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

Volunteer
Volunteer

Our 3rd Annual “Valenteer” Party!

Volunteer

 

We LOVE Our Volunteers!

You are cordially invited to our 3rd annual volunteer appreciation reception on Saturday, February 23 to recognize our amazing volunteers, celebrate our successes and find out what’s in store for 2019! Whether you’re a current volunteer or interested in getting involved, join us at our office to meet the Foundation staff, members of the board of trustees and other volunteers. Enjoy refreshments, goodie bags, raffle prizes and awards!

 

Enter our raffle!

1 ticket for attending

1 ticket per completed birthday bag donated: Must include gift bag, cake mix, frosting & any 3 of the following: birthday decorations, streamers, candles, plates, cups, napkins, utensils.

 

Learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities:

  • Events: Help us at fundraisers
  • Event Preparation: Help prepare materials for events
  • Awareness Campaigns: Assist with the preparation of materials and outreach
  • Informational tables and booths: Help disseminate information
  • Holiday Heroes Gift Wrapping Booth: Assist with gift wrapping for fundraising purposes
  • Care Package Assembly: Assist with assembling packages of items for children

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Vicki Rensch

Vicki Rensch is an artist, teacher and longtime volunteer with the Children’s Foundation of America. Vicki got involved with the Foundation when her daughter, CFA Development Specialist Jenelle Phillips, recruited her for her expertise.

Vicki has a long and passionate history with volunteering. Her earliest memory of being active in her community is helping her mom pass out pamphlets and buttons in support of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign.

In the 1990’s, her place of work allowed Vicki to volunteer full-time with United Way, an organization dedicated to fundraising and benefiting in need communities. Vicki chose to support the San Bernardino Child Advocacy Group and organized an ongoing toy drive with a goal of 100% participation from the department she was working on loan from. They met that goal in the two years she was involved in the campaign and the department continued the toy drive in the years after Vicki established it.

“When I was running the campaign, I brought speakers in to talk about volunteering to help employees realize that making the time to volunteer was so important. I made speeches about the services and research United Way benefits. Many of the employees said that their loved ones had benefited from these services and some shared that they were raised in foster care and understood how they have been impacted by many of the things that United Way supported,” she said.

She later volunteered with the Girl Scouts of the USA. Beginning in 1993, she started as a troop leader and had became a council trainer for Daisy troop leaders in the early 2000’s. She helped Senior Girl Scouts become Gold Award recipients, provided support for girls interviewing into the Rose Parade Tournament Troop and organized a trip for girls to travel to Savannah, GA to visit the birthplace of Girl Scouts Founder, Juliette Gordon Low.

At the Foundation, Vicki is a Volunteer Lead for appeal mailing, directing volunteers in mailing our constituents and is a support volunteer at many of our events. Her and her husband can also be seen at our various fundraisers supporting the cause.

A True Holiday Hero

Her favorite event is the Holiday Heroes gift wrapping booth. “Even though I have many favorite events, this one is the most fun to do.” Vicki loves being able to put her love for gift wrapping to work for a good cause. “It always puts me in the Christmas spirit every year,” Vicki said. “I learned it is important to volunteer for that which you already love to do.”

Responsibility to Community

Vicki holds passionate beliefs about having a responsibility to help her community. She makes it a habit to go wherever she is needed. “As a kid, I wasn’t aware of everything that goes into our community opportunities. It’s my turn to give back,” she says. “My parents instilled a belief in me that if there is a need, we have the responsibility to help fill that need whenever possible. So I volunteer.”

Vicki views volunteering as something that allows her to explore what life has to offer. “My favorite thing about being a volunteer is going to places I’ve never been, meeting people I may otherwise never meet and doing things I have never thought about doing”, she said. “Volunteering, for me, is an enriching experience with the very pleasant side effect of helping others.”

Vicki’s hobbies include creating art, photography and visiting historic landmarks. However, her favorite and most fulfilling pastime of all is volunteering. “When my hobbies allow me a chance to also take part in volunteering I am at my most complete.” For example, Vicki volunteered 20 years in a row as a photographer for Grandparent’s Day at a local elementary school. “It brings me great joy to know someone has grown up cherishing that special bond of family though a picture I took,” she said.

