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Children's Services Division Holds Holiday Event for Young Adults

Children’s Services holds 6th Annual Holiday Celebration

Riverside- Approximately 110 young adults in Extended Foster Care were treated to a special holiday celebration organized by the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) and sponsored by many generous community partners.  The Riverside County Young Adult Holiday Celebration was held Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at La Sierra University Gymnasium, 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside, CA 92505.

DPSS wanted to ensure that young adults in the foster care system experienced a joyous holiday while creating happy memories during a time that is usually very difficult because they are separated from their families and transitioning to independent living. Children’s Services staff reached out to the community which responded with incredible support by providing gifts, food, toiletries, and baked goods.  The young adults were able to participate in games, cookie decorating, sing Christmas carols, and pose for pictures with Santa.  The evening also included a wonderful holiday dinner.

La Sierra University hosted the event in their gymnasium allowing participants to visit the college campus and interact with local athletes. Santa provided gifts for the children of the youth served in the Extended Foster Care Program. “We are grateful for the support of the community and all of the donations that were provided.  It is heartwarming to see the smiles on the faces of the youth that are receiving gifts for the holidays,” said Dr. Marie Brown Mercadel, Assistant Director for DPSS.

DPSS Director Susan von Zabern delivered the welcome for the evening which included recognition to the long list of community partners who help make the evening possible each year.


Holiday Celebration Partners included:


One Love IE                                                                         Riverside County Office of Education

Harvest Christian Church                                                      John Gerson Photography

Riverside Women’s Knitting Guild                                           Riverside County Mental Health

La Sierra University Church Women’s Bible Group                 Oak Grove THRIVE Independent Living Program

La Sierra University                                                            Faith in Motion

California Youth Connection                                                 Unique Photo Booths

Faith Lutheran Church                                                         Health Care Programs for Children in Foster Care

Immanuel Lutheran Church                                                  iFoster

Trinity Lutheran Church                                                        Faith Lutheran Church

City of Riverside                                                                  Riverside County Probation Department

Department of Behavioral Health                                          Calvary Presbyterian Church

Gateway Church of the Nazarene