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Non-Profit Grants Christmas to Homeless Kids
by: Larry Casner
Above: Max Ling, Brad Knitz, Paola Saavedra, and Robby Zehra
Above: Max Ling, Brad Knitz, Paola Saavedra, and Robby Zehra

Christmas for StandUp For Kids is giving hope and gifts to at-risk and homeless kids.

Our Orange County chapter hosted a Christmas party on December 19 for 45 at-risk and homeless youths at Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach. Besides enjoying food, music, Wii and PS3 games, and crafting, each kid received three to five gifts valued at around $30 each, in addition to a Tony Hawk skateboard, a down jacket and a box full of hygiene products!
The all-volunteer non-profit organization offers a wide array of services, including finding housing, education assistance, vocational development, counseling, health services, transportation services and legal aid.

One bright star of Mission Viejo High School is senior student Paola Saavedra who started StandUp For Kids School Club. With the help of other classmates, they were able to find five youths in need, that are now sponsored in the program.

Paola’s creation of the high school club was the first of its kind in Orange County. The club grew to 32 members in the Outreach Team that meet weekly, and search for kids in need in Mission Viejo. Participation from students at the high school does not stop here. California Scholarship Federation, led by Max Ling, Robby Zehra and Brad Knitz, stepped up with a hygiene kit drive, and collected soaps, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, tissue, female hygiene, blankets, food gift cards and t-shirts.

Thanks to the volunteers at StandUp For Kids Orange County, Our Lady Queen of Angels, and many generous businesses and individuals, that have touched so many lives and hopefully will be able to continue in their reach to help many more.


Larry Casner is a Southern California native and freelance writer/photojournalist who has traveled extensively. He enjoys sports, art and science.

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