COPA Fulfills Holiday Wishes for Low-Income Families
December 21, 2012 – Tarzana, Calif. The holidays will be a little more joyful for some two hundred families struggling with unusual hardships this year. Thanks to Joya’s Christmas Fund, parents who are frequently challenged by simply maintaining adequate living conditions will have the satisfaction of seeing their children’s joy as they open Christmas gifts.
The Christmas fund is a private undertaking by Nulinx International, a Los Angeles based company that develops COPA, a leading child and family outcome and administration application for agencies that promote school readiness for children of low-income families.
“Moms and dads who sometimes struggle with securing nutritious meals for their children are often challenged with buying Christmas gifts,” said Hamid Kelishadi, CEO of Nulinx. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to bring smiles to the faces of children who are often reluctant to even send Santa a Christmas wish list.”
Nulinx initially contributed $5000 to the fund and asked Head Start agencies as well as Community Action and Migrant programs to submit families who had experienced unusual challenges for consideration.
“The stories of families’ hardships were heart wrenching and at times overwhelming,” said Kelishadi. “We increased our allocation to meet the unexpectedly large number of requests for assistance, and with the help of agencies, selected some two hundred families to whom we sent Walmart and Target gift cards as well as clothing for infants and toddlers.”
Gift cards have already been mailed and reports of families’ reactions when surprised with the unexpected gift have ranged from touched and grateful to joyful and emotional.
“The gift cards from Joya’s Christmas Fund were truly appreciated by the family. It brought tears to the parent’s eyes,” said Cassandra Haggins of Heavenly Care Preschool in Searcy, Arkansas. “My staff and I added some groceries to the card and made up a nice basket, for which the family was very grateful.”
Nulinx plans to expand Joya’s Christmas Fund next year to help reach more families and children.
“We are blessed with wonderful customers who work day in and day out to give children of low-income families a head start in life,” said Kelishadi. “Our goal is to go beyond meeting the data management needs of our customers by extending a helping hand to families in need, especially during the holidays.”
Examples of family hardships COPA assisted with this holiday season…
“We have a family in which a single parent father with mental illness is raising his child. The child was abused by the mother. Dad is unable to work due to his disability. He has high anxiety and doesn’t go out in public much. The child is struggling with post traumatic stress from the abuse that was incurred. We are requesting a gift card to Walmart. Dad’s fear of crowds stops him from shopping in crowded stores so either the grandmother or our staff will shop for him or he will shop on-line. The family is on a very limited income and does not seek outside assistance from other organizations.”
“I have a single mom with four children (girl 12, two twins 41/2) in which one of them has Autism that we service, but is a happy loving child. I have been working with mom throughout the year in terms of locating employment and decent housing for her family. Even through her circumstances, she continues to bring them to school every day. She serves actively as a Head Start Alternate on our Center’s Parent Committee. I see her every day with smile on her face even through her tears saying to me “I am going to make it Ms. Hernandez” and gives me a great big hug. Please make her christmas for her family something positive… just to let them know that someone cares.”