Orange County Family Justice Center Foundation adopts 61 families for Christmas

By Lou Ponsi

The way Scott Frisbie sees it, every child deserves to have a happy Christmas, especially those whose families have been impacted by domestic violence.

That’s why Frisbie, who owns McDonald’s restaurants in Orange County, donated plenty of food for the Adopt-A-Family event hosted by the Orange County Family Justice Center Foundation on Friday, Dec. 16 in Anaheim.

The foundation serves as the fundraising arm for the Orange County Family Justice Center, which is made up of a law enforcement component that targets abusers and a component that provides resources to families and individuals who’ve been victimized.

Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada encourages Robert Turcios, 8, left, and his brother Michael Turcios, 10, who told him they want to become police officers when they get older, as families father for OCFJC’s Adopt A Family event. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada encourages Robert Turcios, 8, left, and his brother Michael, 10, who told him they want to become police officers when they get older.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

The foundation also hosts programs throughout the county for children and adults who are victims or at risk of becoming a victim or abuser.

“As soon as we found out about the mission of the center, we wanted to help,” said Frisbie, who also adopted a few families and provided them with toys and all the goodies they’d need to insure a happy Christmas. “My kids are at home looking at their Christmas tree without a care in the world. But so many people aren’t as fortunate.”

Families filtered in and out of the center’s auditorium throughout the afternoon picking up bags of gifts. Kids were kept busy making Christmas crafts.

Families get a chance to meet Santa during the OCFJC Adopt A Family gathering. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Families get a chance to meet Santa during the OCFJC Adopt-A-Family event.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

The highlight, of course, was a visit and photo op with Santa Claus.

Police cadets even provided transportation to families who had no way to get to the center to pick up their gifts.

The event has been held for at least eight years.

“It warms my heart,” said Anaheim PD Lt. Willie Triplett, commander of the justice center’s law enforcement unit. “This is a perfect example of how the police department comes together with community organizations to help those in need.”

Jocelyn Noriega, 5, has her mother put on the arts and craft reindeer glasses she made as her family gathered for the OCFJC Adopt A Family event. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Jocelyn Noriega, 5, has her mother put on reindeer glasses she made.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Sixty-one families were adopted this year, translating to 264 people, said Tracy Theodore, executive director of the foundation.

A significant number of families were adopted by the Orange County Helping Hands Foundation, which provides food, clothing and other necessities to needy families.

“This is our biggest event of the year,” said Patty Lehmus, of Helping Hands. “Just being able to come and watch these families get their gifts … it reminds you of what Christmas is about.”

Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Lt. James Kazakos of the APD gets into the spirit. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Jennifer Noriega, 11, left, and her sister Nayeli Noriega, 12, smile as they talk about the Christmas gifts they received, including the plush teddy bear and dog, during the OCFJC Adopt A Family event. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Jennifer Noriega (left), 11, left, and her sister Nayeli, 12, smile as they talk about the Christmas gifts they received.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada talks to a young boy as families gather for OCFJC’s Adopt A Family event. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada talks to a young boy as families gather for the OCFJC’s Adopt-A-Family event.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Ten-month-old Mason Phillips finds a warm shoulder on Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada. Mason’s mother from Helping Hands Orange County was on hand to visit families they helped during the OCFJC Adopt A Family event. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Mason Phillips, 10 months, finds a warm shoulder on Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada. Mason’s mother from Helping Hands Orange County was on hand to visit families they helped during the OCFJC Adopt-A-Family event.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Anaheim PD Officer Bill Segletes helps out taking family photos during OCFJC’s Adopt A Family gathering. Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Anaheim PD Officer Bill Segletes helps out taking family photos.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC