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Christmas is an enchanting time of the year, and it is especially magical for children. However, it can also be a time of uncertainty. For families in need this holiday season, it doesn’t matter if the children have been naughty or nice, their parents simply do not have the means to provide anything outside of the bare necessities. The idea of sweet children not being able to experience the magic of the holidays pulls at the heartstrings of seniors living at Emerald Court, a Kisco Senior Living community. Some know firsthand what it is like to grow up in humble beginnings and can resonate with these families. Others who grew up with plenty have found themselves inspired by their friends, families and fellow residents to join in the spirit of giving back and help people in need. Regardless of their backgrounds, the residents are teaming up to ensure that children and families served by local nonprofits get to experience the Christmas they deserve.

Emerald Court residents are participating in two programs this year. The first is the “Adopt-A-Family Holidays 2019” program organized by the OC Family Justice Center Foundation (OCFJC). The mission of the OCFJC Foundation is to provide direct-victim assistance and empowerment, as well as prevention resources for victims and families whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault and elder abuse. This year, the senior living community adopted two families and will be purchasing gifts for four parents and nine children. The items on their wish lists are pretty simple: clothing, shoes, dolls, slippers, Legos and other toys, which Emerald Court will deliver on December 11. Participating residents and associates will attend a Christmas party at the OCFJC on December 19 from 3-6 p.m., during which they will be able to watch the families open all of their gifts.

“I grew up as a poor coal miner’s daughter in the Appalachian Mountains, and every gift we received came as a donation from an organization similar to the ones we are donating to,” said Helen Stevenson, a resident of Emerald Court. “Now that I’m in a position to give back, I am very happy to do so. I have been busy making a few quilts and two stockings for the families. I am so excited to present each family with one of the snowman stockings I made and filled with goodies for all to enjoy. It will be very rewarding to see everyone open their gifts. In a community like Emerald Court, where we are catered to every day and are truly living the good life, it can be easy to forget that there are families that don’t have as much as we have. It’s so wonderful that many of my fellow residents realize that if we come together, we can fill needs in our surrounding community.”

Emerald Court is also partnering with the Anaheim Fire Department to provide new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages. From December 1-20, the senior living community will collect toys for the “Spark of Love Toy Drive.” The public is encouraged to participate and bring their donations to Emerald Court (1731 West Medical Center Drive, Anaheim, CA 92801). As a thank you, the chef at Emerald Court is preparing decadent pastries in the community’s BLU Bakery and will send some home with all who donate. In the last 25 years, this drive has collected 10 million toys for children and teens.

“We are calling on the public to help us provide Christmas gifts for children of all ages,” said Cynthia Edwards, executive director of Emerald Court. “We are eager to partner with local organizations and make a positive impact on the families and children they serve. Emerald Court has worked with both groups in the past, and we look forward to providing our continued support to these nonprofits. Knowing that our efforts will put countless smiles on the faces of these families is the joy that drives us.”

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