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CFA Provides 261 Backpacks and School Supplies to Youth in Need

Every year when students kick off their summer vacation, the Children’s Foundation of America invites the community to join together for our annual Back-to-School Drive for children in foster care. CFA supports over 100 youth at Trinity Youth Services in foster care, adoption and residential therapeutic programs, as well as disadvantaged children at various other organizations.

Our goal is to provide these children with backpacks full of school supplies to help them learn and thrive in the upcoming school year. Having a brand new backpack and adequate supplies not only helps them succeed in school, but helps give confidence to do well in their studies and build relationships at school.

In June, volunteers start working away creating Cards for Kids. This year, the Lion’s Heart Service group, Diamond Bar High School National Honor Society and other volunteers made almost 200 encouraging cards for the back-to-school kits.

One volunteer noted that she most enjoyed the freedom for her and her daughters to be creative and write beautiful notes in the cards for youth.

With the support of individuals in the community and our partners including Wells Fargo and Purpose Church Claremont, we received about $4,025 worth of new backpacks and school supplies! Purpose Church Claremont alone donated 108 backpacks filled with school supplies!

“I am blown away by the support,” said Sarah Crandall of Purpose Church Claremont. Sarah is currently working with her church to arrange more opportunities to support foster youth. “We are blessed to be apart of what you guys are doing! It was so fun to watch my church get excited about this opportunity.”

Throughout July, 22 volunteers assisted with taking inventory of donations and stuffing 261 backpacks with supplies. Volunteers said they enjoyed being involved in the process and seeing what is done “behind the scenes” to help the kids. In all, volunteers contributed over 113 hours to make sure disadvantaged youth received what they needed to be successful in the school year.

Not only were we able to provide 196 children at Trinity Youth Services with backpacks filled with supplies, but we were also able to extend our reach to youth at New Dawn Group Home in Walnut and Chino, McKinley Children’s Center and Ontario-Montclair School District. The total of youth supplied with filled backpacks came out to 261 and dozens more with miscellaneous school supplies!

Thank you to everyone who chose to Be the Difference to children in need this summer. If you would like to help us in our next campaign to support displaced youth, get involved! We would love to have you work alongside us as we fulfill our mission.

Marie MaghuyopAmeriCorps VIP Fellow
Marie is serving with the Children’s Foundation of America as an AmeriCorps VIP (Volunteer Infrastructure Project) Fellow. Her main goal as a VIP Fellow is to expand the volunteer programs at the Foundation and develop an effective, sustainable volunteer infrastructure. She creates content for social media, engages with volunteers and supports the Foundation team with coordinating events and volunteer opportunities. Marie has earned two associate’s degrees from San Bernardino Valley College and a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Fullerton. She has always been driven to do meaningful work by helping others and is excited to inspire volunteerism in the community. In her free time, she enjoys going to Disneyland, writing, playing ukulele and board games, and dancing.

Back-to-School Supply Drive a Major Success

The Hillman Group celebrates the completion of stuffing over 100 back packs with school supplies to be donated to local children in foster care.

Back to school for many children can mean a time of excitement and anticipation. What is often forgotten is that displaced children often feel anxiety and uncertainty when it comes to preparing for this important time. In fact, many children transitioning into foster homes usually need everything from a back packs to basic school supplies as they often have no possessions to call their own. Understanding this need, the team at Children’s Foundation of America launched the annual Back-to-School Supply Drive in June with the goal in mind to supply 150 back packs filled with school supplies to school aged children in need living throughout Southern California.

The Overwhelming Support

What we couldn’t have predicted was the overwhelming amount of support and generosity from our volunteers, business partners, and community members to reach our goal. Over the course of two months, we received over 200 back packs, hundreds of school supplies valued at $1700, and over 10 volunteers from The Hillman Group dedicating a combined 20 hours to assembling back to school care packages!

Children’s Foundation of America partnered with the Claremont Village Marketing Group to provide school supplies for the Shoes That Fit drive.

Enough Supplies to Spread the Love

Receiving a surplus of school supplies allowed us to extend our assistance not only children in foster care supported by Trinity Youth Services, but also a number of displaced or disadvantaged children supported by Foothill Family Shelter, David and Margaret Youth and Family Services, and Shoes That Fit.

Volunteer Coordinator, Sasha Chavez, drops off backpacks for children at Foothill Family Shelter.

We’d like to thank all of our local partners for making the Back-to-School Supply Drive a major success:

The Hillman Group

Advantage Resourcing

Claremont Little Free Library

Tapestry Church

Claremont United Church of Christ

Christina Jackson, Board Member

Laura Chaidez, Board Member

Sasha Chavez, Volunteer Coordinator

Ananda Kohler, Donor

Praveena Jeereddi, Donor

Kathy Warth, Donor

Rebecca UstrellCommunity Outreach Coordinator
Becky acts as liaison for Children’s Foundation of America. On any given day she could be meeting with potential donors, coordinating a fundraising event, recruiting volunteers and forming partnerships with other nonprofits that can benefit from the help of our Foundation. Becky is currently studying sociology as well as fine art and helps organize the Claremont Art Walk. You will most likely find Becky working on freelance illustrations, playing the cello, mingling at a chamber of commerce event or volunteering in the community.
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