CFA Creates Halloween Family Fun in Community
This Halloween season, we were able to provide hundreds of foster youth with Halloween treat bags! We were also able to serve two organizations: Trinity Youth Services and Pathway Family Services. Both organizations are centered in providing a variety of resources for foster youth to succeed.
We were able to complete this campaign with the help of our community partners. Image Source provided bags of candy, Sysco Riverside provided sleeves of Oreos, Claremont Smile Design and Dr. Alexandra Ayoub Dentist Office provided toothbrushes, Jacqueline Legazcue provided stickers, and Carla Kingsbury sponsored the spooky bags, spider rings, slap bracelets and more stickers. Additionally, Target Pomona provided 30 completed treat bags.
Another big help we received was from our volunteers. A total of 17 volunteers came together serving 34 hours during our Halloween campaign. We had three Halloween card making events including two hosted by CFA at our offices and one facilitated by CFA volunteer, Jacqueline Legazcue, as part of her weekly Sunday “Community Crafternoons” via Zoom. All cards created went into our trick or treat bags.
The next event was our treat bag assembly line where volunteers got to compile the care packages for the foster youth. This project helped foster youth receive some spooky cheer and couldn’t have been accomplished without the help of our community partners and volunteers. If you wish to volunteer and Be the Difference in a foster youth’s life, sign up to our monthly newsletter to receive notice of upcoming volunteer opportunities. All sign-ups are conducted on POINT, so make sure to make an account on the app.
As Halloween approached, CFA honored the Glinton-Holmes Family in this year’s Village Venture Children’s Parade, sponsored by the Children’s Foundation of America. This incredible family is Trinity Youth Services’ 100th and 101st adoptions. They are also planning to adopt their foster daughter later this year.
For Halloween, we had a special request from a group home where a 12-year-old foster youth wanted to dress up as Spiderman. We were happy to help provide him an opportunity to participate in the festive holiday.
We hope everyone had a wonderfully spooky Halloween time and we look forward to celebrating the upcoming holiday season serving children who greatly need us. To get involved, contact 800.KIDS.730 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Community Won’t Let COVID-19 Ruin Halloween for Foster Children
As if this year wasn’t scary enough, many children will not be trick-or-treating this Halloween due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, our donors won’t let the spooky season go uncelebrated for hundreds of foster children who will be receiving treat bags filled with goodies this Halloween in lieu of social gatherings.
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, studies show that “foster youth often have difficulty participating in everyday activities” and therefore encourages social work agencies and resource families to provide as much age-appropriate activities and experiences as possible. This is why the Children’s Foundation of America (CFA) works closely with the community to provide such opportunities. We recognize the importance of the chance to feel like a “normal” kid, particularly during a pandemic that has further restricted access to everyday activities.
To help accomplish this project, Image Source provided large bags of candy, Sysco donated cases of individually packed sleeves of Oreos, CFA volunteer Paula Leal donated toothbrushes, volunteers made ghoulish cards, and CFA board member Carla Kingsbury provided spider rings and festive bags to hold the treats.
Our Volunteer Coordinator, Briana Calderon, held multiple virtual volunteer activities to create handmade Halloween cards for each foster youth. Briana said, “It was wonderful to see all the creative cards that all of our volunteers made for the youth. Our volunteers really took the time to create some individualized cards.”
In addition, CFA supporter Jacqueline Legazcue, held a “Community Crafternoon” on Zoom with the focus being our card-making initiative, donating several more cards to the cause. “Thank you for holding this activity for us to help the kids,” said participant Clare Miranda.
In total, over 20 volunteers and community partners helped make this project a success! If you’d like to Be the Difference for children in need, call our office at 800.KIDS.730 or email email@example.com to volunteer. The holidays are coming up and we could use your help! Visit our volunteer page to sign up now!
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.
Origami Monster Bookmark Craft
Halloween is just around the corner and we have the perfect activity for you and your children to enjoy. These origami monster bookmarks are sure to keep the kiddies entertained after a night of trick-or-treating!
What You Need:
- Assorted Construction Paper
- Glue Stick
With the paper resting “lengthwise”, fold the right corner over to the left side of the page and crease the paper into a “right triangle”.
Trace a line with a pencil along the edge of the fold. This will be your guideline to make the piece of paper into a perfect square. Using your scissors, cut along the line to create a perfect square.
Fold the square in half along the existing fold.
Fold the long edges into the center point of the triangle on both sides.
Unfold both sides and bring the top layer of the center point to the top of the page.
Fold back down the long points to the center point, then “tuck” the tips of the paper into the top triangle. This will create a pocket as seen below:
Step 7: Creating the face
This is the moment when creativity takes charge. Encourage your children to make the features they think will best suit their friendly monster. We chose to have sharp teeth and a bright pink tongue.
Step 8: Assemble
Using a glue stick, attache the features onto the bookmark. Be sure to glue the teeth to the inside of the top flap so that the teeth show when the bookmark is in use!
Step 9: Read and save your page!
Rebecca Ustrell, Community 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.
800-543-7730 | firstname.lastname@example.org