Providing an opportunity for every person
to help children heal, learn and thrive.

Support Scholarships: The John and Karen Neiuber Scholarship Fund

Imagine, if you will, that you are 18 years of age and your parents tell you that you that you are on your own and you will no longer receive any support from them, emotionally or financially. How many of you were ready to go out on your own at 18 without a supportive family?

Sobering, isn’t it? That was the case for foster children until the passage of the Federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. Today, foster children may remain in care through the age of 21. And there are efforts afoot to extend that to age 24.

Only about 3% of foster care alumni graduate from college. Foster youth are eligible for tuition assistance at California State Universities and Community Colleges; however, as we all know, tuition is not the only expense associated with attending college.

That is why wife Karen and I contribute to the John and Karen Neiuber Scholarship Fund through the Children’s Foundation of America. Each year, a $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a deserving foster youth in our name that helps them defray costs such as room and board, transportation, technology, and other living expenses.

Through the various scholarship funds at the Children’s Foundation of America, a total of $55,000 is awarded annually to former foster youth on the road to independence. Join us in supporting this worthy endeavor.

Donate Now

 

Children’s Foundation of America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


John NeiuberChairman of the Board
John is the former CEO of the Children’s Foundation of America and Trinity Youth Services. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from CSUSB. He is a veteran and received the Army Commendation Medal. John was a teacher, union president, assistant principal, principal, and district office administrator in the public schools, and a management and leadership consultant to public agencies and private industry. John was recognized by the Center for Entrepreneurship as the winner of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016. He is an active volunteer in his community, having served on city and county commissions. He is currently the President of the Board of Trinity Youth Services and writes a monthly history column for the local newspaper.

Jenss

Tea with Jenss Mills: ‘Caring For Those in the Margins and the Underserved is a Heart-Growing Experience’

Jenss

Jenss Mills is an associate professor in counseling psychology at a local university and has been a supporter of the Children’s Foundation of America (CFA) the past few years.

Aside from her professional work, Jenss is a cat mom and cat advocate volunteering as a foster coordinator at Priceless Pets animal rescue in Claremont, CA. Using social media (@jensserys.4.kittehs), Jenss aims to share about fostering felines, her cat family, with occasional pictures of humans, and her community involvement. “I also advocate for trap-neuter-release programs to help with managing the overpopulation of outdoor community cats and feral cats,” she says.

Her hobbies include teaching classes at local gyms. “I get my endorphins from MMA, kickboxing, core strength, and light weight lifting,” she says. And in her free time, Jenss is a part-time actress appearing on various gameshows, commercials, television shows, and as a stand-in for celebrities on film sets.

She also enjoys supporting various nonprofit organizations in the community. When asked what it means to Be the Difference, Jenss points to Philippians 2:3-4. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Jenss attended our ChariTea Fundraiser in May 2022, having both an affinity for afternoon tea and helping out local nonprofit efforts.

“I loved hearing the stories regarding how people got involved with the Children’s Foundation of America, some families’ successful foster stories, and meeting new friends with similar interests,” she says. “I really enjoyed Victoria Derksen’s scones! They were crumbly, not too sweet, and the perfect accompaniment to tea!”

Jenss Cat Sunglasses

What struck Jenss the most was learning “just the sheer need for foster families and homes in our local area! Fostering can change the life of a child and the lives of the foster family members as well!” Her key takeaway was “community and charity beget more community and generosity.”

Jenss says she would attend the ChariTea again and appreciates that the proceeds go to CFA. “There’s a lot of fun activities during the tea time as well, including speeches and messages from CFA staff, a keynote speaker, a silent auction, and really amazing costumes and hats,” she says.

Jenss first got involved with the Children’s Foundation of America when CFA Action Hero, Jacqueline Legazcue, invited her to virtual workshops she was hosting. These workshops included creating handmade cards of encouragement for foster children’s care packages.

“Jackie made the option of giving back to the community possible by hosting virtual workshops during the pandemic,” Jenss says. “Caring for those in the margins and the underserved is a heart-growing experience.”

Jenss with friends

Jenss noted she appreciates CFA’s goal to “identify and accesses resources to support foster care, adoption, residential treatment, mental health and community-based programs of the highest quality, so that children in need or who have been the victims of trauma, abuse, neglect or abandonment may lead healthy, productive lives.”

