A Downey woman who spent her life mothering children who had no one else to turn to was on the receiving end of a tremendous gift on Wednesday.
Alena Strickland fostered more than 200 children over the years, many of them with mental, emotional and physical disabilities.
It all began 27 years ago, when Strickland’s infant daughter, Jamie, was hospitalized.
At the hospital, Strickland saw an abandoned baby that was terminally ill. Strickland arraigned to take the infant home so the child would not have to die alone.
Strickland, who has three biological children, adopted 14 of her foster children.
On Wednesday, Strickland received a $50,000 award from “5-hour ENERGY Helps Amazing People.”
Strickland said she planned to use the money to start an elementary school at the Dream Center in Los Angeles for homeless children in the area.
Jim Nash contributed to this story.