Fostering Youth Independence (FYI) once again held its annual holiday party, with festivities and gifts for 50 local foster youth supported by the nonprofit organization. In addition to the youths, the party brought together their adult Allies and other supporters and staff who participated in the festivities held at the Fellowship Center at Christ Lutheran Church.
With the theme of “PJs and Breakfast Grinchmas Party,” all youths wore matching pajamas, and many of the adult supporters donned their pajamas as well. Following a buffet breakfast, the youth were divided into teams for a sleigh-building contest, which challenged them to creatively use boxes, wrapping paper and other materials to create a holiday sleigh.
Then, with help from The Grinch himself, each youth was called up to receive a sizable bag of gifts, which had been donated by members of the community.
“It was such a special day for all of us,” said Carolyn Olsen, FYI’s executive director and cofounder. “After the COVID hiatus forced us to miss our last holiday get-together, it was wonderful to safely be together again to celebrate the season with our youth and those who care about them.
“And thanks to the generosity of the Santa Clarita community, our youth enjoyed an amazing array of gifts, and our staff and volunteers did a great job of creating the ‘Grinchmas’ festivities.”
She added that FYI was particularly thrilled when, the week following the holiday party, a generous friend of FYI stepped up to offer a new dollar-for-dollar match for all donations up to $10,000. “FYI’s original matching fund goal had just been met, so we were elated when this new opportunity was gifted to us. This now means that contributions between now and Dec. 31 will enable donors to make twice the impact for our foster youth with their gift.”
Olsen said FYI’s administrative costs are low, so the majority of donations go directly toward crucial programs and items that will support the youth.
FYI directly impacts the lives of Santa Clarita’s transition-age foster youth (ages 16 to 25) by providing support and helping them obtain needed resources as they age out of the foster care system and work to complete a post-secondary education to prepare to become successful, independent adults.
Donations can be submitted by visiting www.fyifosteryouth.org or contacting FYI at 661-360-1500.