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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Westside Children's Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Child Day Care, Children & Youth, Family Services, Foster Care, Human Services

Mission: All children need a childhood. We bring together and strengthen families, cultivating conditions for children to succeed in life.

Target demographics: at-risk children and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,645 individuals (children and families)

Geographic areas served: Los Angeles

Programs: high-quality early education, comprehensive child welfare services, and foster care and adoption.

Community Stories

58 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering here is fun and they let high school students help out with the children for their community service hours.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a wonderful organization! Had the pleasure of volunteering at the art festival in October. So much fun and so great to see the smiles on all of the kids faces. Hope to have our group volunteer again soon.

VKS1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with WCC for about 9 years and am so proud to be affiliated with such an organization. The children served are so fortunate to have a loving pre-school and incredible social services available to their families, even as the children age out of the pre-school. Whenever I offer to volunteer, I find the children so happy, the teachers so capable and loving, and the administration working hard to make this non--profit run like a business cradled in compassion. Along with many of my friends, I have helped in many activities, including helping to create a library, redoing a faculty lounge, assisting with mailings, special events, holiday wrapping, and many other activities that contribute to making WCC a very special place. This organization "gets it." They have their goals in line with the needs of this community.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's been about 8 years that I have been volunteering in different ways at Westside Children's Center. I have always walked in and felt the wonderful, nurturing environment the staff and faculty have created at the pre-school site for the children. The facility itself is modern, beautiful, and child-centered. The artwork that you see as you walk around the campus is done by the children; likewise, the fruits and vegetables grown on site are planted, picked, and eaten by the children. Frankly, I can't imagine a more wonderful way for these kids to spend their days. I have seen changes throughout these years, and they are all positive. This is reflected in the very professional and personable current staff, as well as in how they have managed difficult times with mandated state budget cuts and delays which come with little warning at times. When I have worked in the offices with the administrative staff, I can clearly see the many support groups available and working for and with the families. There is a keen intent to help all the children, from pre-school through the teen years. I would love to see many more centers modeled after this one, and I am so grateful to have connected with this organization and brought many friends to volunteer alongside me.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When you volunteer, it makes all the difference to SEE the tangible, positive results of your work. The beauty is in the details of Westside Childrens Center. It's so satisfying to be part of a highly dedicated, efficiently run, idealistic & practical organization that works tirelessly to weave a safety net of high quality services that keeps families at risk from falling off the deep end - into abuse, crime, violence , alienation & poor education. WCC HELPS KEEP OUR COMMUNITY STRONG & HEALTHY. Just go to the Center and see lives changing for the better - gives me goose bumps every time.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I began volunteering at WCC in 1995, and I have been on the Board of Directors since 1998. I am so proud to be involved in such a phenomenal and much-needed organization. People often think that there isn't as much poverty or need on the west side of Los Angeles, but within blocks of WCC is a Federal housing project and two public schools where nearly all the kids qualify for public assistance. WCC has been serving our community with consistent, high-quality care and by responding to the changing needs of the children and families we serve. We offer a wide range of services.....from foster care and adoption, to early care and education, to prevention and facilitated health services. If you aren't familiar with WCC, schedule a time with our development office, to take a tour and see us in action. We are looking for interested and giving people who want to make a difference in the lives of children and families!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our journey to becoming a family began when we decided to explore adoption, and a friend recommended WCC. Although it wasn't the route we were planning, it was definitely the path for us. We became certified foster parents, and started our family when our Godson came to stay with us. He was to be reunified with his birth parents, and we were very apprehensive about the process initially. Turns out that his birth parents also became part of our family, and we were confident in his return to them, that was where he was meant to be. WCC managed this process with all the compassion that was humanly possible and made our family stronger.

The second child placed with us is our daughter, and she came to us as a foster child in need of a permanent home. The process was lengthy, but the benefit of fostering was that she was with us while we were waiting for the paperwork to be completed. The Adoption Day at the Family Court was amazing, and the celebration we had later with our friends and family was incredibly special.

Now it's 13 years later. Our Godson and his Mom are doing very well. We keep in touch often, and try to see each other when we're able, since we now live in different cities. Our daughter is preparing to graduate from high school in June, and will be off to college in the fall.

