2021 Holiday Heroes: Community Comes Together to Provide a Happy Holiday to Thousands of Displaced Children
This Christmas, the Children’s Foundation of America (CFA) provided gifts to 2,175 displaced children at 19 different organizations. Fifty participating businesses, along with several individuals, collected nearly $60,000 worth of toys and gifts for children in need this holiday season.
The Claremont Village Marketing Group encouraged businesses of Claremont’s downtown district to participate, contributing 20 locations to our overall total. Claremont Toyota hosted a toy drive and holiday fundraiser at their location. Montclair Place hosted a Giving Tree at their mall, Plume Ridge Bottle Shop donated a toy for every gift set sold and various other businesses, schools and service groups contributed to the campaign.
Board Member, Christina Jackson, worked miracles again this year gathering her network of Santa’s elves to contribute over $11,000 worth of gifts for children in need this Christmas. Long-time supporter, Jorge Merlos, was also a real hero this Christmas gathering his community from SouthPaw Bill, Integrity Home Finance, Altar Tattoo and more in collecting over $13,000 worth of toys.
A warm thank you also goes out to Char Constantino and her team at CG Realtors for their participation and spreading awareness about children in foster care. Image Source also campaigned to raise thousands of dollars in support of youth in group homes and in foster care.
Though we were not able to host our gift wrapping fundraiser at the mall this year due to the continuing pandemic, Lion’s Heart Service conducted a small gift wrapping booth at the Claremont Packing House in partnership with Claremont Gallery, an artist market held weekly in the Packing House atrium. In addition, we held a Virtual Gala and Online Auction hosted by CFA CEO, Cher Ofstedahl and featuring Hallmark leading lady and foster care advocate, Jen Lilley. Through our various fundraising efforts, we were able to raise over $43,000 in support of children in need this holiday season!
These funds were used to provide holiday festivities for foster families and group homes. A drive-thru experience was held where families received gingerbread houses, pies, food, hot chocolate and other festive giveaways, plus children got to visit and take a photo with Santa. Holiday treat bags, gift cards, magician and a Christmas dinner was provided to youth in group homes. Funds also purchased gift wrap for the toys distributed through our campaign and purchased any additional gifts needed. Remaining funds will continue to support these children’s wishes and needs throughout the year, including scholarships, grants and specific requests.
Twenty-five dedicated volunteers contributed a combined total of 113 hours packing and distributing gifts for children in foster care, group homes, shelters, underserved school districts, crisis centers and more. What we were able to accomplish this year would not have been possible without the participation of our generous community. Thank you so much for all you do for the children we serve.
Thank you to our gift drive participants: Amelie Claremont, Be Rosie Salon, Bert & Rocky’s Ice Cream, Bunny Gunner, Centers for Spiritual Living, CG Realtors, Christina Jackson, CLA (Clifton, Larson, Allen), Caleres, Claremont Chamber, Claremont Chef’s Academy, Claremont Craft Ales, Claremont Toyota, Claremont Village Eatery, CPP Office of Academic Innovation, Dani & Ronnie, Diamond Wipes INT, DoubleTree Ontario, Enterprise, EPICycle Studios, FDS Manufacturing Co (Pomona), Full Circle Home Loans, Gaf Roofing, Hendrick’s Pharmacy, Honeybird LA, I Like Pie Bakeshop, Image Source USA, Jorge Merlos and Integrity Home Finance, International Vitamin Corp, JMC Engineering, Kiddie Academy, Lumen Spa, Pomona Catholic High School (Make a Wish Club), Middle Tree, Mijac Alarm, Mira Loma, Montclair Place, Packing House Wines, Plume Ridge Bottle Shop, Rev’d Up Coffee, Sanctuary Coffee, Scripps College, Sonja Stump Photography, The Diamond Center, The Grove Clothing, The Grove Home, The Treatment, The Village Postmark, T Street Volleyball, Village Dance Arts, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, and West Coast Dermatology Billers.
Organizations Supported: Riverside USD, Ark Family Homes, Ontario Montclair School District, McKinley Children’s Center, Trinity Youth Services, Pathways, Fields Comprehensive, New Life Foster Family Agency, San Bernardino County Schools, St Anne’s, Advantage Foster Family Agency, Building Bridges Foster Family Agency, Shoes That Fit, Crittenton Foster Care, Olive Crest, Serenity Foster Care & Adoptions, Citrus Elementary, Mission Elementary, and Concerned Citizens for the Development of North Fontana.
Jenelle Phillips, Director of Development
Jenelle oversees the day-to-day operations and staffing of the Foundation, which includes event planning, volunteer coordination, community outreach, marketing and donor relations. Above all, Jenelle’s focus is to identify and access resources in order to help children heal, learn and thrive. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University Fullerton and is very involved in the community. She is active in her church and owns an art gallery. Her volunteer contributions to the community have been recognized by Senator Portantino, Assemblymember Holden and the Claremont Village Marketing Group.