She’s a sweet mama’s girl with the spirit of a warrior

Let me introduce you to Gabriella She’s a sweet mama’s girl with the spirit of a warrior. When at just 18-months old, little Gabriella first became sick, the pediatricians thought it was just a bug. But, Mama knew deep down in her heart that something was wrong. After multiple visits to the doctor, the devastating …

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My first day at Mardan, I remember literally crying on my way there, wanting to go anywhere else.

Mardan School is a small non-profit, state-certified school for children Kindergarten through 12th grade struggling with mild to moderate social-emotional, learning, and/or behavioral challenges. At Mardan School, our structured and supported environment allows children who have had difficulties in other school settings learn the tools and strategies that will help them experience success. What constitutes …

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Meet Sierra. She’s been a student at Speech & Language Development Center since 2013

Sierra has been a student at SLDC since 2013. She is currently in our High School program. Sierra was diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome at birth. CHARGE is an extremely complex syndrome. Sierra spent the first 5 months of her life in the NICU where she underwent 2 open heart surgeries. Sierra has hearing and vision …

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Teens and Families

Teens and families come to Laurel House in a state of crisis. Our teens’ parents are often struggling with their own serious issues, preventing them from providing healthy family dynamics. Sadly, these teens often cope with the chaos at home by turning to drugs and alcohol, running away, or skipping school. Here at Laurel House, …

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“You Feel the Love” ( A longtime volunteer embraces the magic of Camp. )

Magic. Silliness. Fun. Empowerment. Those are the ingredients of The Painted Turtle as described by Vicky Nguyen⁠, who has been a volunteer since the moment Camp opened its gates in 2004. She has also been a supporter in countless other ways, including participating in the ambassador program and running in the LA Marathon to benefit …

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A Heroes Holiday – A Story from Gregg Russell

For many years, we have decorated the Hero House in Sea Pines for our visiting Christmas families. This past year, our Hero family experienced a Christmas holiday they will never forget. Please enjoy the words of a grateful Mom….. “Some weeks ago, while sitting in the hospital waiting for my son to complete yet another …

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Magical Music for Special Kids – A Story from Kamari

John Beltzer, Founder of Songs of Love: I’m doing what I love and doing it for a good purpose. That is trying to bring a smile to the face of a child. I like to write a lot of different songs. I’ve been writing songs since I’ve been 16 and back in February of 1996 …

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Life can change in an instant

I wrote those words eight years ago soon after my infant son, Noah, and our whole family received care at the end of Noah’s life at George Mark Children’s House. One day I was the parent of two healthy thriving children, four year old Sofia and her almost four month old brother, Noah. The next …

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We would like you to meet Shub

We would like you to meet Shub. He is a happy and busy six year old who has been coming to George Mark Children’s House for respite care since he was three years old. Can you imagine packing your three year old son for an overnight stay without you? Now, also imagine that your son, …

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GSF Foundation Makes Back to School Brighter

Each year, GSF Foundation’s Back (Pack) to School Initiative helps thousands of children start the school year on the right track. Now in its eleventh year, the program provides backpacks filled with essential school supplies to first-grade students in U.S. communities where associates from Golden State Foods (GSF) and its family of companies work and …

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