Girl takes homelessness to heart

Jaelyn Sagen

There are so many ills and evils that lurk in this life, as we know it. For the human race, despite all our technological skill, it is still a dire, “dog eat dog” existence in which only the strong survive.

The true miracle seems to occur when the strong and healthy among us reach out with a random act of kindness.

Six-year-old Jaelyn Sagen had never imagined that there are people—even in the Sun Region—who have no place to call home.

A sweet, sensitive girl, Jaelyn was shocked to learn that there are homeless people in Los Alamitos. Her little heart was stirred, but not shaken as she resolved not to stand idly by while such a thing was occurring in our midst.

“This was hard for her to understand at first,” said Jaelyn’s mother Janelle Sagen. “But once it sank in it literally broke her heart.  She asked me if she could do a lemonade stand to help buy people homes in our community.

On a recent Monday, Jaelyn made signs, and she and her mother hung them in their neighborhood.

“Jaelyn helped me draft an e-mail that we sent to about 300 people,” her mother said. “We dragged a table out and chairs and she stayed there for close to four hours selling lemonade and cookies to who ever stopped by.”

Jaelyn also collected additional donations from all of the friends and family that came by to visit.

“When we were done she had raised $350,” he mother said.

Jaelyn donated all of the money she raised to the We Care charity of Los Alamitos on a recent day after school.

We Care’s mission is to do its best to keep families within the community safely housed. It provides a comprehensive, seamless range of services that begin by preventing homelessness whenever possible.

According to its Web site, We Care’s vision is to identify and understand how to properly administer the basic services needed to prevent homelessness. It provides the under privileged and the poorest members of society with the financial support they need to prevent them from losing their home.

We Care of Los Alamitos is a family support center sponsored by local churches, community groups, corporations and concerned citizens. It serves families residing in the areas of Northwest Orange County including the cities of Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Rossmoor, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Cypress and Stanton.

We Care is a non-profit organization that pools the resources of the community to meet the emergency needs of families and individuals such as rental assistance, utility assistance, DMV fees, food, personal care items, clothes and more.

“I’m so proud of her and hope she will also inspire other kids to get out there and do the same in their communities and neighborhoods,” her mother said.