founder's annual Letter May 2016
Dear Friends and Supporters of Rose Again Foundation,
This May, our team celebrated the non-profit's third anniversary since our founding in 2013. It seems entirely impossible that so much time has already passed; yet when we reflect on all that we have been able to accomplish, we are reminded that we must serve a truly good and gracious God. Our team is tremendously grateful for the continuing support that we receive from our community, and would like to share with you some of the fruits of this support from this past year.
If you've been with us since 2015, you will remember the program we introduced last year called the Kids of Summer program. Thanks to the support of many generous supporters and companies in our valley, well over 70 foster children were able to enjoy summer activities of their choice, ranging everywhere from sports and fitness, performing arts, visual arts, aquatics, robotics, enrichment programs, day or week camps, horse therapy and more. This coming summer we look forward to helping over 100 children through our KOS program!
This past holiday season, our team was absolutely blown away by the support we received for our Bless the Children program. Thanks to our BTC sponsors - Moms Run This Town, Temecula Valley Hospital, County Supervisor 3rd District Chuck Washington, LaPointe Wealth Management, Professional Women's Roundtable, Sowers and Muna Elias of Elias Shoes - we provided over 150 foster and emancipated foster youth with an assortment of essentials, including new backpacks, handmade blankets, pillows, toiletries, new shoes, jackets, books, toys and more. This was an incredible increase in the number of kids served from last year's 34 BTC recipients! Included with the gifts were handmade cards of love and encouragement made by children and adult volunteers from all over the county.
Another incredible need that has been brought to our attention is that of our valley's emancipated foster youth. Emancipated young men and women are often left with very little to no aid after aging out of the system, and can benefit enormously from just a little provision. This past year, we felt it weighing heavily on our hearts to seek out ways to provide some assistance to these youth, in order to help get them on their feet as they enter adulthood. So, we assembled our first Thrive Boxes. These boxes include basic life necessities such as dinnerware, utensils, pots and pans, flatware, linens and other useful items we felt would be crucial to a successful start. The beginnings of this program, while small, have given us hope that we will make an even greater impact on this population in the near future!
In addition to the above programs and services, our team is thrilled to introduce our newest opportunity for graduating foster high school seniors and emancipated foster young adults continuing their education. Rose Again is now accepting applications for scholarships to help recipients with education related expenses. We value education highly and are absolutely overjoyed about this new opportunity.
Finally, I'll briefly recap our remaining programs and services that we have continued to offer this past year. These include our Arrival Package Program (which meets immediate needs of emergency placement foster children), our Financial Aid Program (which allows for assistance with a need that affects the health and well being of a child that is not otherwise being met) and our Kids Soar program which is an extension of our Kids of Summer program allowing kids in need to continue the activity of their choice throughout the year.
In summary, we have been absolutely overjoyed this past year by new programs and opportunities, which has kept us (especially our amazing Executive Director!) on our toes, but has also left us with so many reasons to celebrate the goodness of our God, our community, and the remarkable children we serve.
On behalf of our kiddos, THANK YOU for our continued love and support!