Community asked to remember the kids

Casa Pacifica promotes Dove Wishes project

Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families is hosting its annual holiday campaign to ensure that this season is a time of joy and celebration for the children it serves rather than stress and loneliness for Ventura County’s most vulnerable.

The Dove Wishes project provides the community with the opportunity to guarantee a festive experience to kids and families by donating money or gifts to Casa Pacifica, a nonprofit provider of children’s and adolescents’ mental health services.

“By participating in our Dove Wishes program, the community can help kids and families feel valued and special and ensure Casa Pacifica delivers a warm and wonderful holiday experience at a critical time,” Chief Development Officer Carrie Hughes said in a statement.

In 2023, the campaign granted wishes for more than 500 children and families.

Hughes said the event is especially important this year because of a nationwide youth mental health crisis.

This winter, each child on Casa Pacifica’s campus is able to wish for five presents: three needs, such as clothes or hygiene products, and two wants, such as electronics or makeup.

Communications Manager Roya Alt told the Acorn it is important that the children, who can often be overlooked during the holidays, are able to choose their own gifts rather than receive what a stranger happens to purchase.

“We like to leave that decision to them,” she told the Acorn. “It’s their preference and things that interest them, and I think it makes them feel seen and heard that they get to choose.”

Each wish is written on a dove ornament with the child’s name, age and gender, and the people who fulfill the wish can drop off the unwrapped gift at 1722 S. Lewis Road in Camarillo with the dove attached.

Residents can also host a donation drive, adopt a family, buy items through Amazon or Target registries, or make a financial contribution to the nonprofit that supports a child’s needs year-round.

To learn more about Casa Pacifica’s Dove Wishes campaign, go to casapacificakidswishes.org, email wishes@casapacifica.org or call (877) 445-WISH (9474).

Makena Huey