Yes, Virginia Grants Make Holiday Bright for 2,500 Local Children

Santa poses with an African American family at a local holiday party hosted by CHAP Care in Pasadena. A family enjoys a visit with Santa Claus at CHAP Care’s 2022 holiday party.

For the 28th consecutive year, Pasadena Community Foundation (PCF) has helped bring holiday magic to 12 Pasadena-area nonprofit organizations with funding through its Yes, Virginia Grant Program. The grants will help 2,500 local children receive holiday gifts or participate in seasonal experiences at each recipient agency.

In 1897, Frank Church, editor of The New York Sun, responded to eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote to the newspaper to ask, “Is there a Santa Claus?” More than a century later, it remains the most reprinted editorial ever to run in any newspaper in the United States. In 1994, the story inspired PCF supporters to establish the Yes, Virginia Fund to help local nonprofits elevate the holiday season for underserved children.

In 2019, after 25 years of dedicated fundraising and community support, the Yes, Virginia Fund reached its endowment goal of $500k, ensuring that it will continue to support holiday grants to local nonprofit agencies every year for decades to come.

A mother holds a grocery gift card while surrounded by her three children who have just received toys at a local toy giveaway.
The Yes, Virginia grant helped Chap Care purchase toys to give away at the Holiday Cheer Event on December 14, 2022.

2022 Celebrations

PCF is grateful for the Pasadena community’s long-time support of this heart-warming grant program. Despite three years of pandemic-related hardships, honoring Virginia’s storied hope and maintaining the magic of Santa continues to be an important goal for staff members at local nonprofits. Yes, Virginia Grants helped make that happen at 12 local sites, including:

Door of Hope – The Winter Family Fun Festival was held at Summerkids Camp in Altadena complete with real snow and a sledding hill. 100 families and 175 children enjoyed craft activities, carolers, snacks, and story time with Mrs. Claus; Children received toy gifts and parents received a store gift card.

Community Health Alliance of Pasadena (ChapCare) – The Annual Holiday Cheer Event on December 14 welcomed pediatric patients and their families to the Lincoln Health Clinic for a toy giveaway at Santa’s North Pole and a festive outdoor celebration.

Families Forward Learning Center – Santa Claus visited the center on December 15 to personally hand out gifts for each child in the program during a festive party complete with performances and treats.

A child smiles as he sits in Santa's lap after receiving a gift.
The Yes, Virginia grant helped Santa hand out gifts to each child client at Families Forward Learning Center 2022 Holiday Party.

Boys & Girls Club Pasadena – The annual Holiday Party was held at all four Club sites serving approximately 450 members and their siblings. Activities included gift giving, carnival games, cookie decorating, games, and meet-and-greets with favorite holiday characters.

Harambee Ministries –The Harambee Christmas Shop helps families do some shopping for holiday gifts for their children, ages newborn to 18, complete with gift wrapping supplies.

A mother holds her child tightly and laughs as they sled down a hill of snow.
Door of Hope’s Winter Family Fun Festival featured sledding on real snow.

2022 Yes, Virginia Grantee Organizations

Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena
Community Health Alliance of Pasadena
Door of Hope
Elizabeth House
Families Forward Learning Center
Flintridge Center
Friends Outside in LA County
Harambee Ministries
Impact House
Pasadena Altadena Community Endowment Fund (PACEF) – The LINKS
Pasadena Altadena Coalition of Transformative Leaders (PACTL)
Treasure Little Children Foundation