As a psychologist, Jenss understands the importance of providing the necessary resources to support youth in need. “Children who have experienced these negative traumas in their early development often have problematic concerns when they enter adulthood,” Jenss says. “Foster families have the power to provide a corrective healing and relational experience to these children whose odds have been stacked against them. Even having one caring adult or mentor can forever change a child’s trajectory for the better and give them the hope for healthy and productive future relationships.”

If you would like to get involved and Be the Difference for children in need, visit our Get Involved page to sign up to volunteer or donate. Keep an eye on our Events page to stay up to date on our upcoming fundraising events. The next ChariTea Fundraiser will be held on May 6, 2023 at the Garner House in Claremont.


Jenelle Phillips, Director of Development
Jenelle oversees the day-to-day operations and staffing of the Foundation, which includes event planning, volunteer coordination, community outreach, marketing and donor relations. Above all, Jenelle’s focus is to identify and access resources in order to help children heal, learn and thrive. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University Fullerton and is very involved in the community. She is active in her church and owns an art gallery. Her volunteer contributions to the community have been recognized by Senator Portantino, Assemblymember Holden and the Claremont Village Marketing Group.

 

Photography by Jacqueline Legazcue

itsakatierose

Tea with Katie Rose: ‘It is Important For Everyone, Children Especially, to Have a Support System’

itsakatierose

Known for her signature pink hair, vintage/bohemian/goth style (depending on the day), and her love of Disney and Sailor Moon, Katie Rose is a self-proclaimed “tender soul lost in the expanse of a lonely sea with whimsical romantic vibes.” Katie (@itsakatierose) is a social influencer with nearly 90k Instagram followers and resides in Southern California with her husband, Mark, and their precious pooch, Bogart. A believer in using her platform to raise awareness for marginalized communities, Katie does not hesitate to re-share important information or the personal perspectives of others.

We were so grateful Katie decided to attend the Children’s Foundation of America’s first-annual ChariTea Fundraiser in May 2022 to support children in need during National Foster Care Month. Katie donned a princess-like pink puff sleeve dress by Selkie, pearl accessories, sheer mid-length gloves, and Alice in Wonderland teacup heeled shoes by UK brand, Irregular Choice.

Alice in Wonderland Heels by Irregular ChoiceIt doesn’t take much Instagram sleuthing to see she is a big fan of tea. “I love tea parties because of the socializing,” Katie said. “You get to put down your phone and really interact with others.”

She enjoyed the “jampacked” smoked salmon sandwiches from Cutting Edge Catering along with the blueberry herbal selection provided by Summit Tea. “It was a perfect combo!”

“The ambiance was so welcoming! The venue was beautiful with old trees and so much greenery! The tea set up was so unique with magical looking flower arrangements at every table,” Katie said. “I loved how everyone was dressed to impress! And some were even color-coordinated! So many lovely hats too! I really loved how the tea cups at the tables were all different. It gave an Alice in Wonderland feel.” However, Katie’s favorite part of the event was the people.

“I loved meeting so many amazing women that do so much for our community,” she said. “It was really moving.” She also enjoyed learning about CFA’s programs and the support offered to children affected by abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

Katie Rose in Selkie

“I learned that CFA has many programs to help support children that include mental health programs, which I feel is so important,” Katie said. “What struck me the most was learning that CFA is 100% volunteer run!” Her key takeaway was “how much everyone cares about what they do.” Katie appreciated that everyone seemed passionate about the achievements of others, as the theme of many of the speakers was focused on building each other up.

When asked why supporting children in need is important, Katie stated, “Victims of abuse, neglect, or abandonment often feel alone. It is important for everyone—children especially—to have a support system in place so they know that despite the tragedies, adversities, and injustices they have faced that they are not alone. It is important for these children to understand that whatever has happened to them was not their fault and to know that they are loved and cared for. It is important for these children to know that they are safe and there are people out there who care for them and want to help end their suffering. That’s why the work of the Children’s Foundation of America is so needed.”

Thank you so much to Katie Rose for attending our ChariTea and raising awareness about our important cause.

“I just want to thank Children’s Foundation of America for giving me a glimpse into what you all do,” Katie said. “I find it so important and I really do feel lucky to have attended this beautiful event. I had such an amazing time and met some awesome people.”

The next Children’s Foundation of America ChariTea Fundraiser will be held on May 6, 2023 in Claremont, CA. Our event sold out in 2022, so make sure to get your tickets early! See you there!


Jenelle Phillips, Director of Development
Jenelle oversees the day-to-day operations and staffing of the Foundation, which includes event planning, volunteer coordination, community outreach, marketing and donor relations. Above all, Jenelle’s focus is to identify and access resources in order to help children heal, learn and thrive. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University Fullerton and is very involved in the community. She is active in her church and owns an art gallery. Her volunteer contributions to the community have been recognized by Senator Portantino, Assemblymember Holden and the Claremont Village Marketing Group.

 

Photography by Jacqueline Legazcue

Ehmandah Ramsey

Tea with Ehmandah Ramsey: ‘We Need to Do Our Part in Creating Awareness Through Information, Support and Giving’

Ehmandah Ramsey

Ehmandah Ramsey is a professional speaker, entrepreneur, and life coach specializing in soul care. She is a storyteller, mental health advocate and founder of She Stories, a storytelling and wellness community for women.

Ehmandah and Tristin

Ehmandah joined our event committee for the first annual Children’s Foundation of America ChariTea Fundraiser in May 2022 because she has a heart for foster youth and enjoys serving and giving back through events.

“It was a lovely afternoon filled with amazing décor and beautiful people. From the table settings to the attendees’ attire, it was high tea time,” Ehmandah said.

Her favorite parts of the event were the great table presentation, food and conversation. As the owner of her own mobile food business, Ehmandah said, “I love the art of plating.”

One of her main takeaways was amazement at the “powerful women represented and honored.” Children’s Foundation of America CEO, Cher Ofstedahl, was recognized as a Woman of Distinction by Assemblymember Chris Holden. Cher took the opportunity to invite Claremont Lincoln University President Dr. Lynn Priddy to speak and also presented donation checks for local charities while highlighting women in nonprofit leadership, including Tristin Harding at McKinley Children’s Center.

Ehmandah and Cher

When asked why it is important to support children affected by abuse, neglect or abandonment, Ehmandah stated, “Children need support. As a community, we need to do our part in creating awareness through information, support and giving.”

Ehmandah wholeheartedly recommends the ChariTea Fundraiser to others, “It was an event for everyone and a marvelous way to gather and give back.”

We are so grateful to have the support of Ehmandah and the entire She Stories network for the past several years. Ehmandah’s parting message is to “own your story, find your path to healing and write your ending.” We love that!

The next Children’s Foundation of America ChariTea Fundraiser will be on May 6, 2023 in Claremont, CA. This event sells out, get your tickets early!


Jenelle Phillips, Director of Development
Jenelle oversees the day-to-day operations and staffing of the Foundation, which includes event planning, volunteer coordination, community outreach, marketing and donor relations. Above all, Jenelle’s focus is to identify and access resources in order to help children heal, learn and thrive. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University Fullerton and is very involved in the community. She is active in her church and owns an art gallery. Her volunteer contributions to the community have been recognized by Senator Portantino, Assemblymember Holden and the Claremont Village Marketing Group.

First Annual ChariTea Fundraiser Celebrates Women of Distinction, Honors National Foster Care Month, Raises $10K for Children in Need

The Children’s Foundation of America held its first ever ChariTea Fundraiser on May 21 with 80 guests in attendance. The sold-out tea party and fundraiser welcomed dignitaries from local to state government, corporate executives, leaders in education, and various members of the community to support our cause.

Since our CEO, Cher Ofstedahl, had recently been named a Woman of Distinction by Assemblymember Chris Holden, we took the opportunity to share the spotlight and celebrate female entrepreneurship within our great community. Matthew Lyons presented the honor of Claremont’s 2022 Woman of Distinction to Cher at the event on behalf of Assemblymember Holden.

Matthew Lyons

Cher graciously accepted the award and spoke on the advantage of choosing our own “family” (or circle) as adults. From friends, to mentors and colleagues who encourage and lift us up to our best selves. Cher experienced her own childhood trauma, which gives her a unique insight into helping children and families create a better future through her work in foster care and adoption services. For over two decades, Cher has been making a difference in the lives of children in need.

