TKA Administrative Coordinator Eleanor Berumen has volunteered with the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center since 2006. Each year, she facilitates the organization’s back-to-school drive. The organization estimates that up to 78% of low-income students start the school year with inadequate school supplies, or none at all, putting these students and their teachers at a disadvantage from the very first day of school. Thanks to Eleanor’s work, the Innovation Institute’s 2014 Back-to-School backpack drive resulted in 56 backpacks filled with school supplies for children in need through the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center.
“Children living in poverty should have an equal opportunity in education which begins by first making sure they have the right tools to succeed,” Eleanor explains.
In addition to her annual back-to-school involvement, Eleanor also facilitates the holiday adopt-a-family program known as Families Helping Families. This event brings hope, support and stability to families who desperately need it. This coming holiday season, TKA will adopt four families. Eleanor volunteers as an elf to assist Santa with delivering holiday gifts to families. Eleanor says it is a wonderful feeling “[to] see the children jump with joy and excitement, and to see how grateful the parents are.”
Additionally, Eleanor helps out with the organization’s other programs and fundraisers throughout the year, which aim to connect families facing abuse and neglect with caring members of the community, and in doing so, to positively impact the lives of children.