Volunteers Get Ready for the Holiday Festival
(Courtesy Photo)

The Children Youth and Family Collaborative (CYFC) will host its Annual Holiday Festival on Saturday, December 17, at noon, at Holman United Methodist Church. The annual holiday festival celebrates over 2,000 youth in foster and kinship care. This year’s event is a safe “drive-through party” where youth and families will pick up their gifts by car.

The CYFC is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) service provider for foster youth. The mission and ultimate goals of CYFC are to create a culture where foster youth thrive academically, have high graduation rates, and transition into fruitful careers and rewarding adult lives. CYFC seeks to eliminate the achievement gap for foster youth. This is the 23rd year the CYFC has hosted its holiday festival, celebrating children in foster care from infancy to young adulthood for their strengths and resilience.

Graduates of the A.R.I.S.S.E. (Courtesy Photo)

For more than 30 years, CYFC, in partnership with school districts and youth-centered organizations, has delivered evidence-based services through its academic remediation, intervention, support service, and education program, ARISSE. Their signature program has an 80% -100% graduation rate and an 80% acceptance rate into post-secondary education or training programs.

“CYFC is one of 49 agencies in the country to receive an Innovation Grant from the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the nation’s largest education funder for our ARISSE initiative, and we take great pride in that and the services we provide”, said CYFC Executive Director Lydia Cincore-Templeton.

“Los Angeles has the highest population of foster youth in California and a great need for coordinated resources. There were no coordinated efforts specifically for kids and young adults in foster care, and I was determined to change that,” Cincore-Templeton said.

“We began with “strong roots at one community-based site serving 25 foster youth”. This was Cincore-Templeton’s vision, a “united response” for resources and care for foster kids in 1993 when she began the organization. Today, CYFC provides programming in nine school districts, successfully replicating its model in over 89 schools, a staff of over 100, serving over 2,500 foster youth within the Los Angeles, Pomona, Long Beach, Compton, Lynwood, and Santa Monica/Malibu school districts. ARISSE also receives the prestigious Promising Practice Designation from the US Department of Education.

The successful outcomes of ARISSE demonstrate that foster youth can improve their academic performance, school attendance, financial literacy, and post-emancipation planning with targeted support and resources. The program is delivered directly on school campuses by trained Youth Education Specialists.

Volunteers from the 2022 Holiday Festival
(Courtesy Photo)

For Cincore-Templeton and the staff at CYFC, “the Holiday Festival is a time for our organization and the community-at-large to come together and celebrate the achievements of foster kids and young adults to ensure that they feel valued and loved during the holiday season.”

There is still time to volunteer and donate to the Holiday Festival, and here are the many ways you can participate:

To Donate Monetarily to CYFC: CYFC accepts monetary gifts. You can mail your donations to 1200 W. 37thPlace, Los Angeles, CA, 90007.

To Volunteer on the event day: To register as a volunteer, call (323) 413–7939.

Wrapped Gifts Dropoff: You can drop off wrapped gifts on Monday, December 12, from 10 AM to 3 PM at Holman United Methodist Church, 3320 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, 90018. For additional information, call (323) 413-7499.

Unwrapped Gifts Pickups: Email CYFC if you have unwrapped gifts for pickup at [email protected].