This article was contributed by Chamberlain's Children Center.
With the holidays arriving, many of us take time to reflect on our lives, be thankful for what we have, and reach out to help people less fortunate. There are many exceptional ways you can help but one of the easiest is to donate during the upcoming “12 days of giving” holiday campaign. This annual fundraiser, in its seventh year, raises much-needed funds for CASA of San Benito County, Community FoodBank of San Benito, Emmaus House, Sun Street Centers, and Chamberlain’s Children Center. These organizations provide true essential need services right in our own county, which assist in building a better community for all of us to enjoy.
This unique campaign runs December 1-12 and during that time, any monetary donation you make to any of these organizations are matched by a pool of funds provided by generous local organizations and businesses (see below list). Donations made during 12 days of giving will help organizations not only make the holidays brighter for thousands, but also assist all year in their mission.
Such is the case of Chamberlain’s Children Center. Their Mission Statement: “Chamberlain’s empowers at-risk children in a home-like environment to heal from past trauma, discover their strengths, and develop the skills they need to achieve life-long success.”
For 53 years, the Chamberlain’s staff has cared for and taught the most vulnerable foster children in the state. The children placed at Chamberlain’s have experienced traumas that many of us are unable to fathom. After being removed from their home due to abuse and neglect, foster care is the next step to care for this child, but due to the traumas the child has experienced in their young lives they lack the life skills necessary to live successfully in a foster home.
It is at this time a recommendation is made to move the child to Chamberlain’s Children Center to receive professional help. The qualified staff of Chamberlain’s is comprised of therapists, case managers, and residential counselors who, in partnership, create an individualized treatment program for each child so they may learn to overcome the effects of the trauma they suffered through and start learning valuable skills. Chamberlain’s staff of 75+ employees work 24/7/365 to create positive strategies through individual and group therapy, case management, social skills milieu, schooling and psychiatry along with a family-like living environment for the children to become happy, healthy, and hopeful individuals with the goal of a loving foster home placement or in some circumstances, a competent family member.
The funds raised during 12 days of giving helps Chamberlain’s provide many extras to aid the kids’ overall development. Extras they have never experienced before like a visit to Monterey Bay Aquarium or Academy of Sciences, which helps them build a sense of family and essential social skills. The 12 days of giving funds help ensure each child is delighted with a special birthday celebration complete with gifts and a party. Adding to the list of extras are experiences of trips to the beach, picnics at the park, seeing a movie and many other family-like activities many of us are familiar with but a Chamberlain’s child is not. 12 days of giving helps ensure fun experiences for the Chamberlain’s children so they may learn and discover their strengths and develop healthy positive relationships.
Last year, the children experienced an outing of shopping for clothes, lunch at a local restaurant, and an afternoon at festive Gilroy Gardens. After the sun had set, the holiday lights were aglow along the way home, creating additional cheerful memories for each child as they chatted about their special day. On Christmas morning, the children are surprised with wrapped gifts under the tree (shhhh, Santa brings new bikes!) and later a home-cooked Christmas dinner! The fun for the kids continues during the winter holiday break! Staff takes the children off campus to Christmas in the Park and more shopping after Christmas! The look of joy on the kids’ faces is invaluable! Bright, cheerful, and grateful! They cannot believe they get to keep what they received or that they were able to participate in the excursions! 12 days of giving funds helps provide this and so much more well into the New Year!
Please consider donating during 12 days of giving, where your donation will be matched! No donation is too small and you can donate online with a credit card or mail in your check.
NOTE: in order for donations to be matched, checks must be dated between Dec.1-12 and “12 days” written in the check memo.
Mail to: Chamberlain’s Children Center, PO Box 1269 Hollister, CA 95024 or stop by the office at 1850 San Benito Street Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to5 p.m. OR donate online between Dec. 1-12 at www.chamberlaincc.org. If you would like to donate to the other four participating agencies, please visit the 12 days of giving Facebook page or their individual website.
*Matching funds provided by a generous partnership with the United Way of SBC and these generous sponsors: Anderson Homes, Brent Redmond Transportation, Community Foundation for SBC, Earthbound Farm, Eden Housing, Graniterock, Pierce Real Estate, Recology, Teknova, Tiffany Ford Motor, True Leaf, and Women’s Club of Hollister and supported by American Casting Company, Central Ag Supply, Corbin, Greenwood Chevrolet, Heritage Bank, Lois & Ronnie Alvarez and Valerie Smith. In-kind media support is provided by BenitoLink and Mission Village Voice.