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The Zocalo Newsletter!

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Be A Santa


It's that time of year again and Pat Tallman is coming to us for help. Here is her letter about Penny Lane and the Be A Santa Project.

Dear Friends:

I have pledged to raise $1,000 for the cause Penny Lane Be A Santa. Please help me and donate $100. To donate, follow the link below:

What is Penny Lane and Be A Santa
Every Child has a wish for the Holidays!

Penny Lane is a family treatment center that cares for the most difficult to manage children with the highest quality care. These kids have been so sexually, emotionally and physically abused, they cannot be placed in regular foster care. We have children from all over California, Nevada and Arizona. The Be A Santa program focuses on the 104 teens in residence in the North Hills main facility and 8 satellite houses. Penny Lane also services over 1500 young children in foster care. The Be A Santa program frees up resources for them. Although we focus on the 104 teens in residence and I’d also like to give Westfield gift cards to the 40 young adults in Penny Lane’s revolutionary Transitional Living program.

“ Dear Pat and Friends,
I’d like to thank all who’s helping Penny Lane kids out. I think it’s a good thing that people is helping out with us. I have been here almost 5 years and you help out a lot of people that come and that left. You have been the biggest inspiration in my life when I am in PL so thanks for what you have done and I just hope that you keep doing what you are doing.” Boy age 18

I ask the kids to write and to tell me a little about themselves. Some are very eloquent:

“I have been in placement for a long time now. But this is my first time not being with my family on Christmas . I never got nothing on that day from them anyway, so I hope to have a good one here with people that care about me. But I am a good person to know and I would like to say thank you for every thing that you guys are doing for the kids in Penny lane. We are all thankful. God bless you all on Christmas day.” Girl age 15

“I care about N.A. and being here ( in PL) getting help with some problems I have. I care for my family. My favorite hobby is to write to my friends and family….What I want for Christmas I can’t get because it won’t happen but one of these days it will and I will be free. Thanks for asking.” Girl age 16

“I care about my family and I will do anything for them, and that is why I’m in PL. Thank you for everything” boy age 15

“The number #1 thing I care about is my daughter. The only thing I really want is for my daughter to have a good Christmas! I really don’t feel I deserve nothing.” Girl age 17

“ I care about my family and the elder people in the world. I would like to help children, small children like to teach them and learn from them. I enjoy watching people play.” Girl age 15

“The thing about me, I’m a good kid. I never had a Christmas because my parents never had any money to buy us anything. But my parents aren’t around anymore and I’m a strong person for all the right reasons and I am a real grateful person for anything that is given to me. And I thank God every day to have people like you, important people, in this world. So I just want to thank you all for giving all of these gifts that my parents couldn’t give me. And being real helpful to us girls in Penny Lane. You’ve shown me what Christmas is all about.” Girl age 18

“I just want to have a new start at life. Get everything back into snap. Especially with my mother. The only person I have in my life is my mom. I guess I want to have faith, trust and love within, before giving it to another. Well, Christmas is a big day, I just want to be closest to my mom.” Girl age 17

Even though the children at Penny Lane are there because their families have failed them in some fundamental way, the kids wish lists so often include the same cry for love:

“My wish is to go home to my family because without them I would be lost.”

“If I could have one gift, that would be for my mother and me to get along.”

“I am not in the Christmas spirit. I am not with the people I love. The only thing I want would be something that came from the heart. I don’t care what it is.”

"If you want to find a nice gift for me, find my sister. Her name is…”

The children at Penny Lane get something more precious that they can imagine, more valuable than they know. Not just the hard working, dedicated staff at Penny Lane, they get the love of the people who help from the heart with this project. Please remember the children of Penny Lane this Holiday. Thank you…..from the heart!

Ideas on How You Can Help

You can go to Browse around and check out the letters. Some are good about writing about themselves, others have to be coaxed into just writing a few basic things. They have been through so much, it’s hard for them to get their hopes up. It’s so sweet to me how they trust us enough to give me a letter at all.

If you have the time you can get items from the list on the site...or email me for other ideas.

Throw a party like Dari and have guests bring books and small gifts to wrap. Lable everything for me or I'll have to unwrap them and there goes all your efforts!

If you are having a holiday gathering, as friends to bring something from the list on the site. Or write a check!

Get your group, team , family or department to sponsor an entire house (6 boys or girls) or caseload ( 10-14 girls).

You can mail or drop off the gifts to: Be A Santa c/o Pat Tallman
6433 Topanga Canyon Blvd. #207 Canoga Park, CA 91303

PLEASE do NOT ship insured. I cannot stand in line for every package. Yikes.

Too Busy? Send us a check , made out to Penny Lane and we’ll do the shopping!

Please write a Holiday card from you and your family. The kids love this.

Don’t forget to e-mail us with what you are doing so we can focus on the kids who haven’t been bought for yet. Let us know if you have any questions.

Remember our deadline for gifts is Dec.10th
I need to shop and get the bags done. You can donate all year!

Stop by for updates.

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