We define family as a group of people who love each other unconditionally. And WCC was the perfect organization for us to work with, as their program, and support helped us to bring our group of people together for a lifetime.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My experience with WCC started by attending an orientation about how to become a Foster/Adoptive parent. From that initial meeting I knew this was the agency for me. The staff were well knowledgable and welcomed me in a warm and compassionate manner. I am also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, but more someone desiring to adopt a child. I began my journey in 2011 and have successfully adopted my daughter as of October 2013. The road was rough, but with the loving and caring support from the staff at WCC, I was able to overcome challenges, losses and obstacles faced along the way. I am forever grateful to WCC for helping fulfill my dream of becoming a mom.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I would have to echo what my fellow volunteers have said about the Westside Childrens' Center being a well-run institution that is making a positive impact on peoples' lives. As a retired teacher from a nearby high school, I have run into a number of former students who are either being served by the Center or who are now employed there. They have told me how happy they are to be associated with the Center. I am proud of the volunteer projects that I have participated in and always feel that my time there is well-spent.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WCC knows that "it takes a village" to raise a child and provide optimal support to a family. How wise they are to welcome adults as well as students from elementary, middle, high school and college to partner with them to build a healthier tomorrow for their families. My children and I have been enriched by our meaningful volunteer hours at WCC's child care center for over a decade. Additionally, we have been pleased to know that both our financial and in-kind donations are put to thoughtful use by the center. Simply call their Volunteer Coordinator and ask, "How can I help?"

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I run the community service program at a high school in the area and we are so lucky to have the opportunity to connect with the WCC and to bring our students to the center to volunteer. We have several student developed service projects that have been launched at the center and their willingness to collaborate and help our students learn more as we find ways to support the needs of the center and their clients has been remarkable!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so grateful to have been introduced to Westside Children's Center 8 years ago. I've helped out in many different capacities ~~ at community events and fundraisers, helping with mailings and serving food. My experience interacting with not only the faculty/staff, but also with the children and their families, has been positive. The children/families are happy and cared for in a great environment and the administration and staff are hard working, dedicated individuals giving their best. I'm proud to be associated with them!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering in the Garden at the Westside Children’s Center for about two years. I help the children plant seeds, tend the soil, water the plants, harvest the fruits and vegetables and even help with the composting. The children arrive with huge smiles ready to work and get dirty. We always provide a lesson in the garden related to the planting process. The children are able to experience the plant growth cycle from seed to harvest. They are able to eat what they grow and even take some home to share with their families. The pride and joy the children feel is tremendous. It is a very nurturing and loving environment. In the garden the children express their passion for learning about the earth.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Westside Children's Center is a wonderful place! My 12-year-old daughter has been volunteering there for two years, and it is one of her favorite things to do. She loves working with the children when she volunteers, whether it is playing on the playground or reading in the classroom. She also enjoys helping out the staff, whom she says are always kind and thoughtful. WCC has always been very accommodating when coordinating my daughter's volunteer days, and everyone I have met and interacted with has been helpful, appreciative and professional. The facility is beautiful and is a great learning environment for the children. I am so glad my daughter found WCC, and I hope she continues to volunteer there for many years to come!

Margaret43

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My 11-year-old daughter visited the WCC with her 5th grade class last spring and asked me to sign her up to volunteer right away. She put in more than 70 hours during the summer and had such a positive experience that she says she wants to be a teacher. Mastering her responsibilities, overcoming challenges, and winning the trust and respect of the WCC teachers and students helped build her confidence. She still adores the kids she got to know and the warm, loving, committed teachers who were able to train and support her very affectionately while running a busy classroom. She plans to go back every day she has off from school. We feel very grateful that the WCC has such a positive relationship with her elementary school and that this program is available to her! It has been a life-changing experience!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering at WCC several years ago. From the very beginning, I was moved by the dedication of those who went way beyond their pay grade just to make things work. But what really captivated me were the good humor and smiles on those faces who dealt with delays, financial constraints and the daily challenges of preparing the children for a promising future.

The change in just the past few years has been nothing short of miraculous. They now have a library for the children, a new lounge where staff can rest or work in comfortable surroundings. They have cultivated a delightful hands-on garden for the little ones.

I guess it's the cheerful vibes that I feel whenever I show up for volunteering that makes me know that their positive energy is surely touching all who enter their loving world.

Graciela S.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

I had been working with them for more than 10 years. I am a Child Care Provider and my experience, in the beginning was good, then they had problems to pay us for more than 3 months sometimes and they never pay us on time.
They are not serious in their work, and we never know what to expect form them.
We don't have yet a copy of the contract that we signed last year.
I am still working with them because I have some children from their program for a long time.