Promises2Kids celebrates 40th anniversary

Promises2Kids co-founders Norma Hirsh, Renée Comeau and Robert K. Butterfield
Promises2Kids co-founders Norma Hirsh, Renée Comeau and Robert K. Butterfield


Promises2Kids, originally founded in 1981 as the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. 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 to better provide foster children with the tools, services and opportunities they need to succeed today.

In 1981, Norma Hirsh, Renée Comeau and Robert K. Butterfield proved that anyone can make a difference. It started with a simple dream -- to ensure children are safe, happy and loved. They took that dream and transformed it into an organization that has supported well over 200,000 abused and neglected children in the community.

Norma Hirsh volunteered at the Hillcrest Receiving Home. It 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. Hirsh, Comeau and Butterfield 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.

“Looking back at all of the accomplishments over the past 40 years is incredible. Our founders transformed the way we provide care for the many foster youth in our community today,” said Tonya Torosian, CEO of Promises2Kids. “While a lot has been accomplished, there’s still so much to be done and the community’s support during these times plays a strong role for the many youth in need.”

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.

To learn more about Promises2Kids, or to make a donation, visit — News release