D'Ann Garcia, School Counselor

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Dear MCCF:

My name is D’Ann Garcia, and I work in a counseling role at several school sites here on our coast. I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all that you do for our local children.

In my position, I often come across kids in dire need of basic fundamental items. Thankfully, you have made it possible for these kids to have these needs met by providing things such as school clothes, a backpack, and sometimes a bus pass that often determines their ability to maintain regular school attendance.

Beyond that though, there are so many stories that go much deeper.

Just last week, I was speaking with a high school student whose family is experiencing extreme financial difficulty. I asked if she was having a good homecoming week and if she would be at the game Friday night. She became very quiet, and I could see a flush of embarrassment cross her face. She really wanted to attend, but just became old enough to work, started her new job, didn’t have her first paycheck yet, and didn’t have the $5.00 it would cost to get in. Thanks to you, the school staff and I were able to not only give her the $5.00 . . . but also an extra little bit of cash to get something at the concessions for dinner. She was almost in tears knowing she would be able to go. I always explain to them that these funds are donated by people who care about them – even if they don’t know them – people from our local community and beyond, all pitching in.

When needed, shower passes for the CV Starr Center, clothing vouchers for the thrift store, and vouchers for a new pair of shoes are some of the things you make readily available to me. A winter coat, personal hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, a toothbrush, comb or hair brush. You have helped me with sleeping bags for kids who are cold at night, an alarm clock, and sometimes grocery store funds that allow me to send food home.

I had a young man recently that I took to Feet First Shoe Store in desperate need of shoes. He had been borrowing shoes that belonged to his cousin. When he removed his shoes, there were strings on his feet posing as socks. Thanks to you, I was able to deliver two packs of socks the next day to him. I hardly recognized him though...because he now wore a bright smile and had a much more confident gait from those new shoes!

These kids are so incredibly grateful for basic items that many take for granted. The thought of strangers being that kind to them visibly moves them and it really is a beautiful thing to see.

For me, knowing that all of you at the Children’s Fund are volunteering your time, and that 100% of the money donated goes directly to helping our kids is incredible. It really is true that even $5.00 can make an amazing difference in the life of one of our coastal kids.

I know how hard you all work, and year after year I have seen the looks on these kids’ faces when presented with the small holiday gift you provide to those who probably otherwise wouldn’t receive much at all. There are angels among us and that is you, MCCF, as well as this amazing community. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making such a valuable impact on these young lives. You certainly demonstrate that the old saying is true: “Giving is to know true happiness.”

My hope is that we can continue to teach and show these kids the power of paying it forward.

Sincerely, D’Ann Garcia