Originally reported and broadcast by Sam Chimenti at KRCR News:
REDDING, Calif. — Children’s Legacy Center (CLC) and One Safe Place, two Redding nonprofits that will soon merge into one, have utilized their expanded resources to give back this holiday season.
Their work started in early November with a Thanksgiving meal giveaway. When the focus shifted to Christmas, four 'Giving Trees' were set up around town, allowing people to adopt-a-family.
Numerous donation drives, like 'Give Redding,' allowed the support (i.e. children's gifts, food) to flood in.
"This is our very first year where both One Safe Place and the Children's Legacy Center are bringing together the families that we serve in order to ensure that they have a really phenomenal holiday season," explained CLC and One Safe Place CEO, Kimberly Johnson.
"I think it's the best of who we are as a community. We're seeing unity at a time when our community really needs it and it's been beautiful to get to witness. We have collectively served over 500 people in this community, nearly 100 families, 250 children."
Johnson, a mother of five, knows how special the holidays are for her children. Helping kids/families in difficult situations is something she and her team don't take for granted.
"We are just really grateful to be able to give families the experience that my kids are getting on Christmas morning to the kids and families that we serve," Johnson said.
At One Safe Place, a holiday store was created for families that enter their shelter. So far, 49 families (215 individuals) have been recipients of these gifts.
"They come in here and they are able to get gifts for the kids while they're staying here for the holidays," said Mike Murphy, content manager for the CLC and One Safe Place.
"Last Christmas, there were 24 children in shelter on Christmas Day. So to be able to provide them gifts, to have the caregivers and parents be able to preserve that dignity of giving a gift to their kid on Christmas Day, that is a very meaningful thing."
Of course, Christmas isn’t the same without a Christmas tree.
"Actual Christmas trees were donated for families and some of those families had said that they had never received a tree before," detailed Murphy.
Both Murphy and Johnson lauded the efforts of their organizations and those who gave back. However, the support these families need extends well beyond the holidays.
"The support this season has been incredible, but there is always a need," Murphy said.
To donate to the organizations, you can visit their websites:
One SAFE Place: https://www.ospshasta.org/giving