Our favorite event of the year is always the holiday party we do with Alliance for Children’s Rights. Hosted at the Community Coalition in South LA, we get to have cooking demos in their inviting open kitchen, as well as “Action Stations” like cupcake decorating, a Smile Booth, and a beauty bar for youth to participate in.
This event is specifically designed for youth 18-22 years of age who are aging out of foster care and serviced by The Next Step program of The Alliance Children’s Rights, which helps to find them housing, get them jobs, and learn how to access the system on their own. Many of these young adults are parents themselves, so we bring their children in on the cooking fun.
This year, Coastal Farms donated a bunch of beautiful porcelain doll pumpkins, so Matt conducted a cooking class to make pumpkin risotto. The youth were completely flabbergasted that you can actually eat a pumpkin!
West Central Produce donated much of the produce we used. It is always so heartwarming when community comes forward like this to help us with this party.
Dear friends of mine came forward to donate cupcakes to decorate, a lipstick station, and manicure table. How adorable is this little girl? She loved getting lipgloss from Burt’s Bees to take home with her fancy manicure.
Many, many generous people donated items for raffle. Look at it all! Not pictured are an abundance of gift cards too. This is community at it’s best! Leaning in to lift up vulnerable populations who, without support, tend to become homeless, incarcerated, or at best, enter the despairing cycle of poverty. When we come together consistently, the odds can change!
My dear friend Stefanie Cove made a gift basket for every single person to take home. This was no small task! She put in a lot of time and effort to get these together, taking collections from a few other party planners (I see you, Mindy Weiss!) and purchasing a significant amount of goods herself. I appreciate you Stef Cove! Also my dear friend Katey Denno and Angie Bruyere donated copiously and volunteered, connecting with youth and being present for them.
As our government continues to fail this population, I see a shift in compassion taking place among my peers. We all can be the change we need to lift up those around us out of their circumstance. Mentoring is a powerful life time gift. Contact The Alliance for Children’s Rights or other non-profits in your area to make an impact.