Many parents have recently sent a son or daughter off to college while others are nervously standing by while high school seniors work on college applications. Though parents are usually relegated to the sidelines, once acceptance letters are received and the choice made and deposits sent, parents are likely to receive a warm welcome to join in the packing, holding, shipping and moving.
But for a foster child, it’s a different story. Once these kids turn 18, they “graduate” from the system and, many times, are completely on their own. Enter the partnership between National Charity League, Inc., Glendale Chapter and United Friends of the Children (UFC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the bettering of the lives of foster children and to supporting former foster youth in their journey to become successful, independent adults.
As part of its College Sponsorship Program, UFC provides dorm kits for its clients who are going away to college. The kits consist of the basic necessities for a college freshman living away at school.
NCL Glendale Class of 2015 chose to support UFC as its chapter-wide project during the 2012-13 school year with the goal to create and provide dorm kits for the 40 UFC students going away to college. The project, which included service opportunities for the entire chapter, encompassed fundraising, soliciting donations, purchasing essentials, and creating handmade items, culminated with a “shopping party” this summer for the UFC clients, allowing them to choose the items for their dorm kits.
Jodi Powers is one of the mothers who, along with Susie Develle, led the committee that advised the Ticktockers as they formulated and carried out the project.
“This was the first major project accomplished by our chapter for UFC, and I was very proud of the small but mighty (16 Ticktockers) Class of 2015 for meeting all of the goals of the project,” Powers said.
The UFC students, who will be attending four-year universities including Stanford University, Cal Poly Pomona, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, Cal State Long Beach among others, put together kits at the party with comforters, sheet sets, towels, pillows, handmade blankets, shower caddies, laundry bags, surge protectors, etc.
“It was an eye-opening experience to see the smiles on the students’ faces as they shopped. Those kids are truly deserving after all their hard work in high school,” said Class of 2015 Ticktocker and chapter-wide Workshop Leader Melissa Horner.
Ticktocker Kaitlin Powers, who also led workshops, added, “These kids have been through so much. I really feel like UFC and NCL teamed up to do something special.”
United Friends of the Children is an organization that seeks to be a catalyst for change through its programs, advocacy efforts and direct involvement with youth.