FONTANA, Calif., July 27, 2020
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) joined with Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) on July 26 for a special LADF Community Drive-Thru presented by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, a food distribution event for people with disabilities and their families in honor of the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the landmark civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities.
LADF assisted a total of 500 people—including 55 Easterseals families--many with disabilities, and their families by hosting a special Drive-Thru Day at the Dodger’s universally accessible Dodgers Dreamfield at Jack Bulik Park in Fontana. Local families who receive early education, child care and family support services from ESSC’s Child Development Centers in the Inland Empire, each received two hearty boxes from Vesta Foods, a donating sponsor of the Dodgers Drive-Thru program, one filled with fresh fruit/veggies and one with dairy—two of the items cited by food banks as most needed commodities. Additionally, families were provided with other items sorely needed during the current pandemic, including masks, hand sanitizer, wipes, diapers and socks.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, LADF established its Community Drive-Thru Series and through their relief efforts will provide 356,280 meals and $953,000 worth of food, water, hygiene necessities and Dodger products, including boxes of essentials picked up in a drive-thru setting in the communities of the families they serve. These events assist local, underserved families impacted by the pandemic, who also participate in their Dodgers RBI programs and their nonprofit partners. The Jack Bulik Park event is a special drive-thru distribution day LADF created to specifically support area Easterseals’ families and other non-profit groups.
The Dodgers Dreamfield in Fontana’s Bulik Park is a safe place to play for youth of all abilities. ESSC is among the partners who supported construction of the Dodgers Dreamfield, which opened in 2019. About 18 percent of children—approx. 3,000 living in the Fontana area—have a disability or chronic condition and families are often faced with barriers to sports participation.
About the Americans with Disabilities Act: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which became law in 1990, is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation and all public and private places open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else, providing protections similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications.
“We are grateful to our partners at the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation for supporting Easterseals and the people we serve. This event was all the more meaningful since it was held on the actual 30th anniversary date of the ADA, at a fully accessible baseball field,” said Mark Whitley, president & CEO, ESSC. “It shines a light on the progress our world is making on the path to full inclusion of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of society, while assisting people heavily impacted by COVID-19 to receive much needed nutritional support.”
About Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation: ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is bigger than baseball with ambitions to be the city’s premier charity. We envision a city where everyone regardless of zip code has the opportunity to thrive. We are tackling the most pressing problems facing Los Angeles with a mission to improve education, health care, homelessness and social justice for all Angelenos. Since 1995, we have invested more than $30 million in programs and grants to nonprofits, and fundraising has increased by 1,000% since 2012. That growth has enabled us to do more.
About Easterseals Southern California: For more than 100 years, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for people and families living with developmental disabilities or other special needs. The services provided by Easterseals Southern California (ESSC)—in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties—make profound and positive differences in people's lives every day, helping them address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals so that they can live, learn, work and play in our communities. With nearly 3,000 employees, 60+ service sites and hundreds of community partnership locations, each year ESSC assists more than 13,000 people, providing adult/senior day services; autism therapy; child development/early education; employment services; veteran employment support; independent living options; and more.
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