FIDM Donates $150k in Books and Clothing To Victims of Child Abuse
For the twelfth year in a row, the FIDM Scholarship Store and the FIDM Library collaborated as a major sponsor of the “999 For Kids” holiday event held at the Sheriff’s Training and Regional Services (STARS) Center in Whittier. FIDM donated $150,000 in men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and accessories, plus 1,500 books, which were distributed to the families at the party.
"We look forward to this party all year, as it is a great kickoff to the holiday season,” said Ella Van Nort, Director of FIDM Scholarship Foundation. “The smiles and the joy and laughter, you see on these children's faces, just warms your heart, and the families are so appreciative."
The mission of 999 For Kids is to assist severely disabled and abused children who are victims of the most severe cases of child abuse, neglect, and domestic violence.
For the last 30 years, children participating in the 999 for Kids program have been treated to a holiday party where they can find joy in a safe environment particularly designed for their happiness and which accommodates any of their special needs. The children receive toys, are treated to a meal from McDonald’s, and participate in entertainment activities including train rides, a petting zoo, face-painting, photos with Santa, and playing in real snow that’s brought in by the Sheriff’s Department.
Volunteers from the FIDM Scholarship Store, the Library, Marketing, Education, and the IT Department assisted with the tent set-up and handed out the gifts of books and clothing to the children and their families.
In a partnership between the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the 999 For Kids Program is named in reference to the “officer needs help” 999 radio code, essentially saying that these kids are in desperate need of our help.
The 999 For Kids program helps about 1,000 children per year by providing specialized equipment and services, including sport wheelchairs, computers, special education classes, and medically oriented toys and games. A summer camp experience is also provided for children who are deaf, blind or have medical issues, and who otherwise would not be able to participate in such quintessential childhood activities.
The FIDM Scholarship Store works all year collecting donations for the holiday event. There are about 650 kids in LA County who are eligible to attend the event, and this year about 500 were in attendance. The children who were unable to attend will be visited by a member of the Sheriff’s Department to receive their holiday gifts at home.