With more than 400 students and family members in attendance, Sen. Holly J. Mitchell on Saturday presented free laptops and scooters to 150 at-risk children during a carnival that keyed on fun – but really was part of her years-long effort to engage children to stay mentally, physically and nutritionally active.
“For far too kids, especially at-risk children, spending a summer off from school is when they become inactive and fall behind on reading as well as eating healthy; on writing as well as riding around; and often end up sitting idle instead of stimulating their minds,” Mitchell said. “This is a way to help these kids and their families play games and have fun, as well as benefit from free medical screenings, donated books and even lunch.”
Dubbed “Christmas in July,” the event has been hosted by Mitchell, a Los Angeles Democrat, annually since 2011 to brighten the lives of at-risk children. They are provided free dental and nutritional screenings, and bask in ‘fun zones’ where children and their families can learn about education, the environment and literacy by rock climbing, sumo wrestling, playing in an inflated ‘bounce house’ and visiting onsite health, science and literacy labs to help raise awareness on subjects like healthy eating and financial literacy.
Among the highlights was Mitchell presenting 150 donated laptops and scooters to 150 at-risk youths aged 7-12, invited to the event based on nominations by local schools and social agencies.
“At-risk youths deserve summer fun, engaging activities and the types of learning opportunities and encouragement needed to excel,” Mitchell said about an event held on a beautiful, sun-splashed day on the McCarthy Quad at the USC campus. “Christmas in July says: ‘We care year round.’ ”
This event was made possible due to the generous donations from the following local sponsors: Disney; County of Los Angeles; American Beverage Association; USC; Wells Fargo; Farmers Insurance; Intuit; Upscale; Community Partners; AEG; Alta Med; AT&T; California American Water; CHLA; CVS; IBEW Local 11; Kaiser; LA Care; Water Replenishment District; NBCUniversal; SEIU 721; SEIU 2015; St. John’s; State Farm; Toyota; US Bank; Walmart; Paramount Pictures; Sunrun; Local 871; Avery Dennison; Enterprise; GRACE; Google; Green Dot; Servicon; Molina; SoCal Gas; Zenith; Warner Bros.; HBO; 2nd Call.
“We are pleased to be participating in Senator Mitchell’s Christmas in July event. This is one of my favorite events of the year. I get to see all the smiling faces and as a company I see the important role we play in the community to make a difference, ” said Linda Russell, Wells Fargo South Coast Region Area President.