Santa Pays an Early Visit to Families In Need



For Immediate Release Contact:
Melissa Sheehan Clarkson
(310) 546 0021

MANHATTAN BEACH, CA — November 17, 2014 — According to a recent USDA report, the poverty rate is higher in Los Angeles than in any other major American city. The percentage of people living below the poverty line in Los Angeles County has climbed to a staggering 19.1% and continues to rise. More than 37% of families either make poverty level wages or have at least one parent who is unemployed. One in four children in Los Angeles deals with hunger on a daily basis. Food shortages are significantly higher among women raising children alone. Melissa’s Mutt Hutt (“MMH”), a Manhattan Beach based pet services business, is doing something to change that along with their non-profit organization, The Sheehan Adopt-A-Family Project (SAF), is doing something to change that.

MMH will work again this year with Viking Charities and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) Adopt-A-Family Program to provide low-income families with food, clothing and toys this holiday season. Most of the families are single income earners with two or more children living on less than $13,000 a year – well below the poverty line.

On December 8, 2014 from 11am-2:30pm, MMH, Viking Charities and the Los Angeles DPSS Adopt-A-Family Program will host a catered holiday party for hundreds of disadvantaged children at the Alpine Village, located at 833 W. Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90502. The party will feature lunch, a choir, 10 toys for each child, a DJ and a visit from Santa Claus.

On December 21, 2014 8am-11am, MMH, SAF along with The Vikings Charities and 300 members of the LA Sheriff’s department will gather at the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Municipal airport to assemble and deliver packages of food, clothing and toys to local families in need.

DONATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! For suggested donations, please see the “Adopt-A-Family Wish List” at Target and Toys R Us. Items such as gift cards, clothing, new toys and monetary donations are also appreciated. If you would like to make a charitable 501(c)(3) contribution, please mail donations to: The Sheehan Adopt a Family Project at 1590 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite D 360, Manhattan Beach, CA 90404 or email to make arrangements. You can also donate online at All contributions are a 100% charitable 501(c)(3) deduction.


VOLUNTEER DRIVERS NEEDED! On Saturday, December 8, 2014 from 11:00am to 2:30pm PST, volunteer drivers are needed to help transport families to and from the holiday party at the Alpine Village.

Volunteer drivers are also needed to prepare and deliver food and gift packages to families on Saturday, December 20 and Sunday, December 21st from 8:00am to 10:30am PST at the Barker Hanger at the Santa Monica Municipal airport, located at 3223 Donald Douglas Loop South, Santa Monica, CA 90405. If you would like to volunteer as a driver, please contact

The Vikings: Since 1950, the Vikings have raised millions for charity with a focus on bringing happiness into the lives of physically challenged and disadvantaged children. Today, the Vikings are over 400-members strong in the State of California as a non-profit 501c organization and the Southland’s leading charity for disadvantaged children. Giving more than $5 million to children’s causes, they – in conjunction with the L.A. Sheriff’s Department – will distribute more than 1,500 food baskets to needy families in Los Angeles.

Through the generosity and contributions of individuals, groups and organizations, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) Adopt-A-Family Program makes a significant difference for local needy families and children during the holidays.

A native of Los Angeles, Melissa Sheehan Clarkson is the founder and ‘Top Dog’ at Melissa’s Mutt Hutt, a leading provider of pet nanny services in Los Angeles for over a decade. Melissa grew up volunteering for local No Kill animal shelters and rescue groups. By matching her love of animals with her entrepreneurial spirit, Clarkson and her team of 36 have cared for more than 30,000 animals in the Los Angeles area since the company was founded in 2004. MMH is a member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, has been featured on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel and has been recognized for the past 10 years as one of the best Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Companies in Los Angeles and the South Bay. For more information, please contact Melissa Sheehan Clarkson at (310) 546 0021 or at

Melissa has been running and expanding her own tiny charity for 4 years, The Sheehan Adopt-A-Family Project which aims to supply AT LEAST 25 families (150 people) each year through the Department of Public Social Services with food, clothes and toys to help celebrate the holidays. She “adopts” single mom’s living in shelters or those that have medical disabilities, but are actively working on bettering their lives. NINE of our families this year are living in domestic battered shelters in Los Angeles You can visit Facebook page at and our Gofundme page at A widow at 30, Melissa left Wall Street to move back to her home area of L.A. to run her own business taking care of animals. She is a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor and despite continued severe health issues has no intention of slowing down her giving back to her home community every year at the holidays.

The Sheehan Adopt-A-Family Project started out 4 years ago, with the goal of “adopting” 1 DPSS family, but through the support and generosity of our donors, we have been able to expand each year to 25 families (about 150 people). Please see our Facebook page for more details at: and be sure to follow us on Twitter @MelissasMHCS (

To download a copy of the Press Release please click here (.PDF)

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