Lumbini CDC Commissioners Kathy Ikeda, Elaine Barbod, and Elaine Harada with Lumbini alumni Heather Barbod and award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen holding his new cookbook, “At Home.” The book is one of the available auction items.

For over 40 years, Lumbini Child Development Center has supported our youngest community members as they develop into vibrant, thoughtful, creative people.

When it opened, Lumbini was the first preschool, kindergarten, and daycare program in Little Tokyo. For decades, it has offered much-needed support for working parents with extended daycare hours from 7:30 a.m. through 6 p.m. Lumbini families have formed lifelong bonds and the school has welcomed generations of families through its doors.

Even with its close-knit community, Lumbini struggled to keep its doors open since the start of the pandemic in 2020. Now, the daycare is reaching out to the community for support in raising funds for school essentials with its “Love for Lumbini” auction.

“Working families with children as young as 2 years, 6 months look to us for support,” says Director Leslie Nicho. “We’ve exhausted our resources keeping our doors open during the pandemic. This fundraiser will help us gather the supplies we need for our current and future students as we continue to navigate the changing daycare environment due to COVID-19, and keep the space safe for students, parents, and teachers.”

Many of the surrounding metro area daycares have closed under the pressure of COVID regulations. Lumbini is determined to service the community and has an open door for new students.

“We know how hard it can be to find reliable daycare that extends past the traditional hours,” says Nicho. “Our extended hours are a relief for so many families.”

The “Love for Lumbini” auction is open now through Dec. 4 on the 32 Auctions platform, offering 200 items ranging from new and vintage Japanese gifts, to collectibles, gift cards, cookbooks, and more.

“Our graduates are able to successfully transition to both public and private schools and we’ve seen many of our graduates continue to have enduring friendships. We want this fundraiser to reach as many people as possible to promote the quality of our school, generate funds to support our students and teachers, and bring new interest for student attendance. Any support is welcome,” says Nicho.


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