Each year, the brokers and agents of Surterre Properties choose a non-profit entity for their annual holiday toy drive. I was delighted to hear the news this week that they chose an entity close to my heart, the Illumination Foundation.

While more than 400 Surterre personnel will be quickly gathering new unwrapped toys and gift card donations for Illumination Foundation’s fast-approaching Holiday Carnival for children, they encourage everyone in the community to pitch in, too.

One Unwrapped New Toy Will Make a Child’s Day
Donation “stations” for the holiday toy drive are already in place at each of the Surterre offices (North Laguna Beach, Monarch Beach Newport Beach at Fashion Island, San Clemente and Tustin).

While you’re out shopping for the upcoming holiday, please keep this Toy Drive in mind. The Holiday Carnival deadline for toys is December 3rd and, of course, any toys or gift cards dropped by next Monday will be most appreciated. Surterre, though, will continue to accept toys for Illumination Foundation through the season.

More than 32,000 Homeless Kids in The O.C.
IF homeless child at carnivalSince July 2008, Illumination Foundation has worked tirelessly to break the cycle of homelessness for Southern California’s most vulnerable populations. In Orange County, over 32,000 children are either homeless or unstably housed, meaning that they’re living in cars and hotel rooms with their parents or guardians.

The two founders of Illumination Foundation, Paul Cho and Paul Leon, had no intention of beginning a non-profit organization when they first met in their master’s program at UCI. But, once they saw firsthand how many families with small children were actually homeless, they decided to do something about it.

Permanent Housing, Support and Recuperative Care
Illumination Foundation focuses on providing permanent housing along with a full-circle provision of support and services, from rehabilitation and mental health support to work services, career counseling, year-round tutoring and safe harbor after-school programs for children and more.

Illumination Foundation (IF) is also the country’s leader in establishing recuperative care centers for homeless individuals who have been discharged from emergency rooms and hospital beds and have nowhere to heal and recover. And, now IF is in partnership with Children’s Hospital (CHOC) to create the country’s first recuperative care center for children.

Illumination Foundation is also the creator behind the immensely popular OC Chef’s Table (OCChefsTable.com), which recruits O.C’s most highly acclaimed chefs who prepare their favorite recipes tableside for lucky patrons. Last year’s gala raised $1 million for the CHOC/IF recuperative care plan! This year, I’ve been involved in interviewing all the 42 chefs who will be participating in next year’s March 2019 Chef’s Table, and what a treat it’s been! You can find information and their fun interviews under “Latest News” here: https://occhefstable.com/media-press/

Let’s give these children something to smile about and help Surterre Properties with its goal to collect 250 new toys in its holiday toy drive! To learn more about Illumination Foundation, go to IFHomeless.org