Foster Care Counts, the non-profit organization founded by Jeanne Pritzker that’s dedicated to raising awareness and serving the needs of foster youth and families in Los Angeles, hosted its ninth annual Foster Mother’s Day celebration on Sunday, May 14. Together with numerous community-based organizations that support Los Angeles’ foster care system, Foster Care Counts welcomed over 2,500 foster youth and their families at a celebration designed to give back to foster parents who dedicate their lives to helping children. Rep. Karen Bass, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and LA City Council Member Mike Bonnin stopped by to help celebrate the foster moms and kids.
The annual event, held at The Willows Community School in Culver City, honored foster families with a day filled with fun, entertainment, food, relaxation and pampering. Foster Mother’s Day is supported by numerous corporations in the community, including Banc of California, Disney|ABC Television Group, Jouer Cosmetics, Nestle, Paul Mitchell®, and Wolfgang Puck Catering. The day would not be possible without the contributions of 400 dedicated volunteers.
“We started Foster Mother’s Day nine years ago to honor and show our respect for the many foster parents who give selflessly of themselves every day,” said Jeanne Pritzker, founder of Foster Care Counts. “We all share responsibility for children in foster care – in fact, I see these kids as all of our kids! Foster Mother’s Day allows us to show our appreciation while bringing the community together in support of foster families.”
“Foster Care Counts’ annual Foster Mother’s Day Celebration is a day filled with fun, love and gratitude, recognizing the life changing role our foster mothers play in caring for our most vulnerable youth,” remarked Brandon Nichols, Acting Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, adding, “DCFS is indebted to Foster Care Counts for their unwavering support of foster youth and their caregivers.”
As Mother’s Day recognizes the hard work of moms in all households, Foster Care Counts believes it is important to celebrate those parents who are helping to raise children who need alternative living situations.
Hayden Byerly (“Jude”) from Freeform’s critically-acclaimed TV series “The Fosters” and VoluntEARS from The Walt Disney Company also took part in the day.
The Kids’ area had carnival games, arts and crafts, magicians, balloon artists, and face painting. Young children enjoyed a special storytelling and activity area hosted by The Book Foundation, which gave away young readers books and backpacks to take home.
Visitors to the spa enjoyed hairstyling by Future Professionals from Paul Mitchell the School, Sherman Oaks and makeup was provided by Jouer Cosmetics. Wolfgang Puck Catering provided a buffet lunch to all attendees, and Nestlé provided drinks and confections. Family portraits, framed and decorated to preserve the memories of this day, were offered to each guest