Thanksgiving

SHARE

Sharing.

It’s really what the holidays are all about.

We share fellowship, meals and gifts to express love and appreciation for those who mean so much to us.

We’d be so grateful if you could share your support for KidWorks with other family and friends.  It’s a great opportunity to encourage them to consider making a contribution to KidWorks this holiday season.

Adding KidWorks to their giving list is so easy.  They can do so online at this secure link:
www.kidworksoc.org/give


Happy holidays from all of us at KidWorks and on behalf of the hundreds of families we serve throughout the year!

GIFT

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We all smile when we hear the traditional Christmas song telling us that Santa is “making a list and checking it twice.”

At KidWorks, we’d like to remind you to check your list, too!

That’s because the Annual KidWorks Christmas store for the families we serve in central Santa Ana is just days away. This year, the store will be open to serve families on December 13th and 14th. 

The store allows parents who might otherwise be unable to afford gifts for their children to buy them at a significant discount.  And all proceeds go into a benevolence fund to help those families in need during the holidays and the rest of the year.
 

There are three ways you can help this holiday:

1. GIFT a new, unwrapped item, a gift card, or wrapping supplies to KidWorks by December 9, 2016. 

2. DONATE financially to our end of year giving campaign at www.KidWorksOC.org/give.   

3. SERVE in one of our many weekly programs and bless a KidWorks students this holiday season. 

Interested in knowing more?  Please visit www.KidWorksOC.org

Your help will help continue our 14-year tradition of creating holiday smiles!

US Bank brings the Christmas cheer to KidWorks!

Each year US Bank visits our Dan Donahue Center to decorate for the coming holiday season. This simple act of kindness blesses our staff and families in ways words cannot express. The students are thrilled to see the center in full Christmas decor when they return from Thanksgiving break. 

We are so grateful for our friends at US Bank and we appreciate their generosity each holiday season. 

KidWorks Students Give Thanks

We asked our students "What are you thankful for?" and they had some great answers!

“What I’m the most thankful for is the KidWorks Center.”
-Cynthia Ramirez
 
“What I’m the most thankful for is you guys being here to help us with the homework.”
-Joselyn Torres
 
“What I’m the most thankful for is the opportunity for new experiences at KidWorks Programs.”
-Isabel Rivas
 
“What I’m the most thankful for is the center. It has helped me improve my homework and grades.”
-Sophia Sanchez
 
“What I’m the most thankful for is the neighborhood cleanup event.”
-Cynthia Espinoza
 
“What I’m the most thankful for is my baby brother and food.”
-Natalie Beltran


“What I’m the most thankful for is the support of my family and friends. The opportunity to get an education.”
-Gabriel Beltran
 

Giving Thanks: Karen Gallardo-Cano

Editor’s note:  We’re delighted to present the third installment in our latest blog series, Giving Thanks.  As everyone prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving, we feel this is the perfect time to invite KidWorks’ friends and families to share a little about what they are most thankful for.  Look for another installment next week!

Karen Gallardo-Cano knows exactly the blessings she’s thankful for this holiday season.  In fact, they number in the dozens.  No, they are not material goods.  This high school sophomore and KidWorks student is most thankful for the many KidWorks staff members, volunteers and fellow students who have positively impacted her life.

“I am so grateful to everyone who is in my life because of KidWorks,” she says.  “The staff and volunteers always push me to go the extra mile.  They sit by my side and let me know that I matter.”

Karen takes her appreciation for others and applies it to her leadership position as president of Community Leaders of Santa Ana (CLOSA), our youth-led organization that helps improve the surrounding neighborhood with cleanup, sponsored events and other activities.

Like a good leader, she is quick to say “thanks” to her team, including Maria Contreras, vice president, Nancy Cervantes, secretary and all the CLOSA membership.

“They are amazing,” Karen says. 

