147 Foster Youth Provided New Shoes
On August 14, 147 foster youth were provided $2,800 worth of new shoes. The Children’s Foundation of America collaborated with She Stories and Shoes 4 Grades, to identify the need of shoes for foster youth and create an event to meet those needs.
Ehmandah Ramsey is the Executive Director and founder of She Stories, and Randall Trice is the Executive Director and founder of Shoes 4 Grades. Both organizations are long-time partners and extremely passionate, dedicated, and committed to helping kids thrive in school. CFA has partnered with each organization in the past, which is why they reached out to Gail Polk, CFA Community Outreach Coordinator.
Gail gathered information regarding shoes sizes from local foster youth. The CFA team, She Stories team, and Shoes 4 Grades team spent weeks gathering shoe donations from all around the Inland Empire. “Quite often foster youth are overlooked because many believe all their needs are met by the various counties. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The need is too great, and the number of foster youth is too high. I am so grateful to Shoes 4 Grades and She Stories, that they were able to collect shoes for all of the TYS resource family foster youth,” said Gail.
Foster families were invited to attend an event on August 14, where Shoes 4 Grades and She Stories gifted each foster youth new shoes. On the day of the event, staff from Trinity Youth Services (TYS) foster care, CFA, Shoes 4 Grades, and She Stories gathered to celebrate and distribute shoes.
“This donation was overwhelmingly generous,” said Laura Kassem, TYS Rancho Cucamonga Foster Care Director. “The shoe selection was beautiful and definitely sparked the interest of the youth as they arrived to pick up their shoes. It was so heartwarming to see the sparkle in the children’s eyes and the smile from cheek to cheek as they were given their shoes or asked to pick from the various size groups.”
It is thanks to amazing organizations such as Shoes 4 Grades and She Stories, that CFA can have the impact we do. If you are interested in partnering with us, contact us at 800.KIDS.730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Isabel Millward-Pena, Communications Specialist
Isabel contributes content for our social media, blog, newsletters and promotional materials. She recently earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University San Bernardino and is currently working on her master’s degree. Isabel began working with our team as an intern and, luckily for us, never left. Prior to her work at CFA, she was a substitute instructional aid and a supervisor at Starbucks. She has also volunteered as an aid at local elementary schools and notably achieved “Partner of the Quarter” at Starbucks in 2017.
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.
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