At its monthly meeting at Faith Episcopal Church in Cameron Park on Nov. 28 Assistance League of Sierra Foothills members presented staff from the El Dorado County of Education with more than 100 coats and pajamas for infants and toddlers who are homeless or facing homelessness in the county.
Director of EDCOE’s Child Development program Jenny Pettit and mental health & disabilities coordinator Stacia Ponce were present to accept the donations.
“We always do Operation School Bell® for kindergarten through eighth-graders (when children are taken to buy school clothes),” but once they tapped EDCOE for ideas, Quinn said she learned that there is an urgent need for a population of infants and toddlers as well.
Quinn explained that Assistance League of Sierra Foothills teamed up with EDCOE, focusing on its early Head Start program for children ages 0 to 3 years old. “Instead of our usual Toys for Tots, that’s why I asked (people) to donate sleepers and jackets to keep children facing homelessness warm,” she added.
Ponce recalled a new mom who pushed her baby in a stroller to learn about the program’s resources and the coordinator noticed that the baby was dressed in a size 5T snowsuit. Ponce said donations would go to “the neediest” first — children who are in home-based programs and who live in residential housing, including Progress House and Hope House.