Donations Needed for Foothill Unity Center Back-to-School Program

Press Release posted 8/10/12 – “When a cute little nine year old girl comes up to you, smiling from ear to ear, and tells you “This is the best day of my whole life — EVER’, and she can hardly wait until school starts — you know that you have made a difference in that child’s life!” So says Betty McWilliams, Executive Director of Foothill Unity Center. Inc.

The Center will be preparing 2,000 children at its 14th Annual Back-to-School event at Santa Anita Park on Thursday, August 16. The families that come to Foothill Unity Center for food assistance do not have the funds to furnish their children with the items they need to return to school. Consequently, pre- registered K-12 grade students from qualified low-income families in Altadena, Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bradbury, Duarte, Irwindale, Monrovia, Pasadena, Sierra Madre and South Pasadena will be attending this event and receiving backpacks, school supplies, clothes uniforms, socks, underwear, haircuts, as well as eye and dental exams.

Event Chair Kathy Valentine has determined that “it takes us about $50 to prepare a child for school, which is minimal because of our loyal supporters.” Monetary donations, however, are still needed as the number of children continues to climb.

The entire community shares in this annual effort, with more than 400 volunteers from businesses, schools and community groups, that all have our heartfelt thanks for their participation. We want to give special thanks to our major contributors as well, including: Capital Source Bank, Pasadena Independent Schools Foundation, Marshalls/TJX Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Tzu Chi Foundation, Vons Foundation, Wells Fargo and Xerox Corporation. In addition, we are extremely grateful to our community partners who make this event possible, including: Santa Anita Park for use of its facilities; Citrus College Cosmetology Department for helping with haircuts and manicures; USC School of Dentistry for providing dental check-ups: Western University School of Optometry for furnishing vision screenings: Paint N’Play for art activities, Monrovia Reads for new books; and many, many more.

Checks may be mailed to: Foothill Unity Center, 415 West Chestnut Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016. For further information on Back-to-School Distribution needs and volunteer opportunities, call the Footliill Unity Center in Monrovia at (626) 358-3486, in Pasadena at (626) 584-7420, or view our website at

Foothill Unity Center. Inc.. is a multi-service agency that is the primary provider of food, shelter, transportation, referrals, case management, and now a variety of health services to low-income and homeless families in the community. During the last four years the Center has seen its client-base more than double, from 1,371 unduplicated families in 2007, to 4,302 unduplicated families in 2011, as a result of the current economic downturn. Indeed, last year the Center furnished a total of 59,537 client services, including 35,454 food orders to 12,117 unduplicatcd individuals; provided children and adults with 2,124 health services that included access and referrals to medical, dental and vision care in partnership with community providers: referred 1,873 individuals and families for emergency services to more than 100 community partners for help with transportation, temporary shelter and employment: furnished 1,855 families with Thanksgiving and Holiday food boxes, distributed toys, and clothes to 2,828 children for the Holidays: and assisted both individuals and families with keeping their pets by helping with food and other needed pet supplies. For more information on the Center please call (626) 358-3486.