Vicki’s Advice for Getting Involved

For those that are considering volunteering, Vicki has a few useful steps to help get yourself started. “First,” she said, “Make the initial contact. Find something you love to do. Volunteer to do that something. Attend the event with a happy heart. Lastly, feel good about yourself and volunteer often.”

Vicki stepped up as a CFA Volunteer Leader because, “I was needed,” she said. “CFA is a quality, well established organization for children and I saw a need that I could fill. They are a well organized group whose mission is to help children by making volunteering fun and easy. The staff is very friendly, gracious and helpful and everybody makes you feel like a valued member of the team,” she said.

The Children’s Foundation of America is supported by great volunteers like Vicki. Click here to learn more about getting involved!


Jose Rojas, CFA Intern
Jose is an English literature major at California State University San Bernardino. As a CFA intern, Jose attends and photographs events and writes for our blog. He has previously volunteered with The Prison Library Project. In his free time, you can catch him playing tennis or cramming for his next exam.

Volunteer Spotlight: Lion’s Heart Service

Lion’s Heart Service is a nonprofit group that curates, creates, and encourages opportunities for teens and children to get involved in their community. Their Upland chapter rigorously donates their time to making a difference, accumulating a total of 77 volunteer hours with the Children’s Foundation of America since their chapter was founded in 2017. They’ve volunteered at rescue centers, senior homes, local food banks, churches and various other organizations.

With the Foundation, Lion’s Heart has assisted in our Back-to-School drive and our Holiday Heroes campaign.

Chapter Coordinator Sylvia Tam, is dedicated to creating a culture of giving in both her community and family. “I have to have a leadership mind set, so I can create a community of helpers,” she said. Through Lion’s Heart, Sylvia’s children and group “don’t have to think twice about volunteering. Our group goes wherever needed.”

Sylvia’s daughter, Vanessa Wong, founded their chapter to encourage the people around her to get involved. “Friendship is her priority and she wanted to do something as a team. Volunteering is always on her mind,” Sylvia said.

In 2018, the Upland City Council recognized Lion’s Heart members Vanessa Wong, Alyssa Mao and Karis Yoon with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for accumulating 75-100 volunteer hours. Benjamin Wong, Sylvia’s son and frequent Lion’s Heart volunteer, also received an award from the Kiwanis Club.

Creating a culture of giving

Lion’s Heart holds leadership and gratitude as their core values. Teaching youth to volunteer in their free time is invaluable to Lion’s Heart. Sylvia’s hope is to spread awareness about the many volunteer opportunities. “I tell the adults you have to get your kids out there and do this,” she said. “There are so many parents who want to get their families involved in volunteering and don’t know where and how.” Lion’s Heart and the Children’s Foundation of America can help!

Sylvia believes there are some real benefits to volunteering, saying, “It is a form of therapy, to zoom out of the business world and find some happiness in what we’re doing in the moment.” She said working with the Foundation is “is great, because it’s helping kids that are at a turning point in their lives, where they can go forward.” She stressed that volunteering benefits everyone involved, boosting needed skills that transfer to all areas of work and life.

Syvlia’s Lion’s Heart group is passionate about being involved, and the children “choose volunteering as their top priority.” CFA is supported by great volunteers like Sylvia and Lion’s Heart. If you would like to know more about getting your service group involved, click here!


Jose Rojas, CFA Intern
Jose is an English literature major at California State University San Bernardino. As a CFA intern, Jose attends and photographs events and writes for our blog. He has previously volunteered with The Prison Library Project. In his free time, you can catch him playing tennis or cramming for his next exam.

CFA Spreads Holiday Cheer with Gift Wrapping for a Cause

As part of our ongoing “Holiday Heroes” campaign, The Children’s Foundation of America’s gift wrapping station has made several more appearances to spread joy, hope, and the opportunity to be involved in a good cause.

