Miriam and Fatima Garcia are twins who have been blind since birth. They are ten years old, and have had to struggle with many hardships in their young lives. They worry about being very different than other children, and their anxiety is particularly pronounced in school. Miriam and Fatima receive counseling at our Children, Youth and Families (CYF) division. Miriam sees Melodi Litkouhi as her counselor. Fatima see Samantha Lewis as hers. Melodi and Samantha say that they have seen a difference in the twins since they began counseling. The girls are less anxious and more positive and social.
Miriam and Fatima are among five kids who benefited from an anonymous donor. The cash contribution was given to Orlando Villegas, who directs our Developmental Disabilities Program. Guadalupe Vivanco and Sandra Lopez, both with CYF, then used the donation to buy winter apparel items for the five kids.
Four of the kids, including Miriam and Fatima, came to the CYF office for a special gathering to receive and open their gifts.
All reacted with joy and appreciation. Miriam and Fatima beamed as they felt the texture of the articles and tried them on.
Allison Erazo-Villeda, who is almost 4 years old, hugged her counselor Samantha closely as she eyed the neatly wrapped gift and eagerly anticipated opening it. Allison is seeing Samantha because she is falling behind in her speech development as a result of psychological trauma that she experienced when she was two. Allison witnessed immigration authorities taking her father away, and she suffers from deep separation anxiety.
As Allison opened her present of purple boots, a winter coat and other items, she applauded and smiled with joyful abandon.
Jurissa Sota, 15, also came to the holiday gathering to receive her gift. Jurissa’s mother Olga says that Jurissa has been deeply affected and depressed following a divorce. Jurissa, too, was pleased with her present. “I like it, I really do,” she said with a sincere and appreciative smile, as she lifted the items from the box.
To see the Facebook photo essay: Generous donor brings holiday cheer to five kids in need.