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