Hauser & Wirth

CFA was invited to participate in Hauser & Wirth’s annual Holiday Market, allowing us to extend our work into the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. Among a wide array of hand-crafted goods, artisan products and food, CFA was there to wrap gifts for donations. In addition to wrapping gifts, our volunteers sold holiday cards designed by kids at Trinity Youth Services and raised awareness about foster youth. All wrapping supplies were generously donated by Hauser & Wirth.

Montclair Place

At Montclair Place in the Inland Empire, CFA has a storefront dedicated to gift wrapping. Shoppers are encouraged to stop by and have their freshly bought gifts wrapped for donations to support foster youth. The gift wrapping supplies donated by Hauser & Wirth and The Helpful Honda People were instrumental in helping us raise funds! In a time of giving, it is paramount to support those without access to regular commodities to ensure everyone can have a happy holiday season. CFA is there to help bridge that gap and provide an a opportunity for every person to help children heal, learn, and thrive.

Thank you to all our volunteers and fellow organizations that provided donations, assistance and support to benefit children in need. Our Montclair wrapping station will be open December 14-24 during regular mall hours to provide stress-free holiday shopping, last-minute wrapping and the opportunity to volunteer, support and get involved!

Become a Holiday Hero! Contact us at 1-800-KIDS-730 or email volunteer@trinityys.org.


Story and photos by Jose Rojas
Jose is an English literature major at California State University San Bernardino. As a CFA intern, Jose  primarily attends and photographs events, and writes for our blog. He has previously volunteered with The Prison Library Project. In his free time you can catch him playing tennis or cramming for his next exam.

Volunteer Spotlight: Lillian Sibrian

Lillian Sibrian is an undergraduate student at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Her first volunteer experience was cleaning a community park with her school’s National Society of Leadership and Success.

With the Children’s Foundation of America, she has participated in events like our Back-to-School drive, Halloween Outreach Prep, Village Venture tabling and the Holiday Promenade photo booth. Although Lillian is kept busy because of her studies, she’s decided that volunteering is a necessary and important way to spend what little free time she has.

“I came to the decision that a portion of the free time I do have should be spent not only helping others, but helping myself become a better person,” she said.

Lillian first learned of the Foundation through a friend and former CFA intern. She first volunteered in August 2018 and continued volunteering on a regular basis. Her favorite CFA event has been the Claremont Holiday Promenade, where she and a friend helped run the photo booth sponsored by Lyks! Creatives.

Lillian greatly values her time spent with CFA. “I have learned the value of being true to one’s word and following through on promises,” she said. “Volunteering with CFA could be one of the most gratifying experiences of your life if you are willing to put in the time and work.”

When she is not volunteering, Lillian can be found visiting Disneyland, reading, baking, or watching criminal documentaries on Netflix.

CFA is supported by great volunteers like Lillian. If you would like to know more about getting involved, click here.

 


Jose Rojas, CFA Intern
Jose is an English literature major at California State University San Bernardino. As a CFA intern, Jose attends and photographs events and writes for our blog. He has previously volunteered with The Prison Library Project. In his free time, you can catch him playing tennis or cramming for his next exam.

Fall Into Volunteering

As the weather cools down and summer transitions into fall, the Children’s Foundation of America wraps up another successful Back-to-School Drive. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped with warehouse inventory and backpack stuffing in the summer, CFA was able to provide over 200 backpacks with school supplies for youth to kick off a great school year. Way to Be The Difference!

Recently, CFA has been preparing for the holidays, beginning with a Halloween Prep & Party on October 12. About 24 volunteers, including a few Trinity Youth Services staff and their families, gathered at our Claremont office to prepare candies for Halloween. Volunteers enjoyed spooky snacks and a Halloween movie while they attached Trinity Youth Services sticker labels to Skittles and M&Ms. The awesome volunteers prepared over 2000 candies to spread the message of our partner agency and how people can learn more about becoming foster/adoptive families.

