With the help of generous community partners, Foster Kinship delivered Christmas to dozens of children being raised by relatives today. Volunteers from the Las Vegas Center for Spiritual Living and a generous donation from The Touch of Love Foundation made it all possible for these very deserving children. Bikes, winter jackets, clothing, diapers, gift cards, high chairs and new toys were among the gifts. Kinship caregivers who attended our December support group were able to request gifts and necessities for their children.
On a personal note, this December marks the one year anniversary of Foster Kinship. It has been an incredible year and we have been able to help hundreds of kinship caregivers in Las Vegas with support groups, family events, resource referrals and direct support. I am constantly touched by the strength and resolve of kinship caregivers, and the very important work they do providing home, family and parenting for the relative’s children in their care. I have also been overwhelmed by the generosity of individual donors and community partners. With their support Foster Kinship has been able to provide some real gifts to families that need a little extra support.
Three years ago when I moved to Las Vegas, I started working with children in foster care. I immediately fell in love with all of them and wanted to do everything I could to make their lives better. Since I couldn’t adopt them all, and since many children were being cared by relatives, I decided that helping caregivers would be a way to ensure long term stability for the children in their care. By starting Foster Kinship, we have been able to help more children than I ever thought possible, in what I believe is the most important way: by helping their caregivers provide the safest, most stable and loving childhood possible.
Thank you to all caregivers and children who have blessed my life and all the community partners and donors who value the work we do. Thank you especially to Tina Boag and everyone at the Las Vegas Center for Spiritual Living. Thank you also to my family and close friends who have supported this endeavor with time, money and knowledge, and most of all to my incredible husband Terry who makes this life possible.
Happy holidays to you and your family, and many blessings for the New Year.
~ Ali O’Donnell Caliendo, Foster Kinship Founder and Director.