Dear Fostering Connections St. Johns Supporters,
Thanksgiving is a great time to spend with family, enjoy a delicious meal together, and give thanks. During this month of celebrating our gratitude, my heart is filled with gratitude to our board members, volunteers, community partners, and community for supporting our local children in foster care.
This year has been full of surprises and changes for us all. The number of children in foster care has increased greatly since March. Despite all of the many changes and times of uncertainty, Fostering Connections St. Johns has continued to move forward and make a difference in the lives of children in the foster care system.
In 2020, Fostering Connections St. Johns has:
Graduated our first class of seven Career Readiness Academy students in partnership with The Kookaburra Coffee. Five out of seven students are currently interning with local businesses. Two students will begin their internships later this fall.
12 children have participated in both our children and teen Arts programs.
Provided 31 at home art kits for children to continue their art projects at home.
Gave backpacks and school supplies to 67 children in St. Johns and Putnam Counties.
Provided 75 care packages for youth in the foster care system and at-risk young adults.
Gave 45 Easter Baskets for foster youth.
Provided essentials such as bedding, beds, dressers, car seats, a double stroller, a table and chairs, a car, clothing, laptop computers for children in foster care in Putnam and St. Johns County.
Because of your generosity, teens in the foster care system are learning valuable career and life skills to plan for their future. “This program has exceeded my goals.”, “I love coming here. People are nice and happy here.” and “I love my internship.” are a few comments from teens participating in our program. Children in the foster care system have had exposure to the arts to develop their creativity and self-expression skills through our Arts programs. We have provided a sense of normalcy and fun during the pandemic through at home art kits and holiday gifts for children. A young adult aging out of foster care received a car to help him have transportation to his job. Three teens in foster care received laptops to complete their virtual school work. Foster families have received needed essentials to help the children settle into their new foster home and be ready for the new school year.
We have been able to support so many children and families this year because of the dedication and support of local businesses and donors like you. You all care deeply about our foster youth and are always willing to help and give what you are able to. Your contributions are making a difference in the lives of local children in foster care. Thank you for all you do for Fostering Connections St. Johns!
The annual Holiday Party for foster families has been cancelled this year. In its place, there will be a Drive Thru Holiday Party on December 13. There are opportunities to give gifts to foster children and volunteer. Please see more information in our newsletter on how to give support. Let’s finish 2020 strong and make sure our foster families have a wonderful holiday season!
Thank you for your support! I hope you and your family have a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving!
Founder & President, Fostering Connections St. Johns