As the holidays wind down we are eternally grateful to all Crittenton Services for Children and Families volunteers, donors and partners for helping us make the holiday magic happen throughout our agency. It is because of you that our youth and families got to experience a hopeful Christmas.
Living in shelter situation or going through a mental health crisis is never a pleasant experience. In particular if you are experiencing these circumstances as a child. However, despite these kind of situations, our youth and their families are resilient and throughout the years we have been fortunate to witness extraordinary life achievements from the clients we have been honored to serve.
Crittenton does what it can to make the holidays a little more enjoyable for those using our services during this time period. Albeit, we simply would not be able to provide this “hope” without the dedication of all our supporters willing to share their goodwill with those experiencing difficult life paths.
Case in point we thank the Laguna Road Choir of the Fullerton School District, one of the many volunteer groups, that stopped by this December. It is your talents, your time, and your compassion that makes the difference in a child’s life that doesn’t know or hasn’t witnessed compassion in their lifetime.
And a special thank you to our guest blogger, Francine Vudoti, one of the local choir members who wrote about their experience engaging with Crittenton for the Fullerton Observer, and who stopped by and sang festive Christmas music to Crittenton youth currently staying with us during the holidays.
Interested in volunteering, donating or becoming a foster parent? Connect with Crittenton’s Development Office or Crittenton’s Foster Care Office and learn of the many ways you can make a difference in the life of child that needs it the most.
And now…our guest blog…
I am a member of a choir in the Fullerton School District. On the first week of December, we visited a foster care agency in the city. We sang Christmas carols and distributed cookies and gift cards to the children. Most of them are actually bigger than us. I would say they are teenagers but there were also some smaller kids.
I have watched the movie, Annie and Cinderella, so I imagined the children might look like them. For example, they might be wearing old or worn clothes and they might look tired from doing a lot of chores. They might even look sad.
The director of the foster care agency told us a few things about their residents. She said that the children might not speak the same language as we do but the best language we can use is the language of love in our smile.
When we arrived in the venue, I was delighted to see that the children actually looked just like us. They do not look sad nor tired from doing chores. They were chatting happily with one another just like regular kids.
The place looks nice. It is peaceful and quiet. The staff seems to be very polite and kind. I thought these kids must be lucky. Cinderella had two wicked stepsisters and a wicked step mom, and Annie had a wicked directress “Miss Hannagan.”
Back home, I shared with my mom my experience at the foster care agency. I told her I didn’t know that our city has a place that cares for those who have been separated from their families. I wouldn’t even know those kids are in foster care. Their clothes were neat and tidy and they look happy. The director said that they also go to school just like us. They will stay there until their families are located and they are safe to be reunited with them.
Last year, in third grade, we had a tour of our city and I had known a lot of things about Fullerton. This year, I am learning even more. I feel proud of our city and the staff and volunteers at the foster care facility. They have very caring hearts. I want to have a caring heart, too. Perhaps, the world would be a better place if we all have caring hearts not just during Christmas but every day of the year!
Crittenton Services for Children and Families of Southern California (CSCF) is a non-profit social services agency whose mission is to heal the wounds of abuse and neglect; strengthen families; and help troubled adolescents reach their full potential. Established and incorporated in 1966 Crittenton has a highly trained workforce operating 24 hours a day / 7 days a week providing comprehensive counseling, behavioral health services, and other support services to the clients in our care. We provide a full array of residential, in-home, community based, wraparound, mental health, foster care, and transitional age youth services with a service planning area throughout Southern California that covers Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego Counties.