parent Ed board members were in attendance to help with meals, crafts and gifts.
Hope Gardens believes no child should be raised on the dangerous, unforgiving streets of Los Angeles. Yet economic circumstances, illness and abuse are forcing more mothers and children into these types of situations. Women and children now make up 40% of all people experiencing homelessness.
Hope Gardens Family Center, which sits on 71 acres in the foothills of Sylmar, provides a transitional housing campus offering sanctuary to single women and children who are experiencing homelessness. It also offers permanent supportive housing for senior women in its Sequoia Lodge.
Hope Gardens helps women transition from homelessness to independence within 12 to 36 months by offering long-term rehabilitation programs, services, and spiritual care.
Women and children have a safe place to live while they receive counseling, training, encouragement and the real help they need to escape homelessness forever.
FosterAll recruits prospective resource/foster parents from faith communities and provides ongoing support to these families so that they can provide safe and loving homes for the thousands of children who have been abused and neglected.
The organization began with one voice, one church and one family helping one child. Since its inception, this process has been repeated over 3,600 times and has created countless families.
FosterAll emerged in 1985 when Mary Rotzien served as an intern at the MacLaren Children’s Center, a troubled Los Angeles County residential facility that has since closed. Devastated by the number of children in foster care who were without homes, she felt that if faith communities were to bring families to these children, the crisis could be averted. With financial support and encouragement from Westwood Presbyterian Church and her husband, Brian F. Buchanan, Rotzien created FosterAll, formerly known as Child S.H.A.R.E.
Rotzien’s vision continues today. FosterAll, with over 350 faith partners, strives to find these children safe, supportive and loving homes.
If you have a child or grandchild birth to college, LCPC Parent Ed has a class for you. To sign up for a class or experience a free class, visit lacanadapc.org/parented or call (818) 790-6708, ext. 205. LCPC Parent Ed offers 18 daytime classes that meet weekly September through May and attract participants from over twenty different cities.
LCPC Parent Ed also has a new online class with parents participating from all over the country. Parent Express evening classes are also available. Scholarships and payment plan are available online. La Cañada Presbyterian Church is located at 626 Foothill Blvd. in La Cañada Flintridge.