News | Youth Moving On


St Edmund’s Nursery School Donates 270 Backpacks to Hillsides
Photo caption:  Left to right: Stephanie Lopez, Hillsides community resources coordinator; St. Edmund’s nursery school moms Jamie Zapata, Judy Kim, Jenny Kaw; and Liz Westphal, the director of St. Edmund’s nursery school.

LOS ANGELES, May 28, 2019 – St. Edmund’s Nursery School in San Marino has donated 270 backpacks filled with school supplies to Hillsides, a Southern California foster care and mental health charity.  Three nursery school mothers, Jenny Kaw, Jamie Zapata, and Judy Kim, who is also a Hillsides board member, set up a wishing tree at the nursery school where parents, staff, and St. Edmund’s parishioners could donate toward backpacks, raising $6,000. The three bought the backpacks and supplies, and then the nursery school students assembled them.

Hillsides will use the backpacks to support the children and families the agency serves, many of whom are in need of school supplies for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.

“We are so grateful to St. Edmund’s Nursery School and to the three moms who organized the drive,” said Hillsides Community Resources Senior Director Laura Kelso.  “Due to their efforts, 270 children who would have gone back to school without supplies now have all of the tools for academic success. We especially love the idea that the preschoolers themselves were involved in the drive, as it teaches children at a young age to give back.”

During an all-school assembly at the nursery school Stephanie Lopez, Hillsides community resources coordinator, explained to the students that not all children can afford backpacks and school supplies.  Next, the children formed an assembly line to fill the backpacks, guided by parent helpers. The backpacks were then stored in boxes with the homemade label that read: “Donated and packed with love from St. Edmund’s Nursery School.”

Each summer Hillsides launches a back-to-school backpack drive to serve the children in foster care and children in need that Hillsides serves. For the 2019-2020 school year, Hillsides hopes to supply 600 students with backpacks. Those who are interested in donating to the 2019-20202 school year backpack drive, can visit


Hillsides, with its affiliate Bienvenidos, is dedicated to healing children and young adults, strengthening families, and transforming communities through quality comprehensive services and advocacy. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the agency serves nearly 17,000 children and families in Southern California throughout more than 40 sites, including school-based mental health offices in Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Baldwin Park. Foster care and adoptions services are offered in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. To learn more about Hillsides, please visit Visit Hillsides on Facebook @hillsideschildren, on Twitter @Hillsides, or on Instagram @HillsidesPasadena.


Alison Bell 

Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and functioning of vulnerable children, youth, and their families. >
We offer community-based programs and services providing parenting classes, mental health support, and crucial resources for vulnerable children and families throughout Los Angeles County. >
Education Center, a therapeutic residential and day school, offers individualized education for students with social-emotional, learning and/or behavior challenges for children in kindergarten. >

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