The Holidays from the Heart Program serves Children's Hospital Los Angeles families who are financially unable to provide for themselves and their children during the holiday season.
Having a chronically ill child has a tremendous impact emotionally and financially on the entire family. Holidays from the Heart acknowledges that burden by helping families have a holiday celebration that they will remember. Hospital social workers identify patient families who live in the same home and thus are impacted by caring for an ill child.
It is our goal to provide families with lasting memories and gifts that will improve their lives.
For questions about the program, please contact:
Gifts for Patient Families
Holidays from the Heart gift lists are personalized and developed based on specific individual and family needs.
We encourage sponsors to focus on purchasing gifts that increase families' autonomy by promoting literacy, activity, creativity, self-sufficiency and health. Great gift choices include tools that help with organization and time management, such as day planners, watches, pagers and pre-paid phone cards. Additional gift ideas include items that assist with specific trades or household tasks, such as sewing machines or tool kits.
Social workers survey families to determine their specific needs. We encourage sponsors to adopt an entire family so that they can meet all their needs.
Sponsor a Family
Holidays from the Heart offers different ways for sponsors to help families in need. We encourage sponsors to choose giving options that work best for their personal availability, time and resources.
To request a family to sponsor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please indicate the number of families you wish to sponsor, the size of families you wish to sponsor and any other special requests, such as location. Please also include your contact information, including email address and phone number.
The various methods for sponsorship are listed below.
Since we fulfill holiday wishes for over 300 families, we need all the help we can get! There are many volunteer opportunities for donors, as well as high school and college students who want to do something rewarding over winter break. Volunteer options are listed below:
To sign up to volunteer, please email email@example.com. Please include your contact information, including phone number, and information about your availability.
Testimonials by Sponsors
"If you want to do something that will make a difference in people's lives and in your own life, then this is the program for you. I find the more I give, the more I get back." - Program Volunteer
"When you get the list of people in the family you are sponsoring, and you go out and shop for them, you get so invested in that family. You have your imagination about what the family is like and the joy that they are going to feel in receiving these items. You really feel like you carry this family around with you for how ever many weeks you are working on obtaining their items." - Program Director
"I think it is a unique program because it teaches children to think about another child. Not an imaginary child, but a real child with a name, an age, an address and a wish. And while we can't make the sick child well, we can do something." - Program Sponsor
"For the patients, this program brightens their day. It is tough to be sick and even tougher to be in the hospital all of the time. It makes them smile, not just because they are getting gifts for the holiday, but because they know that their family will be taken care of, too." - Volunteer/Sponsor
"One year when my daughters delivered gifts to a family, the father had an injured leg and was on a makeshift crutch, and I believe the child in this case was dying. As my girls were leaving, he stopped them and said, "Just one minute". He took a tablespoon and went to his backyard and dug up a rose bush and put it in a coffee can for them to take as a gift. We planted that rose bush in our front walk, and we pass it every day. It is a reminder to me of human goodness." - Program Sponsor
"I think that this program helps families tremendously. When you are in the hospital it costs a lot of money. Not just for the hospital bills, but feeding your family, and transportation and loss of work. When you have a child that is sick, it is hard to ask for things. It is great to know that people care, and that they will reach out to help."- Program Sponsor
"The Holidays from the Heart program is an unbelievable demonstration of the generosity and caring nature of people." - Program Volunteer
Holidays from the Heart began in 1993 with the sponsorship of two families whose children were undergoing bone marrow transplants. Since then, the program has grown to include over 300 families (1,600 individuals). Patients from virtually all of the hospital's specialty and outreach programs are invited to participate in this special program.
A Special Sponsorship
This webpage is dedicated to the Zolla family for their incredible efforts and contributions to the program since its inception. Over the years, three generations of Zolla family members have worked to provide families in need with gifts for the holiday seasons.
In 2005, Ed Zolla helped sponsor over 50 families in our program. After Ed's passing, his family is continuing on with the tradition of touching the lives of so many. Holidays from the Heart would like to thank the Zollas for their tremendous contribution. Their passion and philanthropy embodies the very best of this wonderful program.