If you live in Altadena and you have never heard of Five Acres then you would be sticking your head in that lovely Altadena soil again…and about that before: good for growing veggies, not so good for sticking your head.
Five Acres is an amazing charitable organization right here in Altadena that “is a child and family services agency that strengthens families and prevents child abuse through treatment and education in community-based and residential programs. Originally founded in 1888 as an orphanage, today Five Acres offers an array of services including residential care and educational services, mental health services in homes and schools, foster care and adoptions, and domestic violence prevention...it is the oldest non-sectarian child abuse agency in the San Gabriel Valley and has been caring for society's most vulnerable children for 123 years". Ninety-eight percent of their clients are considered poor or below the poverty level.
Five Acres offers a variety of volunteer opportunities and this holiday season their Family Angels Program is in desperate need of Angels. Angels adopt a needy family to help make their holiday brighter. This year they have had a record number of requests from needy families, roughly 260, up 175 from last year, so many that they actually had to close the submissions to other families in need. Unfortunately, less than half of the Five Acre families have Angels.
When you sign up to be an Angel, Five Acres will select a family for you based on your ability to support (you can select a smaller family or larger one) and provide you with a “wish list” for each member of the family. You might think the requests are for luxury items like Play Stations or DS’s, the hottest new kicks or an Ipod, but you would be surprised to find the most common requests are for clothing and necessities.
Christmas would not be complete without a holiday meal to enjoy so Angel families purchase the basic necessities for a holiday dinner (frozen turkey, chicken, or ham; stuffing, boxed mashed potatoes, canned vegetables and fruit, cake mix or non-perishable dessert, etc). You might want to throw in some apple cider, an onion for the stuffing, that sort of thing. If you can’t handle the shopping, you can provide gift cards for both the food and gifts or just donate a check so Five Acres can do the shopping for you. They will accept anything, so any amount of donation is more than welcome.
If you have questions or are interested in participating, please contact Danielle Barr at (626) 798-6793 x2250 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Ideally they would really like all gifts delivered to Five Acres (760 W. Mountain View St., Altadena) by Monday, December 19th and all families accounted for by December 20th, but they are willing to extend the deadline in order to help ensure that no family goes without some holiday cheer this year. Barr explains, “even though you feel you don't have time or energy or even the funds, just a small donation would really make a big difference”. And don't forget to spread the word to your friends and family.
So take your head out of that lovely loamy soil and head out to the store. Even though it’s not about you, think of how great it will feel to know that there will be another family opening gifts and sitting down to a hot meal on Christmas—thanks to you, their Angel.