Community News

Carnival for Kids Provides Children Experiencing Homelessness Fun-Filled Day While Encouraging Health and Well-Being

by: Dan Pittman
Posted: September 20, 2021



ORANGE...Illumination Foundation is hosting Carnival for Kids for more than 200 children and families experiencing homelessness on September 26 from noon to 4:00 p.m. at La Palma Park in Anaheim. Illumination Foundation, a nonprofit organization with the mission to disrupt the cycle of homelessness, is partnering with title sponsor Guaranty Chevrolet, other corporate supporters, and community volunteers to provide this event.

Carnival for Kids features carnival rides, children’s activities, games, a petting zoo, live music, a stilt walker, juggler, magician, food, and more. Children and families will delight in participating in activity booths hosted by local companies, community organizations, and volunteers, including spin to win, visit with mermaids, and a golden ticket toy booth.


In addition to a day of entertainment, the carnival will emphasize health and wellness. Orange County Health Care Agency will administer free COVID-19 vaccines and will be supplying COVID-19 test kits. The California Health Medical Reserve Corps, an organization of medical professionals who provide communication, coordination, and logistical support to communities and public health in response to emergencies, will assist in intake and observation, do COVID-19 testing, and provide information at the event. The COVID-19 vaccines and testing kits are open to the public. CalOptima will provide educational materials and host a booth. 

Carnival for Kids sponsors include title sponsor Guaranty Chevrolet; gold sponsor Farmers & Merchants Bank; silver sponsors California Health Medical Reserve Corps, Jacqueline Dupont-Carlson and the Illumination Foundation Board of Directors, Studio Oh!; Sonny & Geeta Grover, and Bridgette & Bobby Sherman; bronze sponsors West Coast University, Hytron Manufacturing Co., Inc., and CalOptima; activity booth sponsors Nutrocore/Varisco Design Build Group Inc., Concordia, and Each One Teach One (EOTO); and in-kind sponsor Rick Campo.

Carnival for Kids provides children an opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled day that they might otherwise not have a chance to experience. It provides a break from the harsh reality that children and families experiencing homelessness face daily.

According to the 2020 Point In Time Count for the Santa Ana, Anaheim/Orange County Continuum of Care, there were 1,479 youth under age 18 and 442 households with at least one child experiencing homelessness in the region (US Department of Housing and Urban Development). Families experiencing homelessness struggle to meet their basic needs. The children are exposed to high levels of trauma, including unstable living arrangements.

“We see an intergenerational cycle of trauma playing out in our family emergency shelters,” said Illumination Foundation CEO Paul Leon. “When parents who are traumatized themselves are focused on basic survival needs, they may not be able to address the health, mental health, and developmental needs of their children. Illumination Foundation provides the support services and continuity of care to help families move forward in their journey toward stability and housing.”

Illumination Foundation’s Children and Families Program provides comprehensive, client-centered, trauma-informed supportive services, including case management, children’s developmental screening, behavioral health counseling, connections to primary care and social services, parent education, educational support and enrichment activities, and housing navigation, to help move families toward stability and into permanent housing.

Support Carnival for Kids here. You can sponsor a child to attend Carnival for Kids for $10. Proceeds from the event will go toward funding family emergency housing and supportive services. Photos:CarnivalForKids


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