DOWNEY - True Lasting Connections (TLC) coordinator Luz Perez is on record as saying that the TLC Family Resource Center, technically an adjunct of the Downey Unified School District, relies heavily on support from the community for its viability as a program that helps especially underserved students and their families with a variety of social services.When West Middle School's Builders Club therefore recently volunteered, as one of their group projects, to do a "little" makeover of TLC's facility at the corner of Foster Road and Bellflower Boulevard (inside the Lewis Elementary School campus), TLC readily accepted the offer. Last Saturday morning and afternoon some 15 students and two West teachers, Builders Club advisor Mary Jo Enyeart and Louis Cortez, went about sprucing up the place inside and outside, including installing flower beds and a big, visitor-friendly 'Welcome' sign in front, while shredding paper, straightening out the curtains, and otherwise brightening the inside. West principal Craig Bertsch, when apprised of the project, said: "I have great folks here." Part of the story consists of the "modest" funds raised by the Builders Club and spent on the project: whatever balance was needed was donated by Lewis principal Robin Martin. Enyeart's husband also pitched in, helping Cortez with the muscle work. Perez was very appreciative of the Builders Club's gesture, saying that getting much-needed support "has lately become more challenging due to the economic crisis." The TLC Family Resource Center provides free services to DUSD uninsured and underinsured children and their families in the following areas: medical services, vision and dental care, parental education, food and clothing, counseling, enrollment in low-cost health insurance, support groups, and referral services to outside agencies. The nonprofit organization, quoting its prospectus, "exists solely on charitable contributions and foundation grants." Contributions are tax deductible. The center celebrates its 10th anniversary next year. "It was time [for a makeover]," said Perez.
********** Published: May 8, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 3