Foster Love

By on Jun 26, 2024 in Giving

When an organization is deeply rooted in the real-world foster care experience, it transforms the foster care landscape and ensures every child feels valued and supported.

Foster Love foster care children

Foster Love (Together We Rise) is a Yardi-supported nonprofit organization founded in 2008 in Brea, California. This organization is dedicated to transforming how youth navigate the foster care community. The organization provides critical and unprecedented resources, support and services to current and former foster youth. Programs range from the organization’s Sweet Cases to full-tuition scholarships and mentorship programs. Foster Love is steadfast in its commitment to transforming the lives of high-risk foster youth by providing them with critical resources and advocating for systemic changes that ensure their voices are heard in the realm of child welfare reform.

Through powerful social media campaigns, engaging speaking engagements, and collaboration with policymakers, Foster Love champions the perspectives of those with lived experiences, fostering empathy and understanding. This advocacy is so powerful because Foster Love’s board members, leadership, and staff are not just professionals but individuals with personal connections to the foster care system. They are former foster youth, foster parents or have dedicated careers in child welfare, bringing a unique and authentic voice to the table.

“Many of us are former foster youth, have been foster parents, or have dedicated our careers to child welfare. This connection provides us with an intimate understanding of the challenges and nuances of navigating the foster care system, enabling us to offer trauma-informed, compassionate services to a population that too often feels overlooked or marginalized,” said Ambyr Barlett, grant writer for Foster Love.

Foster Love is gearing up for a series of impactful initiatives and milestones this year to empower system-impacted youth.

“Our upcoming second annual Foster Love gala on July 13th in Irvine, California, will be a monumental event as we celebrate serving our millionth child in foster care. This gala is a testament to our unwavering commitment to supporting vulnerable youth nationwide,” explained Barlett.

In addition to the gala, Foster Love will continue hosting Disney Day events in September at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, and this year, it will expand to spread its magic to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. Disney Days is an extraordinary event in which hundreds of separated siblings from the foster care system are reunited for a day of joy and bonding.

Yardi funding helps support the flexibility and stability needed to respond effectively to foster youth’s ever-changing needs. It also allows the organization to adapt programs and services to meet their immediate and long-term requirements.

“We are profoundly grateful for Yardi’s unwavering and generous support of Foster Love and the transformative work we do for youth in foster care,” expressed Bartlett.

She continued, “Yardi’s commitment not only fuels our initiatives but also strengthens our resolve to make a lasting difference in the lives of these young individuals. Your consistent backing is more than just financial assistance; it is a powerful affirmation of our shared vision to empower and uplift some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Disney Days

Disney Days reunites siblings separated by the foster care system for a day of fun and memory-making at Disneyland in Anaheim.

In 2018, during Disney Days, Foster Love engaged with a married couple eager to volunteer for the day and chaperone a sibling set around the park. This couple had no intentions of starting a family and were simply Disney fans who fell in love with its mission. They were matched with a sibling set of three sisters placed in different homes throughout the county. By the end of the day, it was clear that this group of five had created a special bond. The couple immediately asked Foster Love how to go about adopting the girls.

The executive director for Foster Love advised them to take a week to think over their decision. One week to the day later, the office received a phone call from them. Nine months later, this incredible group of volunteers adopted all three girls. They remain a strong, happy, and healthy family today!

Volunteer Opportunities

There are numerous ways for Yardi to engage more deeply in the volunteer efforts at Foster Love. Team-building service projects are at the heart of these efforts, offering Yardi and other community groups from various sectors (such as corporations, religious organizations, and community groups) an opportunity to engage in meaningful, hands-on service experiences. Participants not only contribute directly but also see the immediate impact of their work.

Foster Love’s diverse service activity programs include Sweet Cases, Bike Build, Build A Board, Birthday Boxes, Superhero Boxes, and STEM Boxes. Please visit its website for information on creating these resources individually and not in a team-building session.

In addition, Foster Love organizes annual special events that rely heavily on the dedication and enthusiasm of volunteers. A highlight is its Disney Days event. Foster Love also welcomes volunteer support for its teen shopping sprees and feeding families campaigns, essential programs that bring comfort and support to foster youth throughout the year. These initiatives provide invaluable opportunities for Yardi to make a significant impact, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose in supporting these vital efforts.

“Every milestone we reach and every success story of a child in foster care is a testament to Yardi’s impactful partnership. We are deeply thankful for your ongoing support, which continues to inspire and drive our efforts to provide a better future for foster youth. Your belief in our mission profoundly enhances our ability to bring about positive change and hope where it is most needed,” said Bartlett.

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