Las Candelas Wraps up 2022 with Grants to Local Non-Profits

Las Candelas, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to give volunteer service and financial assistance to help improve the lives of children in vulnerable situations, ended 2022 by distributing substantial checks to Ascencia, YWCA Glendale and Pasadena, Hillsides Youth Moving On and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Center.

Funds distributed to Ascencia, a comprehensive homeless services provider, will be used for art therapy programs for the children both in emergency housing at its shelter and in its permanent supportive housing programs. Las Candelas also regularly provides evening meals and breakfast items for the clients at Ascencia. Accepting the check for Ascencia was Laura Duncan, CEO.

In December, Las Candelas President Rosina Maize presented YWCA Glendale and Pasadena CEO Tara Peterson with a grant to help women and children who are staying in its domestic violence shelters. Funds have been used to enhance play equipment for the children at the shelters and to provide assistance to mothers who need to return to the work world. The funds are also used to send local adolescent girls in grades six through nine to Camp Rosie where activities focus on STEAM education, arts and culture, life skills, healthy relationships and leadership.

Las Candelas members Debbie Hinckley, Karen Swan and Cathy Keen attended the Didi Hirsch holiday party on Friday, Dec. 16 for its clients held at the Didi Hirsch facility on Colorado Street in Glendale. The DH staff put together cookie decorating kits complete with homemade sugar cookies and all the decorating equipment needed. Each child also received an age-appropriate and fully stuffed gift bag. The Las Candelas ladies were pleased to present the funds to help with this holiday event. The grant also helps with expenses for the Didi Hirsch Summer Summit for teens that focuses on positive thinking and suicide prevention. Accepting the donation on behalf of Didi Hirsch was Heather Sardella, lead clinical supervisor for the Glendale Child and Family Division.

Hillsides Youth Moving On in Pasadena provides a safe haven for young men and women who are no longer in the foster care system but cannot yet afford to live independently. YMO helps find affordable housing for the young adults and offers job training, money management training and counseling to help with their transition from foster care. Its office provides a place where the young people who are on the streets can take a shower, do laundry and find healthy food until suitable housing is located. Las Candelas presented a grant to Carrie Espinoza, chief officer – Advancement of YMO, in October to help these transitional young adults.

Las Candelas also provides hands-on volunteer service and regular programs to the clients at Sycamores in Altadena and Hillsides in Pasadena. To learn more about Las Candelas, visit its website at