On October 27, CFA hosted a fun game booth at the 37th Annual Village Venture Arts & Crafts Faire in Claremont. For a dollar donation, guests were invited to play a pumpkin bean bag toss game to win a prize of candy, stickers or toys. Volunteers hosted the booth and raised funds to benefit youth supported by Children’s Foundation of America.

Keep an eye out for more exciting opportunities to donate or get involved this holiday season! Starting in November, we will be preparing for our annual Holiday Heroes Campaign including a gift drive for foster youth and gift wrapping fundraiser at Montclair Place Mall, where volunteers will wrap shoppers’ gifts for donations to support youth in need. If you want to learn more about how you can become a CFA Holiday Hero, click here to be added to our mailing list to get updates!


Marie MaghuyopCommunications & Volunteer Relations Specialist
Marie creates content for social media, writes blogs and coordinates volunteer opportunities and events. She enjoys connecting with volunteers of diverse backgrounds and getting to know their unique stories. She has earned two associate’s degrees from San Bernardino Valley College and a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Fullerton. In her free time, Marie loves going to Disneyland, writing, playing ukulele and board games, and dancing.

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.

Volunteer Spotlight: Katherine Carrasco

Katherine Carrasco learned about volunteering with the Children’s Foundation of America through a newsletter email to Trinity Youth Services staff. She is a first-year graduate student in the school of social work at California State University, San Bernardino and her interest in working with children led her to Trinitys’ Rancho Cucamonga foster care office for an internship. Her responsibilities include auditing the files of foster children and resource parents, working with Treatment Foster Care Social Workers on their cases and monitoring visits with foster children and their natural families.

“I have learned so much at Trinity in my time here. Before my internship, I did not have the slightest idea how the foster care system worked,” Katherine said. Through her experience with Trinity, she now has an understanding of the standards to become a resource parent, the importance of collaboration between the foster agency and the county and how to work with trauma-affected youth.

Donating Time

In the past few months, she has volunteered with the Children’s Foundation of America to help with Child Abuse Prevention Month outreach, mailing spring appeals, assembling spring goodie baskets and making scarves for foster children. She hopes to continue volunteering with the Foundation and encourages others to volunteer as well.

“Working alongside others with the same interests is motivating and heart-felt,” she said. “I don’t have a large amount of money to donate, but I have the time to help and volunteer for the cause.”

Hobbies

Outside of volunteering, Katherine enjoys hiking and reading and owns about 450 books in her home library. Her favorite young adult novels are the Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Divergent series. She even named her first motorcycle Beatrice after the main character in Divergent.

“I can keep going and going about my books,” she said. “My favorite book? That’s a hard question when I have read so many!”

Be the Difference

“Helping children and foster youth in the community is a feeling that cannot be found elsewhere,” Katherine said. Click here to find out more about volunteering with the Children’s Foundation of America.


Marie Maghuyop, AmeriCorps 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.

Volunteer Spotlight: Brisa Sifuentes

Brisa Sifuentes is a stay-at-home-mom of a 3-year-old son, León Hernandez and newborn daughter, “Baby Brisa” Hernandez. She and her husband, Mario Hernandez, were drawn to the city of Claremont by the “sense of community.” Now, a year after moving to Claremont, she is the steward of Claremont Little Free Library and runs the Instagram and Facebook account “ClaremontMom.” Her active involvement in the community led her to become a frequent volunteer at Children’s Foundation of America (CFA), from wrapping gifts at the holiday gift wrapping booth to making fringe blankets and positive cards for children in foster care.

Volunteering with CFA

Brisa said she continues to volunteer with CFA because the events are rewarding and fun. “I love that CFA events are simple yet impacting,” she said. “These kids are going to grow up and remember the time they got cool art supplies or a special handmade card.”

She has also enjoyed getting to know the CFA staff and other volunteers. “What stands out to me the most about volunteering with CFA are the employees. You know an organization is great when its employees love being there,” she said. “I’ve also enjoyed meeting the people who love to help whenever they can. You can’t help but want to keep going back to an organization that has such positive energy.”