Karen is also thankful for each of the 24 hours in a day.  Without a doubt, she fits all she can into her waking hours.  Karen is a member of the green environmental club at Valley High School and serves as Associated Student Body Vice President for the class of 2019.

And did we mention that she also makes time to play on the school’s varsity and junior varsity water polo teams?

Speaking of giving thanks, we are so grateful to Karen for being a KidWorks student for 11 years, and for the time she spends as a volunteer helping other children and youth.

Now, if someone could just invent the 30-hour day, Karen would find a meaningful way to fill that time, too!
 

By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer

 

Giving Thanks: Elizabeth Nilsen-Doble

Editor’s note:  We’re delighted to present the second installment in our latest blog series, Giving Thanks.  As everyone prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving, we feel this is the perfect time to invite KidWorks’ friends and families to share a little about what they are most thankful for.  Look for another installment next week!

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If you ask a teacher what she’s especially thankful for, it’s not surprising that the value of education is right at the top of the list.

In fact, the love of learning and teaching is a common thread that’s woven throughout Elizabeth Nilsen-Doble’s life.

Elizabeth Nilsen-Doble

Elizabeth Nilsen-Doble

This KidWorks volunteer was a teacher in New York and California for four decades.  Now, she generously brings that wealth of experience to us when she serves as a tutor and after school program volunteer at our Dan Donahue Center.

“I taught in both public schools locally in Cypress and in an independent school in Brooklyn Heights, New York,” she says.   “I especially loved the sense of challenge and wonder I saw in my sixth grade students.  I’m grateful to have worked with so many incredible young people and their families across the years.”

Elizabeth is also quick to express thanks to her parents and the church.

“My parents immigrated to the United States from Norway,” she says.  “I was the eldest of four children.  They took us to church, taught us to be responsible and cheered us on whenever we worked hard and made progress.”

Elizabeth is also grateful for the fellowship she enjoyed at the Lutheran church in Brooklyn when she was growing up.   She is now equally thankful to be part of the congregation at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach.  That’s where she first heard about KidWorks.

“At KidWorks, I always find lots of smiling faces, and students filled with energy and a love of learning,” she says.

Elizabeth Nilsen-Doble and family

Elizabeth Nilsen-Doble and family

Elizabeth perfectly summarizes her own feelings during this season of thankfulness:

“I thank God for health, friends and all the family.  Above all, I thank God for His Love, for His peace, for His strength.”  


By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer

 

Giving Thanks: Maria Villa

Editor’s note:  We are introducing our latest blog series, Giving Thanks.  As everyone prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving, we feel this is the perfect time to invite KidWorks’ friends and families to share a little about what they are most thankful for.  Look for another installment next week!

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Maria Villa knows instantly what fills her with gratitude and thankfulness as the holidays approach.

“If you met my grandmother, Fermina Flores, you’d know why I want to share my story by saying how grateful I am for having her in my life,” Maria says.  “She raised and guided me all these years, and so that is why I prefer to call her Mom instead of Grandmother.”

Maria's grandmother provided her with all the love, care, and resources she needed growing up.  She lovingly refers to her grandmother as the “ultimate role mode”:  Always being caring, lovable and hard working.

Maria and her husband, Juan Carlos, are proud parents who also readily express how grateful they are for their children.

“I have two little ones, Ashley, who is in first grade and enrolled in KidWorks’ programs, and Carlos, who is two-years-old,” Maria says.  “My husband and I always do our best with our children.   Every day, I remember how Fermina raised me, and I put those parenting skills to good use with my own children.” 

Maria sees her life and her family as a blessing from God. She expressed how thankful she is for every blessing God provides to her family each and every day.   

“I'm thankful for every person at KidWorks who has made an impact in my daughter and in me throughout the time my family and I have been a part of their programs,” she says.  “KidWorks has helped Ashley with her studies, and improving her reading and social skills.”

Maria has a heart of gold and we are grateful that her family is a part of KidWorks as well.  

By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer