How one former resident’s life has come full circle back to Hillsides

Two weeks ago on September 11, Hillsides had the good fortune to be the recipient of Thomas Safran and Associates (TSA) annual “Big Give.”  TSA, a Los Angeles affordable housing company, raised more than $96,000 in cash and in-kind donations for Hillsides during a month-long fundraising drive of employees and the residents of TSA’s buildings.  On the day of the Big Give, 150 TSA employees beautified our Pasadena campus, landscaping and painting.  They then threw an elaborate carnival for the children.

The day was memorable in so many ways, but perhaps the most moving moments came  during a program held in the morning when a former resident of Hillsides, Jamie Steinberg, spoke.  Jamie found Hillsides through happenstance when the building where her son attends pre-school held a  trike-a-thon to raise funds for the Hillsides Big Give.  Jamie was surprised to learn that Hillsides was the recipient of the fundraiser, since she had lived here 27 years ago when she was 10 years old.  When TSA learned of this and asked if she would speak at the Big Give, Jamie was honored and thrilled at the chance to return to a place where she  had  known love and support, but had never been back to visit.

During her talk, Jamie spoke about how safe  and secure she felt at Hillsides and how Hillsides helped her find an adoptive mother. She also recalled that at Hillsides she received the very first present of her life, a stuffed animal she named Roundy.   She’s held onto Roundy  all these years, and he now has a place of honor on her son’s bed.   Jamie also  mused, “What a small world it is,”  and said how grateful she was that “now I can be part of giving back and even just for one day, give [the children] a day to not think of their problems.”   To hear Jamie’s entire Big Give talk, please click below.

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