From Crisis Shelter Resident To CaretakerPosted: Updated:
Unfortunately, Casa de los Niños is having a tough year with Wish Tree donations.
But take a look at what a difference those gifts really make, through the eyes of a young woman who lived at the shelter as a girl.
Casa de los Niños rescues kids in abusive and neglectful homes, helping them through the most difficult time of their childhood.
Caregiver Cienna Corleu knows this as well as anyone.
“I had to grow up at a young age, because I was taking care of my younger sisters and stuff, because I was physically abused and emotionally as well,” she says.
Cienna was taken in at Casa de los Ninos at 11 years old after she made the call herself to authorities. Her time here was a turning point in her life.
“Didn't have to worry about being abused and neglected. And there was always food on the table. Just helped me a lot,” she says.
And thanks to the public's donations to the Holiday Wish Tree, Cienna was able to wear new clothes during her stay. That's especially important as many kids staying here come with just the clothes on their back.
“I think it's important because it helps with self esteem issues. When a child looks good, they feel better about themselves. They're able to go on with their day a little better. And I know I was.”
Now at 20 years old, Cienna is giving back.
“It's hard for a child that's abused to bond, normally. But I felt a big connection with the people who are here because they helped me out a lot.”
As a caregiver at Casa, she is forming bonds with the children.
And she wants everyone to know the true value of a helping hand.
“They're always in need of something. You can't donate too much.”
Again, any donations can be dropped off at Macy’s, Casa de los Ninos or here at Fox 11.