The holidays looked different for many this year, us as a foundation included. While we weren’t able to conduct the “holidays as usual” (tree trimming, cookie decorating, a festive Christmas party with Santa and games) with the youth we serve, we were able to pivot and still make Christmas and New Year’s a very special time for these foster girls.
For the entire month of December, we dropped off Christmas crafts, holiday DVDs, Christmas trees and decorations.
For each of the 5 Christmas Eve parties, we delivered a dinner buffet and treats, a lot of which were favorites requested by the girls themselves. The foster girls played Christmas themed games we delivered, with each girl winning a prize valued at $20 or more.
Each girl was also gifted a Christmas stocking that had hair and beauty items, stress toys, perfumes/colognes, other fun items and treats, along with a $100 gift card to Target.
On Christmas morning, the youth woke up to the sight of yummy treats and goodies to be enjoyed throughout the day, and a beautiful handmade paper scrapbook with all the items needed to design a keepsake treasure.
Between the Christmas stockings, gift cards and scrapbook kit they were gifted, these were the only presents many of the girls received.
For New Years Eve, we provided a Party Pack with 2021 hats, noise makers, beads, boas and other party favors, along with snacks and sparkling apple cider for toasting!
This holiday season, in addition to serving foster girls, we were also able to serve our other partners – Learning Works and Los Angeles County of Commercial Sexual Exploited Children (CSEC).
For the students of Learning Works, we presented 20 Christmas stockings stuffed with goodies, along with a $50 Visa Gift.
Raul Zarate, the Middle School Instructor and Chaser at Learning Works, wrote to us saying, “Thank you for making it happen. I really enjoyed making the drops and seeing a smile on all of our student’s faces during these crazy times. We have a great team of individuals with big hearts that just want to give back and I absolutely love it.”
For the youth and young adults rescued by CSEC, we gave approximately $2,750 worth of clothing, bedding and gift cards this holiday season.
Mayra Gallo, Bureau of Specialized Response Services for CSEC, wrote to us saying “The girls were super excited when I presented them with their $100 gift card. They all made comments such as ‘I’m going to buy myself the hair product I’ve been wanting’ or ‘I’m going to buy a shirt’ and ‘ooh I’m going to buy underwear.’ Their eyes glowed as they were expressing what they were going to buy. Thank you all for your support.”
So yes, the holidays looked different this year than they did in years past… but as a Foundation we were still able to make a huge impact in the lives of those we serve.
Thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters who’ve donated and continue to support us. We couldn’t do our work without you.
GIVE – MENTOR – LOVE is a Foundation of dedicated professionals serving LA County youths and young adults in-crisis, at risk, homeless or in foster care, and victims of Human Trafficking.
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