Dear Fostering Connections St. Johns Supporters,
It is the most wonderful time of the year! Although 2020 has been a year full of surprises for us all and we may be celebrating the holidays a little differently this year, the spirit of holiday giving is thriving.
I am in awe of the generosity and spirit of giving in our community. Our board members, council members, and volunteers have dedicated many hours of time and resources to support Fostering Connections St. Johns. So many local businesses and community members have contacted us to give support to our local children in foster care this holiday season. We appreciate your continued support and partnership!
The month of November was busy with programming and planning for 2021. Our Career Readiness Academy students have been thriving in their internships, are getting ready to apply for part time jobs, and are beginning to set their goals for 2021. Our Teen Arts students painted paintings inspired by the Masters. The Grands & Caregivers Support Group is doing a series of family holiday Zoom workshops. We held our first volunteer tutor training. We were able to connect foster families with community partners to help with needs for Thanksgiving. In 2021, we look forward to launching our Extended Foster Care life skills programs, beginning foster care awareness training for our community, giving college scholarships to foster youth, and sponsoring youth in care to attend summer camp.
Our focus for December is preparing for the Drive Thru Christmas Party for our foster families, being held on December 13. We are so excited to celebrate the holiday season with our foster families! Families will receive gifts, Holiday Party Boxes in partnership with St. Augustine Moms, and books provided by the United Way. We are so grateful to the many businesses and community members sponsoring children. There are opportunities to sponsor Holiday Party Boxes for children in care. Read more information in our newsletter. Children continue to come into foster care and needs change daily. Please follow us on Facebook to stay updated.
Fostering Connections St. Johns is growing! Beginning in 2021, we will be serving foster children and their families in all of Circuit 7-St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler , and Volusia counties! We look forward to having all of our programming and services in all four counties by 2022. There are over 1,000 Circuit 7 children in foster care. We look forward to supporting as many children as we can. We will be moving into an office space sometime in early 2021. We will share more about our growth as an organization in our January 2021 newsletter. In 2021, we are expanding our board membership. Read more about how you can join our board in our newsletter attached below.
I invite you to join us in our work supporting children in care and their families. There are many ways to give support. Give a donation, sponsor an event, become a board member, support or host a Career Readiness Academy intern, teach a life skills class, tutor a students, do a collection for care package items. Your support gives children in foster care needed essentials, the support services they need with career and life skills, access to social capital, and ,most of all, hope.
There is something everyone can do to support children in foster care. How will you help us fill the gaps?
I wish you and your family a joyful holiday season!
Aubrie Simpson-Gotham Founder & President, Fostering Connections St. Johns