There were sparkles all around this past Thursday night at Seascape Kids Fun in Anaheim, for the first-ever “Winter Fantasy” holiday extravaganza. Guests enjoyed lots of tasty eats, which included everything from cupcakes to tamales–all gluten free. Party goers had lots of fun making Christmas ornaments and other crafts. A balloon artist made holiday-themed animals, while a cartoonist created one-of-a-kind caricatures of the kiddos. Santa Claus and his counterpart, Mrs. Claus, were there to check off the lists of all the super-excited little ones. And nothing–not even getting stuck in three hours of traffic, could stop volunteers Regina Ervin-Greene, and her daughter Cameron, of the Los Angeles Polished Girlz team, from showing up, which was without a doubt one of the evening’s highlights.
- Footprints‘ clinical coordinator and director of outreach services, Julia Nguyen-Kim, said how “all the little girls–who ranged in age from 3 to 10, were absolutely ecstatic to be getting their nails done. It was so exciting to see.”
- The evening was without a doubt a huge success, with Nguyen-Kim saying how “the most amazing part of the entire night was when I heard volunteers already planning for next year’s party, and talking about how they had just as much fun as the kids did!” The parents of these wonderful kids were feeling encouraged and excited as well. Those who have older, high-functioning kids, got to see them participating with their peers, as well as with the younger kids, by volunteering during the event–something that Nguyen-Kim said “gives them a real sense of motivation and purpose.”
- Footprints Behavioral Interventions, which partners with the self-supporting special needs playgroup, Social Kiddos, has been instrumental in helping children and families with autism, as well as disorders that are related to it. The organization works with children in all phases of autism from birth to 3 years old, and as elementary, middle, high school and college students. Their positive-behavior support services provide assistance in just about every setting imaginable, from school classrooms, in the home and around the community. Their ultimate goal is to vastly improve the quality of life of the children they work with. They do this through offering home and school-based intervention, as well as parent education and training.
Founded in 2011 by Alanna Jai Wall, Polished Girlz is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving manicures to terminally ill and special needs girls. By providing manicures, 12-year-old Alanna and her team bring happiness to chemotherapy and dialysis centers and support groups throughout the country. Polished Girlz currently serves patients in hospitals throughout Ohio, Chicago, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, and recently launched their much-anticipated Los Angeles chapter.
The fast-growing nonprofit has hundreds of registered volunteers to date. The organization’s outstanding young founder is the recipient of dozens of awards—both local and national, including Kohl’s Kids Who Care Scholarship Award, United Way Volunteer Organization of the Month Award, Do Something Seed Grant Winner and so many others. Alanna has also been featured in Teen Vogue and appeared on the Disney Channel’s Make Your Mark.
Since beginning back in 2011, Polished Girlz has partnered with organizations such as Muscular Dystrophy Association, Sickle Cell Association, Mended Little Hearts, Ronald McDonald House and many more. Through her work, Alanna and her team continue to touch the lives of terminally ill and special needs girls all over the country.
For donations and volunteer information, contact Polished Girlz.
To learn more about Footprints Behavioral Interventions, contact Julia Nguyen-Kim.