This past weekend my husband and I spent a day at the Childhelp ®Village in Beaumont.  For the last 25 years, actor John Stamos has emceed the party and typically over 1,000 people and children from the community are in attendance.  The children treated us to a Christmas show, entitled, “All You Need is Love” and all the cottages participated.  Some children sang Christmas solos, while their cottage mates danced or acted out the story.  One cabin filmed and narrated the nativity.   They experienced a couple technical difficulties, so to fill the gap, the band played some Beatles tunes, and John Stamos  rocked out on the drums.  BTW ladies, John Stamos still charming and handsome and is also on Twitter as @JohnStamos – please also follow @Childhelp

Santa visited after the show, the adults found their special friend and they ate lunch together while the children opened presents.   Lunch as a feast of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, apple and pumpkin pie.  There were also multiple other homemade desserts.  My special friend really like these goodies and we both enjoyed a second helping.  After our lunch, we went outside to play together and our two boys enjoyed driving a radio-controlled car and tossing a football to each other.

The Childhelp® Merv Griffin Village accommodates 80 children, and is always at capacity.  Enrichment at the Village include art, music and ranch therapy.    During ranch therapy, children care for horses, llamas, donkeys, chickens and other animals to experience emotional growth and healing.  It is at the ranch, many children learn that eggs do not just come from the grocery store. There is also a Wilderness Program, which uses outdoor activities and challenges to help the children develop in areas of leadership, group interdependence, awareness and personal accountability.  During the summer, they enjoy a large pool, surrounded by a colorful mural and each child is given a bicycle.  Since the Village is 122 acres, they is plenty of room to play.  Children typically live at the village between three months and two years.  The Village is staffed by teachers, therapists, case managers, as well as a nurse, medical assistant, medical transporter, and physicians.

Childhelp® was founded in 1959 by actresses Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, and I was thrilled to meet them.  Childhelp® is a leading national non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect.  Their approach focuses on prevention, intervention and treatment.  Besides residential treatment services (villages); Childhelp® also has children’s advocacy centers; therapeutic foster care; group homes; child abuse prevention, education and training. They even operate a national 24-hour hotline 1-800-4A-CHILD.

The amazing accomplishments by this non-profit can not be done without support.  If you haven’t completed Christmas shopping yet, please consider a gift to Childhelp® ~
If you live in Southern California, the Inland Empire chapter would love to have you join.   We meet monthly (3rd Wednesday) at the Arrowhead Country Club, in San Bernardino.  For further information, please contact the Inland Empire President, Tracey Wilhide at (909) 771-9417.

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