Charitable Efforts

Friends of Foster Children prepare for Christmas

Friends of Foster Children on July 24 kicked off their 35th Sugar Plum project. Twenty-nine of the group's 80 active members were on hand at the Altadena home of Charleen Albee to prepare holiday wish gift tags that will be placed on Christmas trees beginning Nov. 26 at Westfield Santa Anita Mall. Volunteers will sit at the trees, which will be located in the Nordstrom wing, during the hours the mall is open every day through Dec. 15. Generous shoppers choose tags off the trees, purchase one or more of the gifts listed and return them unwrapped.

La Cañada resident Carole Kolla was among members who prepared more than 5,000 tags that day.

"A couple of years ago a friend introduced me to [the organization] at their annual fund raising luncheon," Kolla said. "I was very impressed with the members and their eagerness and excitement to assist kids who needed encouragement and a helping hand — by their good works and volunteering the kids knew that someone cared. The annual Sugar Plum Tree event was the deciding factor."

Gigi Andrew, chairman of the Sugar Plum project, said the group hopes to fulfill 5,300 gift wishes in the coming holiday season.

Members of Friends of Foster Children live throughout the San Gabriel Valley including El Monte, Altadena, Arcadia, Temple City, Duarte, Monrovia, San Gabriel, South Pasadena, La Cañada and Los Angeles. New members are welcome. The next general membership meeting will be held on Oct. 9 at Arcadia Community Center, 365 Campus Drive, Arcadia. Anyone interested in becoming a part of the organization is welcome to attend.

For more information about Friends of Foster Children, call (626) 445-4542. To learn more about the Sugar Plum Tree program call Andrew at (626) 975-9571.

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