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Finding a faith in humanity

SOCIAL CAUSES

Posted: July 13, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 13, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Dana Abel. Josh Premako / Courtesy photo

 

It was the contribution of a stranger, passed along to Dana Abel and her family at Christmas via the Single Mothers Outreach adopt-a-family program, that did nothing short of instilling in her a faith in humanity that guides her to this day.

“I remember we were so poor,” said Dana, who was 8 when her parents divorced, leaving her mother to raise Dana and her two brothers, then 10 and 2. “We didn’t get Christmas presents one year, and it was really sad for us kids because we didn’t understand why.”

Things took a turn for the better when her mom found Single Mothers Outreach.

“We would go to their social events, and I met kids who were going through the same thing,” she said. “It helped me understand what I was going through and why. Single Mothers Outreach helped us a lot when we were younger.”

In the years since, Dana’s mother remarried and earned promotions at work.

“She spoils us now,” said Dana, 24, who’s nearing completion of her communications degree while working for the city of Santa Clarita on programs benefiting youth — including a special event she coordinated for single moms and their kids, as well as the drug prevention program Drug Free Youth in Town in conjunction with the Hart School District.

What does Dana remembers most about SMO? It was the year her mother brought home adopt-a-family Christmas presents. It was a gift that outlasted whatever was in the packages.

“I’ll never forget my mom telling me: ‘These aren’t from Santa; these aren’t from me. These are from this charity that gave these to you guys,” Dana said. “To think that there were other people out there who were worried if a random kid they didn’t even know got a Christmas present — it made me believe there were still good people out there.”

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