As our ChariTea Presenting Sponsor and President of Claremont Lincoln University, Dr. Lynn Priddy congratulated Cher on her recognition and for her life’s work for children and families. Dr. Priddy acknowledged all in attendance as leaders by being present for the fundraiser, which ultimately raised nearly $10,500 for displaced children during National Foster Care Month.

Dr Lynn Priddy

In addition, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Los Angeles Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Senator Anthony Portantino, Claremont City Councilwoman Jennifer Stark, and various nonprofit leaders sent along their congratulations with an array of certificates and cards.

The Children’s Foundation of America presented donation checks cumulating in $2,000 for A Greater Hope Foundation, Purposely Chosen Inc., and McKinley Children’s Center. Accepting the checks on behalf of these organizations were women leaders from each organization: Helena Lopez, Dretona Maddox, and Tristin Harding. Our hope is to encourage them in their work and to help further their mission forward in some small way. We are pleased to announce that McKinley Children’s Center will be using the donation to help update their children’s playground.

Katie Ferarra

While ChariTea attendees listened to the various speakers and a live musical performance by Katie Ferrara, guests enjoyed finger sandwiches and hors d’oeuvres from Cutting Edge Catering, whom we are so grateful to. Owners Jeremy and Nicole Michalski have fostered dozens and adopted five children. Because of their generosity, our fundraising dollars went much further than we could have expected.

Baked goods were set on each table by our event committee and included pastries from I Like Pie Bakeshop, Euro Café, Crumbl Cookies, Honeybird, and Victoria Derksen. Tea and coffee was graciously provided by Summit Tea and Pour Vida. Thank you to Nicole Haboud for running the impressive tea and coffee cart. Our thanks also goes to Delia Haro Florals for our beautiful centerpieces.

Women's Club of Claremont

To conclude our event in the Women’s Club of Claremont garden, we held a silent auction featuring artwork, gift baskets, jewelry, vintage items, and more. A wonderful time was had by all and guests even got to have their picture taken by local photographer, Jacqueline Legazcue (see photo gallery below). In gratitude, each guest left with a gift bag filled with beauty products including a box set from Physicians Formula. Thank you to all who participated in our event. We look forward to another fantastic tea party for a great cause next year!


Jenelle Phillips, Director of Development
Jenelle oversees the day-to-day operations and staffing of the Foundation, which includes event planning, volunteer coordination, community outreach, marketing and donor relations. Above all, Jenelle’s focus is to identify and access resources in order to help children heal, learn and thrive. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University Fullerton and is very involved in the community. She is active in her church and owns an art gallery. Her volunteer contributions to the community have been recognized by Senator Portantino, Assemblymember Holden and the Claremont Village Marketing Group.


Photography by Jacqueline Legazcue. Click a photo for full screen view.

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2022 Woman of Distinction: CFA CEO Shares Recognition with Fellow Female Leaders

During Women’s History Month, California Assemblymember Chris Holden recognized Cher Ofstedahl for her incredible work focused on creating a better future for children and families.

“The 2022 Women of Distinction are dedicated leaders who improve the lives for thousands of individuals and families in the 41st Assembly District and beyond,” said Holden. “They demonstrate the power of giving to others and community empowerment, I am honored to be amongst a high caliber of professionals.”

Cher leads Trinity Youth Services, an agency which serves over 200 children and families daily through residential therapeutic services, mental health programs, foster care and adoption services. She also heads the Children’s Foundation of America, a nonprofit organization which serves over 2,000 children annually.

Cher serves on the Human Relations Committee for the City of Claremont to help oversee their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, serves on the Policy and Practice Commission for the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), is on the Juvenile Justice Steering Committee for the California Alliance for Children & Families, and serves on the board for the Association of Community Human Service Agencies (ACHSA). In 2018, she was recognized by Senator Anthony Portantino as Outstanding Nonprofit Executive Director and, in 2020, became the first female CEO of Trinity Youth Services since its inception in 1966.

“I’m incredibly grateful to Assemblymember Holden,” Cher said. “Being awarded this honor is a big deal. I know the number of lives I impact through my efforts is small compared to that of so many women who go unrecognized. I know my contributions to society will never be documented in history books or even make the six o’clock news. However, being named Claremont’s Woman of Distinction means the world to me because who I am today is the direct result of the many women of true distinction who made a significant, lasting difference in my life.”

