More than 300 Bay Area supporters gathered on May 2 to learn more about the men, women and youth we serve. This was our first fundraising breakfast since our affiliate merger, and it was a really inspiring event. We heard stories of change, and saw a dramatic video sharing the stories of two young men. Chance was in foster care, and never knew he deserved love and support, until our foster youth program helped him find a path to success. Emmanuel had a hard start to life, and made some questionable choices along the way. Until he found his way to Volunteers of America and found the tools and support he needed to be the master of his own destiny.
On May 1, more than 470 community members attended our annual Shelter from the Storm fundraising breakfast. The purpose of this event is to introduce new people to Volunteers of America and the thousands of individuals and families we serve. To learn more about Shelter from the Storm, visit our website here. During the breakfast, we heard James’s story of redemption, going from foster youth to a homeless alcoholic, and his incredible transformation into the entrepreneur, husband and father he is today. To hear his words, watch the video below.
Kent Lacin debuted his short film entitled “A Long Road Home” illustrating the challenges our veterans face when they return from military service, and the dedicated men and women who are helping them find new lives through our Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. Watch the film below.
In celebrating why we do what we do this month we would like to share the story of Kenneth Melton one of our staff in our Bay Area Programs. Kenneth is a Prevention and Health Services case manager in the Bay Area who was inspired to do the work that he does with our clients because at one point in his life someone showed him the same kindness and compassion.
This March marked our 5th annual Dream Store Spring Distribution at our Bay Area foster youth program, Foster A Dream! Each year, Foster A Dream holds two clothing and school supply distribution to help Bay Area foster youth feel prepared to succeed at school and beyond. What makes this event possible is the dedication, support , and compassion of our volunteers and donors! Because of you, our foster youth have the thrill of picking out the clothing and supplies they’ll be proud of. We’re grateful for our volunteers who acted as “personal shoppers,” giving the youth special attention and a boost of confidence as they pick out new outfits and backpacks for school.
We would also like to give a BIG THANKS to Sylvie & Mado, who made a generous donation. Thank you for giving giving our young ladies such an incredible spring selection of clothing!
In addition to shopping sprees for all the youth, Senior Portraits were provided for the young men and women who will graduate high school this May. Volunteers lovingly provided hair and make styling for our youth, helping them feel at their best! Of course many thanks are due to the professional photographers who gave their time and talents to create portraits these youth will treasure their whole lives.
The smiles on the faces of our youth is a constant reminder of why we do what we do, but it is because of supporters like you that our youth have these opportunities. Thank you for sharing your love with the youth and children who need it most.
Victoria completed three internships after college, and when she interned with Volunteers of America, she knew it was the place for her. She was hired on as a Substance Abuse Outreach Counselor, then was promoted to Assistant Director, and then Director. She has worked in many different programs within the Volunteers of America organization, bringing her compassion and her deep desire to help with her.
Victoria loves working at Volunteers of America; she feels that you don’t have to work hard in order to see the good in people. Her clients always greet her with a smile, and most give her a hug.
This month we’re celebrating those who, through their struggles, triumphs, and compassion, inspire us to help others. Here’s Archie’s story about how VOA did not give up on him even though he had given up on himself.