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

Volunteer Spotlight: Sasha Chavez

For this month’s Volunteer Spotlight, we would like to introduce you to our AmeriCorps V.I.P. (Volunteer Infrastructure Program) Intern, Sasha Chavez. This mutually beneficial partnership allows Sasha to work hand in hand with the Children’s Foundation of America (CFA) to develop and expand the quality of the volunteer opportunities to address the unmet needs of our local community. Sasha has been a wonderful asset to our team. She creates content for our social media, assists with our community outreach and has even helped by coordinating a fundraiser.

Sasha lives near our headquarters in Claremont and studies public relations and marketing at the University of La Verne. When she isn’t volunteering with CFA, she enjoys reading, being outdoors and spending time with my friends and family.

How did you first get involved with CFA?

I got involved with CFA a couple months ago while I was searching for an internship on the ULV career portal. I came across CFA’s communications intern listing and decided to apply.

What has surprised you most about working with CFA?

Everyone is so supportive of each other and I believe that really helps to push the mission of CFA forward.

How did it make you feel to be part of organizing a CFA fundraiser?

This past Tuesday we had a fundraiser at Pizza N Such in Claremont. It felt really great to be surrounded by people who want to give to a good cause. The energy in the room was so uplifting.

What do you wish other people knew about CFA?

I wish they knew that even a small effort goes a long way. Something as small as writing a birthday card for a child or volunteering in any capacity does so much.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about getting involved?

I would encourage them to do it. It feels great to see how much of a difference you can make.

How would someone describe you?

I would hope that I would be described as smart, helpful and kind.

All of us at the Children’s Foundation of America would agree with that description. Our team is truly grateful to work with such amazing volunteers and to have the opportunity to partner with AmeriCorps. To volunteer at the Children’s Foundation of America, call 1-800-KIDS-730 or email volunteer@trinityys.org.


Aaron Henry, Community Outreach Associate
Aaron’s role is keeping the day-to-day functions of the Foundation office running efficiently by answering phone calls and emails, taking in and recording donations, coordinating volunteer activities and assisting with outreach and events. Aaron is a musician and an art enthusiast. On weekends, Aaron instructs music at the Claremont Community School of Music and assists at the nonprofit’s office.
Tel: 1-800-543-7730 | Email: volunteer@trinityys.org


 

Volunteer Spotlight: Tamera Guarnieri

This month’s volunteer spotlight focuses on Tamera Guarnieri, who lives in Upland and recently helped out at our booth for the Claremont Pie Festival!

What are your favorite pastimes?

My favorite pastimes are tinkering in my garden, reading, listening to most genres of music, dancing and watching sports. I enjoy playing card and board games. Lately I have been addicted to Magic Puzzles on my tablet. Family dinners on the patio, a glass of wine with a girlfriend, or walking on the beach are my mental refreshers.

Where did you go to school and what was your major?

After high school I attended Mt. San Antonio to begin a degree in fashion merchandising. The road in life is not always straight and so through the zig and zags I took several classes at Chaffey College in various disciplines. It was not until my 40’s when I took some computer classes at California Computer School that I found the road less bumpy.

What activities do you participate in with Children’s Foundation of America?

I have headed the Holiday Heroes program at my company for six years. Our employees really enjoy purchasing gifts for the kids. As the box gets fuller and fuller everyone “ooh’s” and “aah’s” while remembering their own holiday gifts as children. I believe the holiday spirit is best felt when giving joy to children.

Recently I stepped outside of this once-a-year program and volunteered to man the booth at the Claremont Pie Festival. What a great day I had! It was fun to see the faces of attendees as they won a prize by spinning the prize wheel. Talking to passers-by about the Children’s Foundation of America and the wonderful work they do was rewarding. Informing others about this important foundation will hopefully spur them on to volunteer themselves or donate to a great cause.

What inspired you to volunteer with Children’s Foundation of America?

As the mother of three, a former school volunteer and Girl Scout leader I have a special place in my heart for children. It grieves me that kids and teens are put into circumstances beyond their control and that these situations have such impact on their futures. It is wonderful to know that there are loving, giving people ready to help with this plight and find solutions that have the children’s best interest at heart. I want to be part of this solution.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with Children’s Foundation of America?

The smiles on the children’s faces at the holiday party would be reward enough. Knowing I am helping the Foundation carry on its mission is a close second.

What’s your favorite memory from volunteering with Children’s Foundation of America?

One year this teen asked for boxers and socks on his holiday gift request. All the other children had asked for an Xbox or bike or Barbie doll, but he had only asked for essential items. I took his card and fulfilled his wish along with jeans, and shirts, and other items. I hope he liked everything because I really wanted to do right by this guy.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer?

We have so much in our lives. Even if you feel you have a little it is probably more than a lot of others have. If you have time to watch a TV show you have an hour to volunteer. Can you make some phone calls? Fold a few flyers? If you are going to a festival anyway why not spend an hour or two working the booth before or after. It makes you feel good to do something for others. It shows your children how to care for people outside of their family and friends. This community of life comes together when we support each other. Get outside of your comfort zone and volunteer!

Is there anything else you would like to share with your fellow volunteers?

Look around, surf the net, check at church, see what volunteer opportunities best suit your abilities. If you love children and working with others as I do then the Children’s Foundation of America might just be the thing you’re missing in your life.

Be the Difference

Thank you to Tamera for volunteering to Be the Difference!  If you would like to volunteer at the Children’s Foundation of America, call 1-800-KIDS-730 or email volunteer@trinityys.org.


Aaron Henry, Community Outreach Associate
Aaron’s role is keeping the day-to-day functions of the Foundation office running efficiently by answering phone calls and emails, taking in and recording donations, coordinating volunteer activities and assisting with outreach and events. Aaron is a musician and an art enthusiast. On weekends, Aaron instructs music at the Claremont Community School of Music and assists at the nonprofit’s office.
Tel: 1-800-543-7730 | Email: volunteer@trinityys.org


Volunteer Spotlight: G.G. Crawley

This month’s volunteer spotlight focuses on G.G. Crawley, who lives in Upland and works at the School of Social Work at Cal State San Bernardino. G.G. recently helped in our warehouse taking inventory of toys, which will be used throughout the year for birthday gifts for children in foster care.

 What are your favorite pastimes?

Playing with my grandchildren, reading books to them, putting together puzzles and I really enjoy acting in plays.

Where did you go to school and what was your major?

I graduated from Southern University in Social Welfare and from Louisiana State University (LSU) with my master’s degree in social work.

What inspired you to volunteer at the Children’s Foundation of America?

Children are dear to my heart and any organization that extend services to making the life of a child better, I will to offer support.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with us so far?

The fact that I can work with a team of other volunteers and get a job accomplished.

What’s your favorite memory from volunteering at the Foundation?

Right now, it is sorting toys in the warehouse and documenting each item. It was great seeing young students spend time assisting also.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer?

There is an intrinsic value in serving others. The feeling is unexplainable. We will generally volunteer for things we would not consider being paid for as a job and feel really good about the experience.

Is there anything else you would like to share with your fellow volunteers?

Volunteers are essential participants in operation of many nonprofit organizations. If you can help out, the organization is always grateful and appreciative.

Thanks to G.G. for volunteering to Be the Difference. If you would like to volunteer at the Children’s Foundation of America, call 1-800-KIDS-730 or email volunteer@trinityys.org.


Aaron Henry, Community Outreach Associate
Aaron’s role is keeping the day-to-day functions of the Foundation office running efficiently by answering phone calls and emails, taking in and recording donations, coordinating volunteer activities and assisting with outreach and events. Aaron is a musician and an art enthusiast. On weekends, Aaron instructs music at the Claremont Community School of Music and assists at the nonprofit’s office.
Tel: 1-800-543-7730 | Email: volunteer@trinityys.org


 

Our 1st Annual “Valenteer” Party

The Children’s Foundation of America wouldn’t get far without our devoted volunteers. Our volunteers care about the difference we make in the lives of children in need and are more than willing to lend a hand.

These amazing people show up to gift wrap for donations at mall, register guests at fundraiser events, help sort through our warehouse, setup fundraisers, stay at info booths sharing about children’s causes and much more.

We love our volunteers and to show our appreciation, we hosted a party for our favorite valentines at our first annual “Valenteer” Party held the day after Valentine’s Day.

Our Community Outreach Coordinator, Rebecca Ustrell, put together a very sweet party, complete with Valentine treats and décor. From candy to goodie bags, to good conversation and activities, we hope our volunteers were feeling the love.

District Representative, Kristi G. Lopez, from the office of Senator Anthony J. Portantino, joined us in recognizing our volunteers by presenting certificates of appreciation. Guests participated in a raffle and a team building activity, which involved writing sticky notes on how we would each individually “Be the Difference!” Some of our favorites included: “Make a positive impact on my community” and “I will use my skills, my passion and my time to help others.”

As guests nibbled from the cheese and veggie platters, volunteers got the opportunity to find out about our upcoming volunteer opportunities including an information booth at the Claremont Pie Festival, sorting at the warehouse, cards for kids initiative, golf tournament and other fundraisers.

