In June 2020– Very 1st Summer Giveaway (with appropriate COVID-19 protocols) and were able to help 140 youth of Sonoma County foster care! Thank you to everyone who volunteered during the time slots, helped us organize, sort and set up/take down. We are grateful to have you in our village.
In December 2020, we partnered with TLC’s Transitional Housing Program (THP) for a holiday giveaway of clothes, toys and housing needs at a 2-day, COVID-safe event. Because of the generosity of donors and community partners, we were able to serve over 40 youth of Sonoma County foster care. Again, gratefulness fills our hearts.
In March 2021, we raised $2000 for THP to help them purchase a shed to have on site. THP supports parenting and expectant youth in their program. THP has partnered with Our Village Closet to provide essential items for successful and safe parenting. THP is currently storing a large amount of lovely donated items taking up much needed space in their youth resource center. So, their vision is to purchase a shed for the program parents to have a no-hassle, organized, and low barrier way to come choose the items they need most! We were happy to help support this vision. Together we are stronger!
In June 2021, we opened our Resource Center! On June 2nd, we had a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and officially launched our Resource Center- a place for youth and caregivers of or affected by foster care to come get needed supplies and support. Before opening, we served an average of 25-30 people a month. In June alone, we served over 80 people, showing what a difference having this Center makes in the number of people we can reach and support.
In December 2021, we held our 2nd annual Holiday Gift Giveaway and put smiles on the faces of over 170 youth affected by foster care in Sonoma County!
We ended 2021 having fostered connections to almost 2000 individuals impacted by the child welfare system. Our hearts are bursting!
In July 2022, we put essential school supplies in the hands of 211 youth that have been affected by foster care.
In August 2022, we held our Inaugural Be Our Village Fundraiser Event: Mad About Plaid, and raised over $46,000 dollars to support our programs!
In November 2022, Amanda, one of our CoFounders, received a Champion for Children award from 4 C’s for Strong Families.
In December 2022, we hosted our Holiday Gift Giveaway Event. We served over 400 local youth impacted by foster and kinship care, giving out over 1300 gifts and over 1040 stocking stuffers!
In July 2023, we supplied 349 youth with NEW backpacks, lunchboxes, water bottles, school supplies, as well as NEW shoes and NEW or great quality used clothes to kick off a NEW school year!
“There are so many needs and people want to help but don’t know how. This could be a beautiful place for broadening our community.” – Stephanie, Resource Parent
Supporting the Village
With every exchange, we connect with caregivers and youth, listen and suggest resources as needed. However, more support is needed to avoid burnout, uplift the youth, and retain caregivers. Did you know that somewhere between 30%-50% of Foster Caregivers quit within the first year? Our Village Closet exists to lower that number, collaborate to meet the needs of youth in and/or affected by foster care, and hopefully make it easier to say, “YES” to opening your home to youth in need.
Caring for Caregivers (#c4c) meets at the OVC Resource Center (in portable building- the one with a ramp) every Thursday from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm. All Adoptive, Resource (Foster), Relative, and Guardian caregivers are welcome to join us for connection and support. This is a peer-to-peer group.
Self-care groups will be where caregivers and youth can get encouragement and guidance to intentionally take care of their well-being. In March 2024, we will begin offering Yoga on the 2nd Mondays of the month at 12:00 pm.