For most children, the summer is an exciting season filled with fun. But for children in foster care, summer can be a time of uncertainty. 

In the state of Arizona, there are more than 13,000 children currently in foster care. Unfortunately, even when in the care of loving foster families, these children face extremely difficult circumstances – many of which can impact them for the rest of their lives. During the summer and every other season, children in foster care need experiences that help build their self-esteem and make joyful memories. 

When you make a contribution to the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, you enable us to fulfill our mission of enriching the lives of children in foster care and ensuring their successful transition to adulthood. This summer, your donation will make a difference in the life of a child or young adult by supporting one or more of AFFCF’s program offerings.

How to Help Children in Foster Care this Summer

At the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, we take great pride in the fact that nearly 90% of every dollar donated goes directly to our programs for children and young adults in foster care. Contributions enable children to access opportunities and experiences that would not be available otherwise, such as post-secondary education, summer activities, and more.

Whether you can donate $5 or $500 or more, we truly appreciate your generosity and compassion for children in foster care. Here are a few of the programs that our foundation has created and that your donation can support this summer:

General Awards

Although the state of Arizona provides some financial assistance to foster families, the small sum of money barely covers only basic necessities. Extracurricular activities are simply out of the question. And sadly, with nearly 73% of children placed in foster care due to neglect, a large majority may have never had the opportunity to experience any type of educational, athletic, or social activity.

But the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation has set out to change the sad story for as many children as possible. Through our awards program, we pay for a wide variety of activities that the state does not pay for. Some examples of the activities or items that the AFFCF can fund include:

  • Music lessons, including instrument rentals and purchases
  • Athletic activities, including sports registration and equipment
  • Classes or lessons for art, language, science, and other educational or recreational topics
  • School/church field trips
  • Summer camps
  • School/social clubs or groups, such as Scouts, Brownies, 4H, etc.
  • Theme park admission, inside and outside of Arizona
  • Bicycles, scooters, skates, etc.
  • Driver’s education training

When you think back to your childhood summers, you may have special memories of spending time with friends, enjoying summertime adventures, and simply making the most of every moment. With your contribution, AFFCF can make sure that every child in foster care has the opportunity to do the same.

Keys to Success

Did you know that more than 20% of children in foster care will spend more than two years in the system, with nearly 900 youth aging out of foster care in Arizona every year? Many youth who age out of foster care are woefully underprepared for adult life. They face virtually insurmountable challenges through no fault of their own, often finding themselves trapped within a cycle of poverty, food insecurity, and even homelessness. 

We created the Keys to Success program to address the needs of teens in foster care, who will soon reach age 18 and the point of aging out. As the only program of its kind in Arizona, it supports youth with the skills and resources they need to succeed in the future. 

Through education, training, and resources, youth between the ages of 16 and 24 (who are currently in care or were at age 18) can receive assistance with:

  • Developing career goals (short- and long-term)
  • Preparing for and finding employment
  • Completing the education or training necessary for their career goals
  • Building skills for independent living
  • Locating partner organizations that can continue to provide support services

This summer, your donation can be the difference between a youth struggling or succeeding as a soon-to-be adult.

Post-Secondary Scholarships

For many high schoolers, the summer brings with it certain worries about college life. Will I find a major I love? Will I get to share a dorm room with my friends? Will my professors be everything I hope for? But for children in foster care, one of the biggest concerns about attending college is whether or not they can afford their dreams. 

The AFFCF Post-Secondary Scholarship program ensures that the young people aging out of Arizona foster care have a clear path toward attending a university or community college. With financial assistance, children in foster care can have the freedom to pursue their dreams and career goals through post-secondary education.

You could be the person that transforms a deserving individual’s future forever, helping fund their college education and relieving the financial burden from their young shoulders. 

AFFCF Bobby Edd Penson Fund

We have all encountered unexpected obstacles in our lives, but most of us have a family support system to help us overcome these challenges. Sadly, the young men and women who have aged out of foster care don’t usually have these same advantages. Even a seemingly minor expense – such as groceries – can completely derail their plans for education.

The AFFCF Penson Fund helps students pay for emergency expenses, including food, gas, rent, auto repairs, and utilities. With this financial help, these young people are able to continue pursuing their goals and dreams. 

Every individual deserves a helping hand – and thanks to your donation, you can be exactly that for a young person from the Arizona foster system. 

Learn How You Can Support Memorable Moments and Brighter Futures for Children in Foster Care

For Arizona children in the foster care system, the early chapters of their life stories have already been filled with considerable hardship and challenging circumstances. But with your help, they can have the quality experiences that empower them to find a happy ending of their own. 

At the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, we are dedicated to funding the social, athletic, and educational activities and services that can change a child’s life story forever. Children in the foster care system deserve to have these types of enriching experiences, yet they are often unable to receive them. Because of the generous contributions from everyday people just like you, our non-profit team is able to make so many children’s dreams come true.

No matter how much you are able to give, you can play an important part in the life of a child in foster care. Your donation today could be the key to unlocking a better tomorrow for Arizona’s children in foster care. Contact the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation for more information about our programs, or make your online donation today.

Featured Image: PKpix/Shutterstock

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