The Children’s Lifesaving Foundation was founded in 1993 by Maria D’Angelo, after she had been volunteering at a homeless shelter in Central Los Angeles. She began by bringing children to get necessary physicals and minor surgeries, and soon began organizing field trips to amusement parks and local attractions.

Dr. Chris Landon introduced her to the National Park Service in 1993, and with a great group of like-minded friends and volunteers (including some amazing members of the Agape International Spiritual Institute) she helped refurbish the Circle X Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains. In the summer of 1993, she brought up the first group of seven children. Our Summer Camp Enrichment Program was born. By 1994, the CLF was serving over 2,200 youth and families from various homeless shelters and agencies serving at-risk youth annually. We also began finding financial sponsors to move specific families out of homeless shelters, and into their own homes. These families formed a group called the Adopt-A-Family Program, and, later, formed a program called the Vita Network.

Programs began to organically spring up from the work needing to be done: Project Angel Wings Holiday Program was formed to provide personalized bags of gifts, new clothing, and incredible events for low-income LA county students. Later, our Care through College Program was created to help academically prepare the youth in our Vita Network for high school, and to provide crucial scholarships for college.

Today, we have served over 75,000 at-risk youth and homeless families through our various programs.

We are currently focusing upon making our Camp for All Program accessible to even more and more Los Angeles youth and families, and we hope to build our own facility within the next five years…Please watch the video about our Founder, Maria D’Angelo, to learn more about the CLF.

Thank you for your interest in our work!

Recognition of CLF’s Impact & that of its Founder, Maria D’Angelo:

  • 2018~Rosie York “Mother of the Year” Award awarded to CLF Founder Maria D’Angelo by The Malibu Times

  • 2015-Community Heroes Award-LA Dodgers--awarded to CLF Founder & President- Maria D'Angelo

  • 2015-Video"Heroes Among Us” -People Magazine: https://youtu.be/FGTFKKha0-Q

  • 2013-One of Ten L’Oreal Paris USA- WOMEN OF WORTH--given to CLF Founder & President- Maria D'Angelo

  • 2013-”Heroes Among Us” -People Magazine, March 4th, 2013 Issue-re: CLF Founder & President- Maria D'Angelo

  • Steve Harvey Show-aired May 22nd, 2013- CLF Founder & President Maria D’Angelo appeared & received the Harvey’s Heroes Award

  • Jane Seymour’s Open Heart Award-April 2013--given to CLF Founder & President- Maria D'Angelo

  • March 2013-CNN.com’s Impact Your World Page

  • 2007-Certificate of Recognition for “Outstanding Services Provided to LA Youth” to the CLF by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

  • 2005- Local Hero Award-Bank of America Foundation--given to CLF Founder & President- Maria D'Angelo

  • 2003, 2004 & 2005 & 2006-Top 100 National “Volvo For Life Hero” Awards--given to CLF Founder & President- Maria D'Angelo

  • KADY Televisions’ “Spirit of Excellence” Award

  • Certificate of Appreciation from Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn–“For Enriching the Education of the children of Los Angeles, fostering their self-expression, expanding their experience of community, and providing valuable interactions with caring adults.”

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. “Spirit of the Dream” Award-House of Blues

  • Malibu City Citizen of the Year--given to CLF Founder & President- Maria D'Angelo

  • First Recipient of the Agape International Spiritual Center’s Service Leadership Award

  • The Malibu Times “Dolphin of the Year” Award for Outstanding Social Service-given to CLF Founder & President- Maria D'Angelo