The Priority Center in OC joins Spark Of Love

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Staff at The Priority Center are excited to partner up with Spark Of Love to help bring children in Orange County joy this holiday.

The Executive Director and CEO of The Priority Center, Lisa Fujimoto, said staff there are no strangers to making a difference in Orange County.

"We serve about 5,700 clients a year. They're typically low to middle-income, but mostly low-income and they don't have the opportunity to participate in holiday experiences," Fujimoto said.

This video is from the nonprofit's annual event to change this-the Families Helping Families campaign.

During the holidays, other OC families adopt families participating with the nonprofit, providing basic needs from a wish list, but the pandemic has made the season more challenging.

"In past years, our need for the holiday season was on average 150 families. Last year, we served 300. The need has intensified because for most families, they're choosing, 'Do I pay my rent? Do I have enough money for groceries,'" Fujimoto said.

This year, The Priority Center is teaming up with Spark of Love to take things a step further and give children toys.

"You might not realize how much a gift can make a difference because for a child to wake up and not have anything is devastating," Fujimoto said.

The Executive Director and CEO of the nonprofit said most of these children have gone through enough.

The Priority Center works with families experiencing generational trauma, child neglect and abuse. Their partner, FGPG Show Ready will turn its warehouse into a storage space for this year's Spark of Love toy drive.

The goal-to fill a dozen busses with new, unwrapped gifts, all going to children in Orange County.

"We provide the gifts unwrapped and we give them wrapping paper, so there's dignity in that and then they can present these gifts to their children as if they are providing the gifts, not us," Fujimoto said.

The FGPG Show Ready warehouse is 80,000 square feet and can hold plenty of toys.

The Spark Of Love Fill A Bus event is Friday, December 17, at Santa Ana College from 4:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
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