GTK-South-Coast-PlazaSouth Coast Plaza

Sandy Segerstrom Daniels is not only an owner of one of the nation’s most successful shopping destinations, South Coast Plaza, she is also the Founder of Festival of Children Foundation, a nonprofit organization that serves to support children’s charities all across the nation, with nearly a dozen of them located right here in San Diego.

This September will mark the 13th annual Festival of Children® at South Coast Plaza. Throughout September, South Coast Plaza will showcase over 75 children’s charities while offering free activities and events for families to enjoy every weekend in September. Part of the month long Festival of Children is Canstruction Orange County, featuring 16 enormous, fun structures made entirely out of canned food displayed throughout the shopping center and at the end of September, all the cans (over 60,000 total!) are donated to the Orange County Food Bank.

September also recognizes National Child Awareness Month, an initiative spearheaded by Festival of Children Foundation to raise awareness about children’s issues, and to encourage the nation’s youth to take action. Festival of Children Foundation’s collaboration with YSA (Youth Service America), a Washington, D.C. based organization, has grown into a nationwide Youth Ambassadors Program in honor of National Child Awareness Month. Service minded youth, ages 16-22 are invited to craft campaigns that address specific, demonstrated child welfare issues in their communities, such as access to affordable healthcare, the drop-out crisis or child safety laws.

San Diego-based member organizations of Festival of Children Foundation include Angel Faces, the Tony Hawk Foundation, Lamb’s Players Theatre, Kiwanis Club of Greater Encinitas, Kids’ Turn San Diego, Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation, Oak Grove Institute Foundation, Inc., Vista Community Clinic, Promises 2 Kids and the International Bipolar Foundation. “We are excited about our new partnership with Festival of Children Foundation and look forward to educating and supporting children and their families living with bipolar disorder,” says Ashley Jacobs, Director of Operations for International Bipolar Foundation, a San Diego nonprofit whose mission is to improve understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder through research; to promote care and support resources for individuals and caregivers; and to erase stigma through education.

“We collaborate with organizations of all shapes and sizes, accessing resources, sharing knowledge, focusing efforts and ultimately working together to improve the lives of children,” Sandy Segerstrom Daniels tells Giving Back Magazine.