During a season of food, drink, and festive gatherings with family and friends, many in the LAUSD family go the extra mile to make sure joy and celebration is felt throughout their communities, particular among those less fortunate.

A grateful family accepts donations from LAUSD school psychologists.
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A grateful family accepts donations from LAUSD school psychologists.

School psychologists from Local District Northeast came together this week to collect donations including clothing, toys, perishable food, and appliances and delivered them personally to a family in need. Through Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND) a Pacoima-based organization focused on poverty relief in the San Fernando Valley, the L.A. Unified employees adopted two families in need, each gave a little, and then as a group, they packed their vehicles and delivered all the donated good in person to the grateful families. Many of the employees spent the day with a household of eleven, including children ranging in ages from 1 to 18.

“The experience was amazing and heartwarming,” said Veronica Hernandez, who was among the volunteers. “During the visit, the family was very welcoming and humble. Even the little ones, who were shy at first, were playful and full of smiles by the end of the day.”

MEND has been working since October to recruit volunteers and donors to families across the Valley in need of a little help to make their season truly a time of joy. Donors can use a service called Sign-up Genius to identify which goods they are willing to give.

Learn more about how you can help by visiting mendpoverty.org.