After experiencing her own childhood trauma, Cher made it her life’s work to advocate for children in need. Her firsthand experience gives her unique insight into a mission to help children and families create a better future. She has now been making a difference in the lives of many for more than two decades.

“My second grade teacher, Mrs. Barlow, made sure my face was washed, my hair was combed and I had shoes on my feet every morning at school when my own mother wasn’t capable due to her struggles with alcohol and drugs. There were many mothers of my school friends who ‘adopted’ me into their families and cared for me as if I was their own. There are brilliant, capable, women I am privileged to work with on a daily basis who lift me up and urge me onward when the burdens seem to outweigh the benefits. These women will probably never receive the recognition they deserve but they are the reason I get out of bed with the intention of giving back in some way each day,” Cher said.

“For the record, there are a great many good men who deserve recognition as well and I am blessed to have the support of some truly exceptional ones, but this award puts me in the fortunate position of being able to shine the light back on every woman who helps support and lift up,” she added.

John Neiuber, President of the CFA Board stated, “Cher is the personification of the word integrity. I always say she is the smartest person I know. She is creative, solution oriented, dedicated and selfless. She is a natural leader who cares deeply for the children we serve.”

The community is invited to the presentation of this honor by the office of Assemblymember Chis Holden at the Children’s Foundation of America’s Chari-Tea Fundraiser on May 21, 2022 at the Women’s Club of Claremont. Tickets can be purchased here. Proceeds support children in need during National Foster Care Month.


Jenelle Phillips, Director of Development
Jenelle oversees the day-to-day operations and staffing of the Foundation, which includes event planning, volunteer coordination, community outreach, marketing and donor relations. Above all, Jenelle’s focus is to identify and access resources in order to help children heal, learn and thrive. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University Fullerton and is very involved in the community. She is active in her church and owns an art gallery. Her volunteer contributions to the community have been recognized by Senator Portantino, Assemblymember Holden and the Claremont Village Marketing Group.

Volunteer Spotlight: Annette Brunske

I had the pleasure of meeting Annette over the summer when she came to volunteer for our Back-to-School care packaging event. She came in with high energy ready to pack backpacks for the foster youth. Since then, Annette has participated in events like Birthday in a Bag, Holiday Heroes, and our annual golf tournament. She has also brought her two sons and friends Lori and Natalie to volunteer. Here at CFA, we greatly appreciate Annette’s help and value her loving energy. Additionally, Annette contributed several volunteer hours last year, making her one of our Volunteer Superheroes. Get to know Annette below as she answers questions about herself and her experiences volunteering with CFA.

What are some of your favorite things?

Favorite color: Deep sky blue. Favorite animal: Without a doubt, a dog.

What do you like to do in you free time?

In my free time I like to spend time hanging out with my dog, my friends, and their dogs, going to the park. I love hanging out with my two teenage sons and their friends, just laughing, and having a good time. I love being with extended family reminiscing or just catching up on current stuff in our lives.

Why do you like volunteering?

I love volunteering. Just knowing that I might be bringing a smile to a child’s face and some happiness into their life is priceless. What inspires me to volunteer with CFA, is the idea of making a difference in a child’s life in some capacity.

How long have you been volunteering with CFA?

I have been volunteering with CFA for about 5 years, but more consistently since the newest Volunteer Coordinator, Briana Calderon, started with them.

How did you hear about CFA?

I was on one of those “volunteer match” sites, when CFA popped up. I read about them and loved what they do.

What is your favorite campaign?

I have several campaigns that I enjoy, but Christmas time is my favorite because I get to shop for the perfect gift(s) according to the child’s interests. I love really spending the time to find the right special gift just for them.

Do you have a favorite memory with CFA?

My favorite memory is when my 18 year old son came to do Birthday in a Bag with me. He was so into it, really looking for the perfect gift to fit their age and likes it. He spent so much time looking and reading the cards to find the right one. It was heartwarming to see how much he cared.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I used to be a clown when I was in my 20’s as a side job for birthday parties. Also, I have an uncontrollable need to help stray dogs get back to their owner lol.

Anything else you would like the reader to know about CFA?

CFA is such a wonderful organization, with so many opportunities to help the many local foster kids. The Volunteer Coordinator is so sweet, helpful, organized, and so appreciative of her volunteers!  They need all the volunteers they can get, so if you have some spare time, sign up and help make a little difference.

