Maria’s Story

Maria came to Home Start during the pandemic because her family got sick with Covid-19. Due to the pandemic, she lost her job and her husband’s work hours got reduced. She was struggling financially, due to not having enough money for food or transportation.

Through Home Start Communities in Action Program, Maria was able to receive food and transportation support in order to help stabilize her financial situation. She also received personal hygiene products for her family.

In Fall of 2022, Maria’s children received backpacks for the start of the school year through Home Start’s Annual Backpack Drive and also participated in the annual Toy Drive event. She was grateful to be able to receive gifts for her children, especially after the tough couple of years they had experienced.

More recently, Maria has taken part in Home Start’s Financial Literacy Services. She received assistance in advertising her entrepreneurial skills. By the end of her participation in the program, Maria’s financial situation had improved, and she was enrolled in Home Start's Match Savings program where she was able to build her emergency fund.

As a successful client in many Home Start programs, Maria was invited to the Resident Leadership Academy Program (RLA) where she learned to become a leader in the community. She is currently volunteering her time on a project at an elementary school to bring in health and wellness information to the parents and children through the RLA program.

We are so proud of Maria and clients like her who have made significant changes in their own lives with the helping hands of Home Start’s staff and community partners.

Your support helps young parents like Maria build brighter futures for themselves and their children. See how you can get involved below.

Attend an Event

Blue Ribbon Gala and Hallo-Wine

Home Start hosts two major fundraising events each year:

The Blue Ribbon Gala

The Blue Ribbon Gala is San Diego’s premier fundraiser for child abuse prevention held in April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This event raises critical dollars for Home Start to serve our community’s most vulnerable children, families, and individuals.

National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. Through this collaboration prevention services and supports help protect children and produce thriving families.

We invite you to come and be a part of it! Tickets for the 2023 Blue Ribbon Gala are on sale now!


The Hallo-Wine Fall Festival is held every October in recognition of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. All proceeds raised provide critical assistance to San Diego’s most vulnerable children and families through Home Start's programs. Each day, Home Start staff serve the community in an effort to prevent child abuse and ensure the safety of San Diego's most vulnerable children and families. Every child deserves healthy development and a thriving family.

This event offers local vendors the opportunity to share their products with Home Start donors by providing samples to our 250-300 guests. Guest tickets include unlimited food and wine samples, games and activities, access to amazing silent auction packages, live music, and the opportunity to hear from a Home Start client.

If you are interested in vendor opportunities, please contact RaeLynn Fuson ( to learn more.


How can you help families in need?

Home Start is in the community working to strengthen families every day. You can change the life of a child and help stop the cycle of abuse and neglect through a variety of volunteer opportunities.

We have several types of volunteers at Home Start:

  • Board & Committee opportunities.
  • One-time, occasional, and ongoing volunteer opportunities for individuals across a wide variety of projects and interests, from admin help to garden projects, sorting Thrift Boutique donations to providing tax assistance.
  • Opportunities for groups to help with annual events, outreach, beautification, and more.
  • Internships for BA, MSW & Psy.D. students currently enrolled in accredited 2- or 4- year college or graduate level programs receiving course credit.
  • Some court-ordered volunteer service.

Home Start values dedicated and reliable volunteers across our organization. Please read below for current needs or email our Volunteer Program Coordinator, Manasi Watts, at to find the right volunteer opportunity for you!

See our current volunteer needs here.


Home Start’s Support for Vulnerable Children and Families

San Diego’s most vulnerable children and families depend on the generosity of supporters like you. You can make a difference in their lives by donating to Home Start. Your gift helps us continue to:

  • Manage our housing programs to keep our clients sheltered
  • Distribute critical resources like food and hygiene items
  • Provide safe therapy practices and child-abuse prevention curriculum in person and via telemedicine

Home Start needs this crucial funding now to maintain our essential services, and keep our clients safe and protected. Thank you for your generous support of Home Start’s life-changing programs.

You can make a one-time gift here or become a Home Start Hero monthly donor here.

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