A local Venice mother of five is in the process of re-establishing her life after making the difficult transition out of an abusive relationship.

To make matters more difficult, she has four kids to care for. Two of her children attend a local high school, which is normal, except for the fact that one of her high-school-aged children has special needs.

She also has two younger children, who are members at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice.

Her daughter has adapted well to the change and is a model student and a star soccer player at the club. Her youngest son is also a club member, but is having lots of difficulty with the separation from his father.

The club’s director of operations, Armando Diaz, has tracked the plight of the family throughout the past year. After speaking to the mother, Diaz knew that if he could get the family some help this holiday season it would help maintain the family’s spirit and morale, especially for the two younger children.

“By attending the club, the kids were able to open up to the staff about some of their troubles at home,” said Diaz.

“When I spoke to the mom, she said, ‘If my kids are taken care of, then everything for me is okay.’ Right away I knew this is a family that needed help,” he added.

Diaz was able to connect the family with the Salvatore Family, who showered the family with gifts, food, love and support.

“In the spirit of the holidays, we wanted to help our community,” said Marjorie Salvatore. “We also wanted our children to understand the gift of giving and sharing — which is probably the most important gift we can give to them.”

In a world that seems threatening and devoid of promise for many of our children, the Boys & Girls Club of Venice provides a tangible measure of hope to youths in Venice as well as in the surrounding communities by uniting those who dare to place service above self.

The Salvatores humbly joined many other community-based organizations, companies and individuals such as Coldwell Banker, Nike, Jamba Juice, Keller Williams, Playa Sunrise Rotary, Haight Brown & Bonesteel, Vagos Motorcycle Club, the Del Rey Yacht Club, Campbell-Ewald, Marion Bradley, Jamie Hepp, and Michael Moskowitz to share love and provide hope for dozens of families and children facing desperate circumstances.

[Erikk Aldridge is the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Venice, 2232 Lincoln Blvd. in Venice. Information on the club, www.bgcv.org]