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While the holidays are a time for coming together and celebration, it’s also a time to give and be of service to those less fortunate. As the Reverend Martin Luther King is quoted as saying, “There is nothing greater than to do something for others.” Each year at Johnny Was we choose a charity that’s dear to our hearts and for 2018 we’re keeping it local with 5 Acres. This Los Angeles-based non-profit originally started back in 1888 as an orphanage but since that time, it’s morphed into much more, helping children in foster care find permanency, whether it’s with their biological family or via adoption. They also offer community outreach, mental health services, as well as a residential facility.
To honor the work that 5 Acres does all year, we’ve created a special holiday stocking with 100% of the proceeds going to the organization. Crafted from a colorful sherpa fabric, and with our signature embroidery trim, these will not only look festively hung on a mantle but each one is unique.
We reached out to Emily Peters, communications and PR coordinator for 5 Acres to get the info on how they operate as well as how much a holiday treat is appreciated, especially for children separated from their families.
JW: How many children live at the 5 Acres facility?
EP: Usually we have up to 80 foster youth living with us, mainly between the ages of 6 and 14. Since these kids are away from their families we try and do something a little special at the holidays. We often have volunteers come in and host arts and crafts events, music and last year we even had one of the marching bands from the Rose Parade come in a do a performance.
JW: The holidays are tough for a lot of people, we’d imagine even more so if you are separated from your biological family?
EP: All of these kids are separated from their families and even though a lot come from very traumatic circumstances, it’s still their family. Now they are living with unfamiliar people they don’t know, and it’s a dysfunctional way to spend the holidays, so we go out of our way to let them know that people care about them.
JW: What other areas will any financial donations assist in funding?
EP: We’re always looking to fund various therapeutic activities year round for the children, from sports to spoken word workshops. For example, in the past we’ve worked with poets and songwriters which turn out to be a really healing process for these kids, performing their own work and discussing their frustration and pain.