By: Danielle Cenedella, CA DCSS
The holiday spirit at California Child Support Services (CA DCSS) continues! The 2019 California State Employees Food Drive, in support of Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services (SFBFS), and the Holiday Gift Wish Program, benefiting children in the Sacramento Center for Fathers and Families program, have both received a lot of support from staff members this holiday season.
The Administrative Services Team, led by Deputy Director Irene Briggs, created a Double Dog Dare theme for the Holiday Food Drive and have hosted multiple events throughout November and December to raise funds or collect food to support SFBFS.
The annual Turkey Drop took place on November 21 and brought in 25 turkeys for a total of 331.68 pounds. 15 CA DCSS employees participated in the Annual Run to Feed the Hungry on Thanksgiving Day which brought in an additional 1,312.5 pounds toward our total collection. The Double Dog Dare Doggie Photo Shoot on December 3-5 brought in darling, playful (and well-mannered) dogs who helped increase our total donation, while canned food barrels in both buildings are still collecting non-perishable food.
These efforts will raise donations to support SFBFS, which provides free emergency goods and services to 150,000 men, women and children each month, and offers adult education, parenting classes, immigration and refugee assistance and many more services focused on giving customers the tools they need to permanently improve their lives. The nonprofit offers a safe space for hope to grow, without judgment, among neighbors that value every human experience. The final numbers will be announced in January 2020 as this year’s statewide campaign runs from November 4, 2019 through January 10, 2020.
For the past four years, CA DCSS has also participated in a Holiday Gift Wish Program, which selected the Sacramento Center for Fathers and Families to support this year. 100 children submitted their wish lists to receive personally chosen gifts from CA DCSS employees, and every wish was fulfilled with over 120 gifts and over $1,300 in gift cards!
The mission of the Center for Fathers and Families is to provide support and resources to newly single fathers and their families in need in the greater Sacramento region. Over 25 years, they have served thousands of families with an afterschool program for at-risk kids and mentoring and parenting resources for the fathers stepping up to be there for their children.
To wrap up a wonderful year of dedication to service, the CA DCSS Holiday Party was held on December 12 to say thank you to all the staff. The Special Events Team put on a spectacular event which included cookie decorating and s’more making stations, hot cocoa and a chili bar, and a holiday-themed photo booth. A contest was also held for Most Spirited and Best Baker – and the holiday outfits were outstanding. Congratulations to the winners, Mathew Shimizu for Most Spirited and Scott Hunter for the Best Baker. Everything was delicious and everyone had a great time celebrating the holiday magic with their coworkers.
CA DCSS is thankful to everyone who contributed to make a difference this holiday season by giving to those that are less fortunate, and spreading a little holiday cheer!