Today I made a donation to Hillcrest…

Today I made a donation to Hillcrest, as part of the Annual Fund giving campaign, that is sizable for my budget as a single/divorced mom of two, and I want to tell you why. I donated to Hillcrest because I love and trust Hillcrest This has long been the case – from first tour of the facility when our daughter, Ida Luna, was an infant, and the warm sun was streaming in through the curtains of the infant room while Mua and Anna gently talked us through what her days would be like, and we felt so at peace, to baby Rio’s early days in Ms. Reneé’s room and Ida’s transition to the large preschool room, where I pick her up and she’s so engrossed in make-believe or art that she doesn’t want to leave.

But this loyalty to Hillcrest, this trust in them, feels especially poignant now after the earthquake. I can’t presume to know all the reasons why my children are doing relatively fine after that frightening experience and as we roll through the aftershocks, but I suspect is has something to do with the calm, caring, responsive way that the Hillcrest staff handled it. The fact that Ida could describe to me the hugs she received and the stories she read, the fact that I knew right away by text that my kids were safe, the fact that Rio was held and comforted afterward, this all sets my heart at ease, and I believe made a tremendous difference for my children. It makes sense that it would: it’s in line with the way that Hillcrest focuses on social-emotional learning, on attunement and attachment, on the importance of creating a sense of safety and tools for emotional self-control for children so that they can be free to learn. It’s in line with the “feelings buddies” and the peace corner and the emotional literacy lessons in preschool, the caretaking of babies that my 2-year-old gets to engage in. These are the things I love about Hillcrest – that I can drop my kids off early enough to get in a full day of work, and know that they are using that time to engage in play and learning with caring, attentive adults (and bonus points when Ida comes home teaching me new phrases in Samoan and Spanish that she learned from her teachers)!

In order to maintain the things we love about Hillcrest, the Board has launched a new Annual Fund giving campaign to benefit our childcare center. The Board works hard to keep tuition low, and we need additional funds in order to keep up with maintenance on our aging building, as well as provide rewards for staff members.

Hillcrest’s goal to raise $15,000 before the end of the calendar year.

Funds raised will go toward:
•A holiday bonus for teachers and staff members;
•New classroom and hallway flooring;
•A building maintenance reserve fund.

Hillcrest needs your help. I hope you’ll consider making a meaningful gift to Hillcrest in the next three
months. You can make your donation by credit card at Hillcrest or via Paypal at the bottom of this email, or by dropping an additional check. You can also alert Christina to a pledge, who can add it to your monthly childcare
statement. Your gift is tax deductible and Hillcrest will provide you with a receipt. We also welcome introductions to friends, neighbors, and other giving programs who may be interested in supporting Hillcrest, as an investment in healthy early childhood development for our community and our working families.

There are many good causes in Anchorage that deserve our charitable dollars—this is one that will benefit all our children, as well as future generations of Hillcrest kids, and the community in Anchorage needing high-quality childcare. Thank you for considering a gift this year!


Laura Norton-Cruz (Ida Luna and Rio’s mama)

Mr Gabe, a Hillcrest alumni and current staff, reading to a group of children.

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