Contact the CFA office at 800.KIDS.730, email volunteer@trinityys.org or sign up here to get started.


Briana Calderon, Volunteer Coordinator
Briana leads our volunteer program through various campaigns and volunteer activities year round. Briana describes her responsibility as helping to create a space for everyone to come volunteer and find community in serving a greater purpose than our own. Briana graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication with a focus on public relations at California State University San Bernardino. During her time at CSUSB, she was a student recruiter and tour guide. Having enjoyed her experience working with students and public speaking, working with volunteers seemed like a natural step. Briana has helped advance our volunteer systems with technology and provided virtual volunteer opportunities when possible. In addition to her position at CFA, Briana also serves on the Diversity, Inclusion, Value, Equity (DIVE) team.

This Spring, a Child Needs YOUR Help

Dear Friend,

Children are the human personification of Spring. As the warmer days and seasonal showers encourage the flowers to blossom and reach their full potential and beauty, we must encourage our children to do the same.

Every hour of every day, a child enters the California Foster Care system due to abuse, neglect, or other traumatic event. The specific reasons a child enters foster care are varied. However, trauma is a consistent factor among the vast majority of children who are placed in out-of-home care. Once placed, children remain in the foster care system for an average of 20 months. Placing a child in a loving home is essential, but it is not enough. Matching each child with a foster/resource parent who has been well trained to deal with the affects of trauma is critical, as is surrounding the child with the additional supports necessary to ensure their time in foster care provides the healing and help they need to blossom and reach their full potential and beauty.

The Children’s Foundation of America was established to provide the additional supports for children in foster care, residential treatment and mental health placements that are not covered by government funds. Your tax-deductible gift to the Children’s Foundation helps to provide the small things that make a big difference to a child, such as contact lenses to a child who has been bullied for wearing thick glasses, or braces for a child with misaligned teeth. Your contributions help to provide art and music therapy, or additional tutoring to children who have missed school due to abuse and neglect. The Foundation provides equipment, uniforms and lessons so trauma-affected children can participate in the same sports and arts programs as their peers. None of these items are considered “necessities” by the entities that place children in foster care, but they are absolutely essential if we are to help these children to heal, learn and thrive.

Please consider making a gift today. Children are ready to BLOOM!

Cher Ofstedahl
Chief Executive Officer

Donate Now

 

Children’s Foundation of America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

easter volunteers

CFA Brings Springtime Cheer to 217 Children in Need in 2022

easter volunteers

During the spring season, the Children’s Foundation of America (CFA) provides spring baskets for foster youth and children in need. This year a total of 217 baskets were assembled to bring cheer to foster youth and children in need.

Volunteers Karen Valente and Tamera Guarnieri assembled spring goodie bags made possible by board members Sheri Nagel and Carla Kingsbury, as well as Image Source, who provided the candy. Our volunteers filled the goodie bags with candy, mini coloring books, crayons, games, fruit snacks, and candy. In addition to the goodie bags, our community partners at Claremont Toyota provided several spring baskets filled with candy, games, stuffed animals and more.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, we were able to provide Easter weekend activities for youth living in group homes. These youth got to have an egg hunt, a special meal on campus, an outing at Castlepark Amusement Park, dinner at BJ’s, received fast food gift cards, participated in flying kites, photo booth and playing games.

Through this successful campaign, CFA served Purposely Chosen, Inc, an organization located in the Riverside who serves at risk youth and teen mothers and Trinity Youth Services (TYS) Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Programs (STRTP) in Apple Valley and Yucaipa, as well as their foster care services in Monterey Park and Rancho Cucamonga.

“Thank you to the Children’s Foundation of America for the goody bags and funding our Easter weekend activities,” said TYS STRTP Director Elizabeth Tamoush.

A big thank you to everyone who helped make a difference this springtime season! The memories made by the youth will not soon be forgotten and mean so much.

 


Briana Calderon, Volunteer Coordinator
Briana leads our volunteer program through various campaigns and volunteer activities year round. Briana describes her responsibility as helping to create a space for everyone to come volunteer and find community in serving a greater purpose than our own. Briana graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication with a focus on public relations at California State University San Bernardino. During her time at CSUSB, she was a student recruiter and tour guide. Having enjoyed her experience working with students and public speaking, working with volunteers seemed like a natural step. Briana has helped advance our volunteer systems with technology and provided virtual volunteer opportunities when possible. In addition to her position at CFA, Briana also serves on the Diversity, Inclusion, Value, Equity (DIVE) team.

