About 450 underprivileged kids got a huge helping of holiday cheer when Miley Cyrus joined them at a Christmas party at South Coast Plaza last week.
The event, called “Sharing the Spirit,” was organized by Festival of Children Foundation, The Happiness Project, and the Young Presidents Organization in conjunction with Cyrus and her charity, Get Ur Good On.
Cyrus and her foundation are passionate about youth homelessness.
“Nearly 1.7 million people under the age of 18 will experience homelessness this year. I want to help young people raise awareness and address youth homelessness,” said Cyrus. Get Ur Good On encourages youth to support each other in their missions to do “good” in their communities.
Homeless youth, ages 3‐18, from Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Garden Grove and Santa Ana, were brought on buses to the South Coast Plaza. Eeach was matched with a volunteer who accompanied them through a variety of activities, including photos with Santa, rides on the reindeer carousel, arts and crafts, nail, hair and beauty stations, and face painting. At the end of the evening, each child received a bag full of gifts, gender and age specific for each of them.
South Coast Plaza retailers shared the spirit, too. The Microsoft Store was converted into a teen lounge equipped with video games and music. Sanrio’s Hello Kitty mascot was at the party meeting and greeting the kids. The LEGO store hosted a craft table. And many other stores participated as well.
This event was much more than a four-hour party for these children.
“The impact of this event lasts much longer than a single evening.” said Lindsay Dickhout, executive director of The Happiness Project.
“These children deserve a magical evening that they will always remember. It’s fun to watch advantaged children serve in their communities and learn about leadership and philanthropy at a young age,” ” added Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, founder of Festival of Children Foundation.