Ten local agencies with bring their resources together Saturday to provide games, food and fun to foster youth families from across the Santa Clarita Valley.
Named “Thrive,” the community gathering at Bouquet Canyon Park is the first of its kind and will include a picnic, field day, resource fair, games, face painting and giveaways including bikes and skateboards.
“In talking with some of our foster families, it seems like they want more opportunities for extracurricular activities for their foster kids,” said Lauren Frey, homeless and foster youth liaison for the Saugus Union School District.
“I also wanted to create a space to build that community so other families can get to know each and learn about the resources available to them,” Frey said.
The event was initiated by Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Foster Youth Services which distributed gift cards to school districts so they could put on a one-time event for children in foster care, according to Frey.
“I obtained some of these funds,” Frey said. “I came up with this idea and reached out to the other school districts in our area and some churches and a nonprofit to plan this event.”
The group chose to title the event “Thrive” to encourage families to spend more time together and in the community.
“My goal was to keep it as small as possible to build that sense of community with people who live near each other and possibly go the same school or the same churches or participate in the same community events,” Frey said.
In addition to a resource fair, families will receive a free lunch provided by Jersey Mike’s and Chik-Fil-A and sports equipment donated by Target and Kmart.
“We’re providing a few different services in one event,” Frey said. “We have coaches that will be teaching sports skills to the kids in soccer, basketball and volleyball.”
Frey said the goal of the event is to bring a sense of community to foster youth families and give them a chance to feel refreshed, encouraged and supported.
“Our hopes is making this a recurring event toward the end of the school year and beginning of summer every year,” Frey said.
Thrive is open to foster youth families and will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Bouquet Canyon Park.
Participating agencies of the event include: the Saugus Union School District, Newhall School District, Sulphur Springs Union School district, William S. Hart Union High School District, College of the Canyons, Los Angeles County, city of Santa Clarita, Real Life Church, Grace Baptist Church and Foster Youth Independence.
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