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Children from McKinley Children’s Center Celebrate the New Year by Giving Back.

In 2017, McKinley Children’s Center served over 1,200 children across their non-public school (Canyon View School), Foster and Adoption Agency, Mental Health, and Residential Treatment programs.  When children come to McKinley, many have experienced terrifying traumas, been moved between foster homes, or have some mental or behavioral issues to work through.  The staff of caring counselors, teachers, and social workers works with each child to help them heal from their traumas and see past their current situations to a future where they thrive in their lives and in their communities.  These children are used to others helping them on their healing journeys. However, this year boys in McKinley’s Residential Treatment program are working to “pay it forward” to those in their community.

Last year, boys in the program began visiting residents at Bridgecreek Retirement Living Center in West Covina. They shared meals and played games like “hallway bowling” with residents and listened as residents discussed their time as original Tuskegee Airmen.  These visits to Bridgecreek were a great opportunity for the boys to look past their own situations and give back to others.  The visits will continue, but the boys have expanded on their goal of giving back in 2018.  

In January, 15 boys in the program went to the Pomona Armory, a local homeless shelter, and served meals to 110 people.  “Our boys saw the unfortunate reality for those that are homeless.” said McKinley’s Activities Coordinator, Phil Velez.  McKinley’s boys not only served food, they also had the chance to entertain shelter clients; one of McKinley’s boys sang a song while the rest of the boys, along with 20 of Pomona Armory’s clients, danced a line dance.  The visit meant a lot to the boys in McKinley’s care and the clients of Pomona Armory; who gave McKinley boys a standing ovation.  “The smiles on our boys’ faces were priceless! Our boys were very fortunate to have a great holiday season even with their current family situations, and to see them give back is truly a humbling experience!” said Velez.

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