CFA Holiday Heroes Bring Joy and Support to 1,660 Children in Need
This year’s Children’s Foundation of America “Holiday Heroes” campaign brought a message of joy and hope to 1,660 children in need. Several groups and individuals came together to donate gifts and their time wrapping presents for donations at Montclair Place.
With the help of about 100 dedicated volunteers, the Children’s Foundation of America raised over $10,000 in donations to help children in need. Donations helped provide holiday activities for foster families, outings for residential youth to places like Knott’s Berry Farm and provided gifts for displaced children. Funds raised will continue to benefit programs throughout the year that serve youth in need, including college scholarships for foster youth.
Creating a Culture of Giving
The Children’s Foundation of America received a record number of toy donations, with thousands of gifts pouring in. Several businesses set out gift drive boxes to encourage their staff and clients to donate. This year’s “Holiday Heroes” business partners included:
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard
Image Source USA
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
West Coast Dermatology Billers
Scripps College Intercollegiate Feminist Department
Claremont Craft Ales
Center for Spiritual Living
Vinmar Capital Group
Plume Ridge Bottle Shop
Beyond our gift drive box partners, the Foundation received an overwhelming, positive response from members of the community, including the Claremont Chamber of Commerce. Through these various partnerships, the Foundation was able to provide multiple gifts to approximately 1,660 children in need by expanding the number of organizations supported. The Foundation team selected organizations which serve youth in poverty, foster care, residential programs and shelters. The Children’s Foundation of America provided holiday support to each of the following organizations this year:
Trinity Youth Services
Foothill Family Shelter
McKinley Children’s Center
Oak Grove Center
Inland Empire Residential Center
Greater Hope Foundation
Fields Comprehensive Youth Services
David and Margaret Youth & Family Services
ARK Homes Rancho Cucamonga
Ontario-Montclair School District Family & Collaborative Services
What a Gift Means to a Child
According to UNICEF, childhood poverty is defined as lacking certain items essential to healthy and normal development. The opportunity to celebrate special occasions such as Christmas is an important aspect of childhood that every child deserves to enjoy. The goal of the Children’s Foundation of America is to remind displaced children that they are indeed special and valued, as they learn to cope and heal from the trauma they have experienced.
To find out how you can help the Children’s Foundation of America and bring normalcy to a child in need, visit our Get Involved page.
Kelly Baumann, AmeriCorps VIP Fellow
Kelly specializes in creating and optimizing digital content for the Children’s Foundation of America blog. She has ten years of experience as a marketer and has held a variety of positions including content writer, social media coordinator, public relations executive and content strategist. At Children’s Foundation of America, Kelly focuses on sharing stories and information to educate the public about the issues faced by children that Children’s Foundation of America serves.
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Holiday Heroes Gift Drive a Major Success
At the end of each year, the Children’s Foundation of America focuses on making children’s holiday wishes come true through our annual Holiday Heroes campaign. The initiative features a toy drive, gift wrapping fundraiser and the involvement of several volunteers and partners.
Holiday Heroes Fulfill Wishes
The Children’s Foundation of America’s Holiday Heroes gift drive was a resounding success. The Foundation was able to fulfill the wishes of nearly 400 children in Trinity Youth Services foster care and residential treatment programs. Children submitted three wishes and the Foundation was able to grant them all. For younger children, the wishes were mainly toys and games and the older children requested gift cards for retailers, entertainment and restaurants. The Foundation is proud to support the children of Trinity, all of whom have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other traumatic circumstance. The Foundation was also able to provide toys and other items to the Benjamin E. Jones Community Resource Center for their “Sweet Little Angels” gift giveaway program, benefiting children of families living in poverty.
The Gift Wrapping booth at the Plaza West Covina mall, which was staffed by volunteers who contributed 501 hours of time, brought in nearly $9,000. “Giving Tree” wishes, granted by shoppers, brought in gifts for children totaling $1,544. Our sincerest thanks to Laura Gonzales and the management of the Plaza West Covina for their support.
Fenceworks of Riverside contributed an overwhelmingly generous supply of gift cards for teens and toys, bikes, helmets and jackets for children of all ages. Holiday Heroes Toy Box Sponsors included West Coast Dermatology Billers, Toshiba, Advantage Resourcing, Mijac Alarm, JCM Engineering, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Special thanks to Foundation Trustee, Carla Kingsbury, for encouraging Wells Fargo to increase their level of giving every year for the past five years.
Image Source USA raised the bar on both a personal and corporate level. Trustee Judith Jarvis, Vice President of Sales for Image Source, personally made a significant contribution, then challenged Image Source President, Brad Craft, to match her gift. She then gathered an additional donation from her sales team with their Branch Manager, Jordan Craft, leading the way. The total gift from the company totaled more than $7,000 and was used to fulfill individual children’s wishes and larger shared gifts such as sports equipment and new library books for youth living in residential placement settings.
Girl Scout Troop #1455 donated toiletries for teen girls and the Saddleback Kiwanis Club donated Therapy Dolls. The Today Show Charitable Foundation donated stuffed animals. These are just a few of the examples of generosity from some of the Foundation’s treasured partners.
“Giving Trees” were sponsored by the Claremont Chamber of Commerce and Tapestry Church Claremont. Heirloom Claremont hosted a “Make ‘N Take” ornament fundraiser and The Colony at Loft 204 gallery collected donations by selling Christmas cards designed by foster children. Several guests to the Claremont events Giving Tuesday and Holiday Promenade collected wishes from the Foundation’s “Giving Tree” and dropped off toys to the office throughout November and December.
The Board of Trustees and staff of the Children’s Foundation of America want to thank all of the donors and volunteers for making this year such a tremendous success. You have truly put the “Merry” in “Merry Christmas” for children who need it most. You are all truly Holiday Heroes!
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
“Funny 4 A Reason” 2016 Raises Holiday Funds for Children
The Children’s Foundation of America hosted the 11th annual “Funny 4 A Reason” at the Ontario Improv earlier this month with headliner Debi Gutierrez.
On Tuesday, November 1, several comedians donated their time to raise funds to benefit children supported by the Children’s Foundation of America. One hundred percent of the event proceeds directly supported foster children at Trinity Youth Services. Youth have been placed in these programs as a result of trauma in their lives including abuse, neglect or abandonment. Trinity Youth Services offers a chance to create a better future for children and families.
Through fundraising events like “Funny 4 A Reason,” the Children’s Foundation of America provides an opportunity for every person to help children heal, learn and thrive. Over 225 guests were in attendance and approximately $4,510 was raised to be used for the Foundation’s holiday efforts for children in out-of-home care.
The Children’s Foundation of America provided 1,200 holiday gifts for children in foster care last year and hopes to at least match that same number again this holiday season. The “Holiday Heroes” campaign continues with gift wrapping at the Plaza West Covina mall, where nearly 160 volunteers wrap shoppers’ holiday gifts for donations to the cause.
To volunteer, contact Aaron at email@example.com or 909.426.0773.
Thanks for attending and making a difference!