For many families in our community this time of year is a joyous one filled with colorful lights on houses, gatherings with friends and family, and presents under the tree. Unfortunately, the holidays almost did not happen for one Orange County family.
Abby is a single parent of three teens, who makes a modest living working in retail. She struggles daily just to make ends meet. The home they were renting recently went into foreclosure and the initial cost of moving into a new apartment was more than she could afford. With the holiday season quickly approaching, Abby was worried she would not be able to provide her children with gifts for the holidays. I felt that they could really benefit from the Prevention Center’s Los Angeles Kings Families Helping Families event. When I told Abby that her family would be attending the event she had no idea what to expect.
For the past three years, the Los Angeles Kings hockey club has invited some of our neediest client families to participate in a day of skating, lunch, meeting the players and a gift exchange. This year the families were also invited to watch a game from three luxury suites at the Staples Center -an experience they will never forget. The players, coaches and staff adopted 25 families this year and surprised them with incredible gifts.
The following week I saw Abby for a therapy session. The first thing Abby did was hug me tightly. With tears in her eyes, she told me how “amazing” the event was for them, and thanked me profusely for thinking of them and sending them. The mother told me she was very worried about being able to afford Christmas gifts for her kids because she has to pay more for rent and cover the expensive costs of moving. Now, with the gifts provided, she no longer has to worry, she is covered for the holidays! She hardly had the words to say how thankful she was. She was touched by her adopting player and his wife. Their generosity was beyond anything she could have imagined! She is eternally grateful for not only the amazing gifts, but the chance to spend quality time with her children. Because of one hockey player’s tremendous generosity and support, one more family in Orange County will have a holiday celebration.
On behalf of my client family I thank the Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club!
Child Abuse Services Team (C.A.S.T.)
***You too can continue to support families like this over the holidays! Purchase specialty ticket packages here for the Los Angeles Kings v. Anaheim Ducks game on December 22nd. Proceeds will benefit the Child Abuse Prevention Center!