The group used the Season for Sharing grant for expenses for foster children

Being a child is so much more than going to school.

Ball games, cycling, theme park outings. All combine with educational opportunities to form a complete person who learns self-esteem and responsibility, in addition to progressing in school.

The Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation helps foster children and their caregivers with athletic registration and equipment, citizenship and immigration fees, educational camps, tutoring, photos class, graduation fees and more.

“Children in foster care are invisible,” said AFFCF executive director Kris Jacober.

“When they are removed from families where they are not safe, they have no voice and no choice about what happens next. The support of the AFFCF means that children in families d foster become children like all other children.”

In 2021, the Scottsdale-based group helped more than 4,800 children with social, athletic and educational activities across the state. Many of them will spend their childhood in the system, aging at 18. They and their caregivers often write thank you letters and cards for the opportunities.

The group’s mission is to give these children the chance to participate in fun educational activities that pave the way to a brighter future and a more successful transition to adulthood.

Last year, the band received a $10,000 Season of Sharing grantwhich has helped 60 children.

A hand drawing of an adopted child.

How do you rate success? At the end of our fiscal year, we total the number and type of awards made. We track the dollar amount of rewards given as well as the age, gender, and county location of kids who receive rewards. We send assessments to caregivers, social workers and other partner organizations to indicate changes in areas such as academics, self-esteem and general behavior.

Measurable results:

  • 92% of children demonstrated an improvement in their academic performance
  • 98% of children demonstrated improved self-esteem
  • 96% of children demonstrated improved behavior

What are your greatest needs? More funding to continue our work and to educate caregivers and foster children that we can cover these types of expenses for them.

Share a story? A 4-year-old boy in foster care was diagnosed with leukemia in 2019. He was forced to stay home due to his diagnosis and was extended during the pandemic. We were able to pay for activities to do at the house and in her garden. While he had to be hospitalized for ongoing treatment, he talked about wanting to take a trip to Disneyland when he felt better. We were able to make that dream come true and fund his trip to Disneyland and he had the opportunity to experience life outside of cancer and foster care.

Roxanne De La Rosa covers the nonprofit community. Join her at rdelarosa@azcentral.com. Donations to Season for Sharing are accepted year-round. Donate online at sharing.azcentral.com or by texting “SHARING” to 91-999.

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