It All Started With A Dream Of 3 People


This year marks the 40th anniversary of Promises2Kids, originally founded in 1981 as the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation. Promises2Kids is a community leader, providing support to children, who due to abuse are removed from their homes and placed into foster care.

It all started with a simple wish – ensure children are safe, happy and loved. Three remarkable local San Diegans took that dream and transformed it into an organization that has supported over 200,000 abused and neglected children in our community. Norma Hirsh, Renée Comeau, and Robert K. Butterfield started this 40 years ago and proved that anyone can make a difference!

Norma Hirsh volunteered at the Hillcrest Receiving Home, which was old, overcrowded and as she described, not warm and comforting to children who had just experienced severe trauma. She felt that children who had already experienced the unimaginable, deserved a safe haven. ¬Norma, Renée and Rob set a path to better the lives of children in foster care and from this common goal, a unique public/private partnership was created. Together, with the County of San Diego and many individual supporters, Promises2Kids built the A. B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center – an emergency shelter for abused and neglected children. To date, the Center has cared for over 60,000 children.

Over the years, Promises2Kids has been at the forefront of foster care related issues, leading efforts including collaboratively building San Pasqual Academy, the creation of one centralized Child Abuse Hotline, training and coordinating first responders on responding with child abuse cases, reuniting siblings separated in foster care, and providing education support for current and former foster youth.

Promises2Kids annually provides over 3,000 current and former foster youth in San Diego County with the tools, opportunities, and guidance they need to address the circumstances that brought them into foster care, overcome the difficulties of their past, and grow into healthy, happy and successful adults. Current programs include: Camp Connect, Guardian Scholars, Foster Funds and the A.B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center.

The mission of Promises2Kids is to create a brighter future for foster children. This would not be possible without the passion and dedication of three kindhearted and philanthropic community leaders who took a stand 40 years ago and did what had to be done. Thank you to Norma, Renée and Rob for all that they have done, and continue to do for foster children. Today, they continue as Founder Emeritus Members of the Board. Their endless and overwhelming support has truly made a difference!

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Esteban Villanueva