CFA Volunteers 2022

CFA Volunteer Recognition Event Returns In-Person

CFA Volunteers 2022

On Saturday, April 10, the Children’s Foundation of America (CFA) celebrated our sixth annual Volunteer Recognition Party. The event was held at the Alexander Hughes Community Center in Claremont with over 20 of our top volunteers from 2021 in attendance. This event was held to recognize the hard work and accomplishments CFA’s volunteers achieved last year.

Our volunteers served 3,384 children, fundraised $50,000 in scholarships, supported 24 organizations, and completed 1,958 hours at 40 volunteer events. Through the continued pandemic, the volunteers of CFA have been committed to Being the Difference in the lives of foster youth and children in need.

Trophies and plaques were awarded to volunteers who served the most hours and went above and beyond. Special certificates from Senator Anthony J. Portantino were also presented to all volunteers in attendance. District Representative, Kristi Lopez, from the office of Sen. Portantino, joined us at our event and discussed initiatives they are currently working on to support children in foster care. Thank you to Sen. Portantino’s team for advocating for foster youth and for your ongoing support of our volunteers.

Karen Valente 2022

The Volunteer Superhero Award went to our longtime volunteer, Karen Valente. Karen volunteered a total of 60 hours in 2021. She has participated in Birthday in a Bag, Holiday Heroes, packing Halloween treat bags, and helped out at the annual golf tournament fundraiser.

CFA’s Action Heroes were Jorge Merlos and Char Costantino. Both individuals have tremendously helped the toy collection drive for our Holiday Heroes campaign and have done incredible work in raising awareness for children in need through social media.

Jorge Merlos 2022

There were also two Dynamic Duo’s this year for contributing several hours as a team. This award went to Vicki and John Rensch, and Lillian and Shelley Sibrian. We also awarded April Tarin, Alayna Trejo, and Chis Garner as our first-ever Triumphant Triad.

Lastly, the Superhero Squad Award went to the volunteer group Lion’s Heart. This group of incredible volunteers single-handedly conducted our gift wrapping fundraiser during the holidays!

Triumphant Triad 2022

The Triniteer of the Year Award is given to the Trinity Youth Services employee with the most hours contributed. This year, the award undoubtedly goes to Fr. John Alexandres, who contributed several hours and support throughout 2021. Fr. John helped transport golf supplies for our annual golf tournament fundraiser and picked up many toy drive donations during the holidays. Our team could not have gotten through either campaign without his kind help.

A big thank you to Paycom for sponsoring our event. “We are so thankful for what Children’s Foundation of America does for the community and we are truly grateful to be able to sponsor the event,” said Paycom Executive Sales Representative, Patrick Myers.

Because of Paycom’s generosity, we were able to provide lunch from Wolfe’s Market as well as purchase decorations and giveaways. Everyone who attended got to participate in a raffle where electronics, gift cards, and goodie baskets were raffled off. We are filled with gratitude for Paycom’s support of our Volunteer Program.

Lions Heart 2022

Each and every one of our volunteers deserve recognition for the work they do. Volunteers are the heart and soul of a nonprofit and we wanted to show our volunteers how much we appreciate them. We are proud of the accomplishments achieved by this group of helping hands in a single year. If you are interested in volunteering please contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Briana Calderon at bcalderon@trinityys.org or 909.825.5588 ext. 236.


Briana Calderon, Volunteer Coordinator
Briana leads our volunteer program through various campaigns and volunteer activities year round. Briana describes her responsibility as helping to create a space for everyone to come volunteer and find community in serving a greater purpose than our own. Briana graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication with a focus on public relations at California State University San Bernardino. During her time at CSUSB, she was a student recruiter and tour guide. Having enjoyed her experience working with students and public speaking, working with volunteers seemed like a natural step. Briana has helped advance our volunteer systems with technology and provided virtual volunteer opportunities when possible. In addition to her position at CFA, Briana also serves on the Diversity, Inclusion, Value, Equity (DIVE) team.