Letter: Holiday Cheers

Letter to the Editor

The Children’s Lifesaving Foundation recently concluded its 2018 Project Angel Wings Holiday Program. As you may have heard, both camps that we lease for our holiday events and overnight teen camps tragically burned to the ground in the Woolsey Fire, but thanks to some incredible friends, we were able to continue our great holiday tradition, hosting two great parties for over 300 at-risk and homeless youth at an alternate location in Santa Monica. We also dropped off thousands of brand new toys and gifts at different homeless shelters and agencies (such as Homeboy Industries and My Friend’s Place) over the holiday season, and on Christmas Day itself, we were down at Midnight Mission, giving away toys to children who were waiting hours in line with their families.

Last fall was challenging for so many of us—and we cannot thank you all enough for being there for our work, our Project Angel Wings Program, for the youth and families we serve—and for so much more … Malibu resident Jenefer Palmer, founder of OSEA Malibu Skincare, stepped up and, despite losing her home, continued the tradition of creating 50 beautiful gift bags for the moms and teen girls in our program, even getting other companies to donate more than usual.

It was just amazing seeing the local community coming together to help not only each other, but also those outside of it…

Thanks to our dear friends at Capital One and their amazing staff of elves and friends at the Capital One Cafe-Santa Monica, Marmalade Cafe Malibu, Julie Kavner and David Davis, Rothschild & Co., Elyse LaVine-Ortiz and Hector Ortiz, Arctic Cold Caps, California Supply, Mark and Cha-Cha Weinstein, Barry Brooker, Ellen Poyer, Marla and Jeffrey Michaels, Cathy Cygan, Nick Kreider, Sol and Mazi Emami, the Tokar Family, JAKKs Pacific Toys, Action & Agape & Agape Int’l. Spiritual Institute, Mattel, OSEA Malibu, Senator Ben Allen’s Office, Connections4Children, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Nancy Dargan, Melanie Wizan, Janine McEuen Newell, Veronica Luna and Angel Gonzalez, Kathy and Cris Semergieff, Lesli Johnson, Dennis Manuel, Alexandria Skouras, Robert Olive, Lauren Partipilo, Thomas Kelly, Valerie Perea, Linda Thompson, James and Mary Dearing, Antoinette D’Angelo, Noel Ellis, Jacqui Hylton, Fresh Bros. Pizza, and many other wonderful friends…

Our Project Angel Wings Holiday Program would be absolutely nothing to write home about without the outstanding help of loving volunteers including David D. Keller, Suzanne Matteson, Mark Lederkramer, Nick Krieder and Stephanie Lyra, Ali and William Thonson, Patrick O’Sullivan, Kat Yore and Lance, Jesse Pruett, Kristin Leible, Marie Espino, the Shandera family, Joseph Greco, Jacob Jones, Andrew Meneses, Shelly Rosekelly, David Baron and family, Barry Brooker and family, Martin Rosado, Faith and Dylan McCaffery, Yvette and Luke Hueso, and Priscilla and Valentino Ayala. We were able to have a truly extraordinary holiday season because of all of you

More importantly, your kindness and great generosity made the holidays truly spectacular for the youth and families we serve who would otherwise not have much in the way of holiday goodness, fun or cheer of any kind…thank you.

A thousand times, thank you all from the very bottom of our hearts…Here’s to a better and stronger 2019, for all of us! 

Maria D’Angelo

Founder, The Children’s Lifesaving Foundation