Little Free Library

She and her family love to be surrounded by books and thought that Claremont would be the perfect setting for a Little Free Library, which is a neighborhood book exchange where people can take a book or leave a book. According to the official Little Free Library website, as of 2016, there are over 50,000 little libraries registered in the United States and over 70 countries around the world.

“After installing our library, we had a great response and there have been so many frequent visitors,” Brisa said. “We love sharing the joy of reading and seeing the influence it can have on our local children.” She has even hosted book drives through her Little Free Library, where she collected new books to donate to CFA.

Claremont Mom

Brisa is a very active mom in her local community. She participates in and plans activities with her local “babywearing” group, Kaiser mom groups and with friends and other moms. Around the time she opened the Claremont Little Free Library, she created the Instagram and Facebook account “ClaremontMom.”

“It’s essentially Claremont through the eyes of a local mom,” she said. “Being new to Claremont and hearing about all the great local events and groups, I felt like there needed to be a “one-stop-shop” for moms like me to hear about everything going on.” Her posts are gathered from other local Instagram and Facebook accounts, as well as her groups and talking with people in the community.

Hobbies

Outside of volunteering, Brisa enjoys camping and hiking, taking her kids to the LA zoo and botanical gardens or watching the latest movie with her husband when they get a chance. She also enjoys gift wrapping and decorative crafts like flower-arranging and wreath-making.

“My motto is “create value,” she said. “I truly love creating something of value where it didn’t previously exist.”

Be the Difference

If you’re inspired by Brisa’s “Claremont Mom” story, join her in getting involved in the community and being the difference. Call 909.426.0773 or email volunteer@trinityys.org to begin volunteering.


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.

“Warm & Fuzzy February” Brings Coziness to 262 Foster Youth

This year’s “Warm & Fuzzy February” campaign was a major success and supported 262 foster youth! Throughout the past year, dozens of individuals gathered to create hand-made blankets in preparation for our annual distribution of care packages stuffed with goodies to bring a sense of warmth to the children we support. Through the combined efforts of our volunteers and donors, the Foundation was able to provide 168 bags to children in foster care in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties including a new partnership with Duarte Unified School District. For older youth, we sent Regal Movie Theater gift cards to 94 teens currently in a residential therapeutic program.

In preparation for “Warm & Fuzzy February,” we sought the help of our dedicated community partners and put on several volunteering events to ensure we met our goal of supporting over 200 children in foster care. With the assistance of 87 volunteers putting in 250 hours of work, the Foundation was able to create hand-made cards for kids and fringe blankets for children ages 0-18. Aside from the huge effort of our volunteers, the Foundation was also able to get the help of several community partners.

It was a community effort making and collecting the items needed for our “Warm & Fuzzy February” care packages. Several different organizations including Foothill Country Day School, Upland HS Health Corps, students of the Occupational Therapy program at Loma Linda University, Claremont Farmers Insurance, Inland Empire United Way staff and UCR Circle K International participated by creating hand-made cards filled with messages of warmth and hope.

CSUF Alpha Phi Omega and Harvey Mudd’s “Mudders Making a Difference” (MMAD) donated hand-made blankets. And we received a surprise gift of dozens of scarves and beanies from volunteer Kathy Warth, who in her spare time, crochets from left over yarn.

The success of this campaign also involved conducting volunteer events in the community. We partnered with Sunrise Senior Living in Claremont, CA who donated the materials for the seniors to make hand-made fringe blankets during their recreation time and visited a team of 15 staff volunteers at Fairplex in Pomona, CA.

A “Warm & Fuzzy” care package wouldn’t be complete without a good book to curl up with. Supporters participated by contributing books to include in the packages. Brisa Sifuentes of the Claremont Little Free Library and 12-year-old book blogger, Zayda (AKA @babybibilophile), each used their Instagram following to contribute dozens of brand new books to our book drive portion of the campaign.

If you would like to help us continue this important work to help children affected by abuse, neglect and abandonment, please donate what you can. Every bit makes a difference!


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.
800-543-7730 | rustrell@trinityys.org