My dear friend Claudia Miller is the Regional Development Manager for First Place For Youth. Founded in 1998, First Place was the first organization in Northern California to provide affordable housing and supportive services to former foster youth, and today is considered a national model for providing permanent housing for high risk youth. Over the past two years, I have heard Claudia's stories about the kids and young adults that are a part of this organization and I have heard her determination to raise money for this important cause.
Yesterday First Place for Youth hosted a private showing of The Blind Side at the Jack London Theatre in Oakland. This movie depicts a teenager lost in the foster care system who ultimately becomes a successful adult. About 100 Oakland residents and friends of First Place showed up to support the cause. This holiday season as people are cutting back on the extravagant gifts, First Place for Youth is a great gift alternative. Donate any amount of money in a friend or family members name. Visit First Place for Youth online.
Growing up with my entire family intact, I have taken for granted my privilege of family support. Every year I was able to go the school in my neighborhood, maintain the same friends over the years and enjoy trading school pictures with my buddies. Often foster children are moved around, (on average 5 times), have difficulty getting into school because of lost birth certificates and often no one purchases their school photographs. Last week, Oakland resident and photographer Christina Koci-Hernandez donated her time and took exquisite photos of the kids in the program. Click Here and check out Christina's amazing slide show!