El Nido Family Centers // January 2013 Newsletter
A Message from Our 
Executive Director




On behalf of all of us here at El Nido Family Centers, I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and wish you a very happy New Year!


In this newsletter we're pleased to share with you the wonderful holiday celebrations hundreds of our young clients experienced this season.  These heartwarming events were made possible by the generous support of many corporations and individuals who donated toys, food and their time.  My deepest appreciation to each of them for bringing smiles and joy to children who otherwise may not have experienced the holidays.


I also want to thank the many wonderful supporters who responded to our Annual Giving Campaign this holiday season.  Each of your donations brings us one step closer to ensuring that we can contine our vital work to prevent child abuse and neglect, delinquency/gang involvement, teen pregnancy, school drop-out and poverty.  It is a privilege and an honor to have your confidence and support.


It is not too late to make a contribution to our Annual Giving Campaign.  If you have not done so, please take a few minutes to read the message from our two alumni and find out how you can make a difference in a young person's life with your contribution.


Again, my best wishes to you and yours for a prosperous and healthy 2013.   


Please visit our website to learn more about us and how you might get involved.


Thank you,

Liz Herrera     

Liz Herrera
holidaycampaignEl Nido's Annual Giving Campaign: 
Whether you are a new friend or a long-time supporter, we invite you to please consider contributing to El Nido Family Centers' Annual Giving Campaign.


As Founding members and Co-Chairs of El Nido's Alumni Committee, we represent a group of young adults who, as youths, have benefited directly from El Nido's programs and services. Please take the time to read all the Alumni Committee Success Stories.


Although the stories are unique, struggles with teen pregnancy, poverty, gang activity, and abuse are just a few examples of the common themes you will find. You will see how our lives took a dramatically different turn thanks to the guidance and support El Nido staff provided us. In addition, our children, the next generation, are doing exceptionally well, each with a promising future. Our stories are the kind that we believe will make you proud to be a supporter.


The Alumni committee members are incredibly grateful to be in a position in our lives that we can give back to our community. Your support changes not only the lives of those receiving assistance from El Nido, it changes the lives of their families. The committee members are only a few of so many who benefit from El Nido's assistance.


During this new year, as you think about charities you want to support, please consider how much of a difference you can make here in Los Angeles by supporting El Nido. You can respond by going to our website at www.elnidofamilycenters.org and donating online by clicking the Donate Now button. Please conact Nan Lee by phone at 818-891-3646 ext. 261 or email at nlee@elnidofamilycenters.org for more information.


Since 1925, El Nido has been instrumental in high need communities throughout Los Angeles County.  Last year we served over 10,000 children, youth and family members, focusing on child abuse prevention and treatment, gang reduction, youth development and parent education.  


We sincerely appreciate your consideration of this request and hope that we can count on your support this year.




       Alumni Group4    

Audra                                        Zuly

Alumni Co-Chair                      Alumni Co-Chair

A Snow-Filled El Nido Holiday Event!
Close to 500 members of the El Nido community celebrated the holiday season on Saturday, December 8th at our Pacoima FamilySource Center, along with El Nido staff and volunteers.     


Each of the families were given gift bags as they entered filled with blankets and sheets, and enjoyed a delicious home cooked meal made by volunteers who have themselves benefited from El Nido services.




Fun activities included face painting, arts and crafts, a bounce house, and a book station where parents and children could select free books for children of all ages and adults.



To the children's delight, Santa Claus showed up to listen to their wish lists and take pictures, and he even brought some snow along with him!



At the end of the event every child in attendance was given a gift donated through the generosity of:   

AT&T, California Creations, Citibank, Condie & Wood CPA, Echo Park United Methodist Church, Glen Oaks Escrow, Hermanos & Hermanas Unidos/as, CSUN,  National Parenting Publications Awards, Northrop Grumman, Westmount Asset Management, and Wilshire Boulevard Temple.


Volunteers from Phi Delta Theta, California State University, Northridge and Northridge United Methodist Church worked hard helping to make the event such an enjoyable experience for the families in attendance.




We thank all those who so generously donated and supported to make this event possible!

In This Issue
A Message from our Executive Director
El Nido's Annual Giving Campaign
A Snow-Filled El Nido Holiday Event!...
Meet Our New Board Member!
Parents Eat Up New Nutrition & Cooking Class
Home Depot Center & LA Galaxy Hosts Thanksgiving Feast for El Nido Families

El Nido Family Centers
10200 Sepulveda Blvd., Ste 350
Mission Hills, California 91345
818.830.3646 ext. 261

 Meet Our New Board Member Emily Burson!






El Nido Family Centers is proud to introduce our newest Board Member Emily Burson, RD.  A graduate of Pepperdine University, and a prior Board Member for the Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics at Cal State University Northridge, Ms. Burson is the founder and president of School Nutrition Plus (SNP).  SNP provides nutritious meals to over 10,000 students per day in charter schools and school districts throughout Southern California, including students in the high need communities El Nido serves. 


While Ms. Burson has a real passion for healthy food, she has an even bigger passion for giving back to the community.  Almost immedately after joing the Board, Ms. Burson and her staff presented a free Nutrition Cooking Class at El Nido's FamilySource Center in Pacoima (see below).  This is the first in a series of classes that Ms. Burson and SMP will offer for El Nido clients.


We are thrilled to have Ms. Burson join the El Nido Board.  She is enthusiastic and passionate about El Nido's mission, and her expertise in the area of health and nutrition will assist us in our on-going efforts to offer services and activities that promote our clients' nutrition, health and well-being.  Furthermore, as a successful young business owner, she serves as an excellent role model for the many young women El Nido serves.  Ms. Burson loves the challenges of running a company and encourages all women to follow their dreams.

Parents Eat Up New Nutrition & Cooking Class at Pacoima FamilySource Center




Over 30 El Nido clients participated in a free Nutrition Cooking Class at our FamilySource Center in Pacoima on Wednesday, November 14. This first class kicks off a new education series for El Nido clients. Professional chefs from El Nido Board Member Emily Burson's company School Nutrition Plus led the group in preparing a delicious healthy meal. 



Budding chefs learned healthier ways to cook their favorite meals, tips about buying and using nourishing ingredients, and meal planning. Participants also learned ways to talk to their children about diet and nutrition.



After the class, students, staff and chefs were able to enjoy a nutritious meal together and see first hand how delicious eating healthy can be.

Home Depot Center and LA Galaxy Hosts Thanksgiving Feast for El Nido Families


On November 19, The Home Depot Center and LA Galaxy Foundation hosted the 9th Annual Foundations' Feast, serving a complete Thanksgiving meal to 250 local children including families from El Nido Family Centers.


Compton Youth Development Director Saul Figueroa escorted the families from El Nido's Compton site. EL Nido has been fortunate for the last three years to have been invited to attend this special holiday feast.



LA Galaxy players Bruce Arena, Edson Buddle, Sean Franklin, Todd Dunivant, Marcelo Sarvas, A.J. DeLaGarza, Hector Jimenez and Rafael Garcia served up a full Thanksgiving buffet, including turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings. Arts, crafts and activities were also provided.