Gift Giving Fosters Joyful Season

SCE employees donate and deliver Christmas gifts for more than 400 foster children.
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Stories : Giving Back
Stories : Giving Back

Gift Giving Fosters Joyful Season

SCE employees donate and deliver Christmas gifts for more than 400 foster children.
Photo Credit: Elisa Ferrari and Sally Jeun

For Steve Terrazone and his wife, the holidays have been merrier the past couple years with their 3-year-old son, Dillon.

Terrazone was inspired to adopt a child of his own when McKinley Children's Center, a nonprofit based in San Dimas, visited Southern California Edison to share stories of how employee-donated gifts could brighten up the holidays for their foster children.

“I wanted to give a child a gift for the rest of their life — a good, loving, safe home. We’re really blessed to have [Dillon],” said Terrazone, an SCE groundman who continues to participate in the holiday toy drive every year.

SCE employees in Pomona get ready to load gifts to deliver to McKinley Children's Center.
SCE employees in Pomona get ready to load gifts to deliver to McKinley Children's Center.

“For many foster kids, it’s the first time they’re receiving a gift that they actually asked for so it makes a world of difference to know that someone out there cares,” said Rhonda Beltran, senior vice president of marketing and development at McKinley Children’s Center. “A lot of them don’t believe in Santa Claus or the spirit of the holidays, so this instills that into them.”

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the agency’s partnership with SCE employees at the Pomona offices and the Covina Service Center. About 225 employees bought and delivered hundreds of gifts to fulfill 326 wish lists for the foster children this holiday season.

SCE employees in Pomona and Covina donate Christmas gifts for 326 foster children at McKinley Children's Center.
SCE employees in Pomona and Covina donate Christmas gifts for 326 foster children at McKinley Children's Center.

Luis Beltran, an SCE production specialist, has two daughters so he took on four wish lists for three young girls and a teenage girl. He got makeup and clothes for the teen and educational toys and baby clothes for the younger ones.

“I actually grew up in a poor home so we’d get similar gifts from a sponsor like for this program,” said Beltran. “I never really knew where they came from until I got older, put two and two together and understood where they came from. Now it’s my part to contribute and pay it back.”

SCE groundman Aaron Crosby loads Christmas gifts to deliver to foster children at Specialized Care Foster Family Agency.
SCE groundman Aaron Crosby loads Christmas gifts to deliver to foster children at Specialized Care Foster Family Agency.

About 70 employees at SCE’s Ontario Service Center, including Terrazone, also participated in a toy drive for Specialized Care Foster Family Agency based in Rancho Cucamonga.

They fulfilled 84 wish lists for all of the foster children. The agency recently threw a Christmas party and handed out the gifts delivered by the SCE employees.

SCE employees at the Ontario Service Center donate toys to foster children at Specialized Care Foster Family Agency.
SCE employees at the Ontario Service Center donate toys to foster children at Specialized Care Foster Family Agency.

“They were very happy and excited that Santa brought so many gifts for them to unwrap at Christmas time,” said Kiran Nakai, CEO of Specialized Care Foster Family Agency. “Since we’ve partnered with Edison, we’ve been able to give much more than what we could do just on our own and the collaboration makes a really big difference in the lives of our foster children.”

SCE groundman Aaron Crosby bought a bike for the child he sponsored this year. He and his wife are currently in the process of becoming a foster family. They hope to foster and eventually adopt two siblings to add to their family of four.

“I love that our company does stuff like this,” said Crosby.