November 20, 2015
Every fall as the holidays approach, I look forward to time spent at family gatherings and with friends, and with each fall, I am even more aware of how fortunate I am to have these family members in my life, the ones who have played a large part in the woman I am today. Their support has been all encompassing, from supporting me and celebrating my accomplishments as a child, to listening and guiding me through my education and my career path, every bit of encouragement a step in the right direction.
I am also keenly aware of the children and young people Promises2Kids serves who do not have that same level of caring and support. For so many foster children, their holidays are spent alone, reminding them that most often the only person they can rely on is themselves. This is why at Promises2Kids, we hold special holiday gatherings for our Guardian Scholars- sharing in a Thanksgiving dinner with friends and their Promises “family”.. In December, we send each youth a care package- letting them know we are thinking about them, and … sending them gift cards, study items, positive notes, and other things to prepare them for their final exams.
One of my most favorite things we do in December is when we welcome all of our 120 youth back from college and celebrate the holidays with them at their annual Holiday Party. A warm, joyous occasion in a local home (fully decorated for the holiday season), 200 people come together for food, music (from a local DJ) and general good holiday cheer and festivities. Following the dinner, we take each youth shopping at a local target to shop for holiday gifts for themselves, their brother or sisters or family members they cannot be with during this time.
As busy as the hustle and bustle of year-end can be, at the end of this wonderful evening with our Guardian Scholars, I reflect on how much these young people have given me- the true gift of love, family and knowing that family is often not defined by biological ties, but rather by those that you surround yourself with – those that you know love and care for you and that you in turn love and care for.. Promises2Kids is more than an agency- it is a family to all those that are touched by its youth, staff, volunteers and donors.
If you are interested in helping out, please make a donation online at www.Promises2Kids.org or contact Promises2Kids to volunteer.
For the Children,
Tonya Torosian, MSW, CFRE