The following photo and words are from a survivor of crime, courtesy of the Orange County nonprofit Crime Survivors, Inc.:
"I am BLESSED, thanks to God and a grateful person for simply waking up. ... Crime Survivors is an organization that has become like family. ... Christmas will be great for my kids this year. ... Last Christmas, I could barely balance my body and think straight. Thanks to God with such great little helpers that, thanks to Crime Survivors, will have a fabulous Christmas.
"I'm a survivor of attempted murder. ... The holidays are overwhelming but I'm alive--That's What Matters."
Besides our own families, we often think of the less fortunate during the holidays. But other than an immediate family member who survived a horrific crime, I don't recall ever directing holiday well wishes to the thousands of other survivors of crime who live among us. Shame on me for that.
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Fortunately, there is an Orange County nonprofit, Crime Survivors, Inc., that is here to advocate for such folks and, in the case of this Sunday afternoon in Fountain Valley, present a event that will make the holidays brighter for them.
More than 500 survivors of crime are expected to attend the Elf's Holly Day from 1-4 p.m. Sunday in the party rooms at Boomers, 16800 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley. Families and survivors who have been rocked by murder, attempted murder, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse and human trafficking will be treated to lunch, entertainment and hopeful healing. The highlight will be the distribution of toys for children at 2 p.m., followed by Christmas meal baskets for families to take home for the holidays.
"We care and want to empower all victims of crime with hopeful healing and strengthening them to celebrate the holiday and to survive and thrive," explains Crime Survivors, Inc. in their event announcement. Visit www.crimesurvivors.org to learn more about this wonderful organization.