On December 12th, SFCASA staff and volunteers came together to celebrate some seasonal cheer with our annual Youth Holiday Party. The event, which is a time-honored tradition here at SFCASA loved by youth, advocates, and employees alike, was a roaring success.
Nearly 60 youth attended with their CASA volunteers in tow, ranging in age from four years old to young adults. The wide range of activities--from foosball, hoops, ping pong, and makeup in the "teen room" to cookie decorating, wreath making, balloon art, and bingo--ensured that all guests of all ages had a blast.
It wouldn't be a party without a delicious spread! Judging by how quickly the pupusas, tacos, and enchiladas from La Palma were gobbled up and how fast ice cream tacos from Rocko’s disappeared, we'd say that the attendees enjoyed the festive feast as well. Of course, there were also plenty of to-go boxes to take food home, ensuring that youth who wanted leftovers could save some extra food for later. Many of our client youth experience nutritional scarcity, so one of the nicest things about the party is that children and families can enjoy a hearty meal the next day.
Before leaving the party, each young person received a stocking stuffed full of goodies, collected their bingo prizes, and received individual gifts that their CASAs requested for them. As they headed out the doors, arms full of treats, food, and gifts, giant grins on their faces, we knew that we had had another successful event this year, and that even more youth would look forward to the party again next season.
For many of our youth, the holiday party is a well-loved yearly tradition. The holidays can be a challenging time for children in foster care. Reminders of family and traditions they may not be able to participate in this year, or perhaps ever again, can make the season difficult. The holiday party is, most importantly, a chance for these kids to just be kids. They can enjoy the day without worrying about their case, their future, or how this year will be different than last year or next. Harry, one of our CASA volunteers, may have best captured just how much of a difference this event makes:
We'd like to extend a special thanks to all the volunteers, staff, and CASAs who made the event such a success. We already can't wait for 2016's party!