If you are interested in joining our volunteer community, contact volunteer@trinityys.org or call (800) KIDS-730.

 

Jenelle Rensch, Marketing & Promotions Specialist
Jenelle’s role is to maintain a distinctive look and voice through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as a graphic designer and arts and entertainment editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at California State University Fullerton and has won several awards throughout her career including a few from the National Newspaper Association. Jenelle is also very involved in her community. She owns an art gallery, organizes the local art walk, is on the executive board of the downtown district’s marketing group and is active in her church.
Tel: (909) 825-5588 | Email: jrensch@trinityys.org

Volunteer Spotlight: Joanne Sanchez

Volunteer Spotlight

Joanne Sanchez

This month’s volunteer spotlight is Joanne Sanchez of Chino, CA. We assigned her to serve as volunteer administrative assistant at Trinity Youth Services’ Rancho Cucamonga office.

What are your favorite pastimes?

My favorite pastimes are creating art, working out and spending time with my three dogs.

Where did you go to school and what was your major?

I currently attend Irvine Valley College where I will be receiving my AA in Economics, but I will also be transferring this year to Cal Poly Pomona.

What activities do you participate in at Trinity Youth Services?

I assist the social workers with improving organization, helping them locate information and assisting them with filing to ensure everything is up to date.

What inspired you to volunteer at Trinity Youth Services?

I was inspired by the work the employees do to give back to the community and ensure the safety of the children.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering?

I find the knowledge of how I am making a difference very rewarding and encouraging.

What’s your favorite memory from volunteering at Trinity Youth Services?

My favorite memories are the individual looks of appreciation I receive from those I help all around the office.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer?

I would encourage others to volunteer if they are looking for an activity or opportunity to be of service to those who both may need and deserve it. This is a rewarding way to also gain experience for different career fields.

Is there anything else you would like to share with your fellow volunteers?

Even though you’re a volunteer, give it the best you’ve got and treat it like any other job opportunity. The hardworking employees will thank you.

Thanks to Joanne for volunteering to Be the Difference. If you would like to volunteer at the Children’s Foundation of America, call 1-800-KIDS-730 or email volunteer@trinityys.org.

 

Aaron Henry, Community Outreach Associate
Aaron’s role is keeping the day-to-day functions of the Foundation office running efficiently by answering phone calls and emails, taking in and recording donations, coordinating volunteer activities and assisting with outreach and events. Aaron is a musician and an art enthusiast. On weekends, Aaron instructs music at the Claremont Community School of Music and assists at the nonprofit’s office.
Tel: 1-800-543-7730 | Email: volunteer@trinityys.org

Volunteer Spotlight: Aniketa Shinde

Volunteer

Volunteer

Aniketa Shinde

At the Children’s Foundation of America, we love our volunteers. Those who volunteer give their time to help us fulfill our mission to help children who have been victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment to heal, learn and thrive. We couldn’t do it without you! This month, we are featuring Aniketa Shinde, who has volunteered with us for two years.

Where do you live?

Duarte, CA

What are your favorite pastimes?

My hobbies include reading, hiking, biking, watching TV and movies, dancing, sewing and volunteering.

Where did you go to school and what was your major?

I went to UCLA for my undergraduate degree in Physics and UC Irvine for my doctoral degree in Physics.

What compelled you to volunteer for Children’s Foundation of America?

I grew up in Covina and went to Charter Oak High School. Now that I am back in the area I wanted to find ways to get back into the types of volunteering I did as a high school student. I remember having a lot of fun volunteer gift wrapping at the West Covina Mall (as it was known in the 1990’s) but I do not remember what organization it was for. In 2015, I was able to find gift wrapping opportunities on VolunteerMatch with Children’s Foundation of America.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering at Children’s Foundation of America?

I find it very rewarding to provide a service to others (wrapping their gifts) while raising money for children in the foster care system. I enjoy the creativity of wrapping gifts and will never forgot the nonstop gift wrapping session on December 24, 2016. It was hectic and chaotic at times, but really fun as well.

Anything else you would like to share with your fellow volunteers?

I’ve had a great time gift wrapping the past two years. All of the volunteers I’ve worked with have been hard-working and easy to get along with, thank you!

Thanks to Aniketa for volunteering to Be the Difference. If you would like to volunteer at the Children’s Foundation of America, call 1-800-KIDS-730 or email volunteer@trinityys.org.

Holiday Heroes

Holiday Heroes Gift Drive a Major Success

Holiday Heroes
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.

Wells FargoHoliday 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.

Volunteers

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.

Our Partners

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
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!

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.
800-543-7730rustrell@trinityys.org