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May is National Foster Care Month, a time to recognize that we each can play a part of enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care, according to the Children’s Bureau Family Foster Care & Adoption.

Foster Youth Independence To Launch Year-End Campaign

A Santa Clarita nonprofit Fostering Youth Independence (FYI) is set to launch its year-end giving campaign next month, officials said Wednesday.

The campaign is expected to launch on Tuesday, Dec. 1, which is “Giving Tuesday,” the global day of generosity, according to the organization.

A key component of the campaign, which is scheduled to run until the end of the year, is a dollar-for-dollar match up to $10,000, which has been pledged by FYI’s leadership team, according to officials.

FYI directly impacts the lives of Santa Clarita’s transition-age foster youth, ages 16 to 25 by providing support and helping them obtain needed resources as they age out of the foster care system and work to complete a post-secondary education to prepare to become successful, independent adults, according to officials.

“2020 has been a difficult year for all of us, but particularly for foster youth,” said Carolyn Olsen, FYI’s executive director and co-Founder. “The measures put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 including social distancing, online learning, reduced mental health services and shutdown of non-essential businesses, have exacerbated the challenges foster youth already face.”

Many of FYI’s youth have become unemployed, and most have struggled with the transition to online learning, according to officials.

FYI has supported these youth in a number of ways and, most importantly, has been a family for those who have none, according to officials.

FYI’s volunteer Allies and staff have also provided emotional support for youth who have felt especially alone during this time, according to officials.

During this year’s challenging COVID shutdown FYI has helped 10 youth secure housing and provided three youth with used car donations.

The organization also held a back-to-school event with free backpacks, school supplies, snacks and hygiene items.

In addition, FYI launched The Study Place, where students have a dedicated space to focus on their online learning, with tutoring, homework help, lunch and free wi-fi and distributed “cheer bags” at drive-through events to help relieve isolation and depression due to the shutdown.

The nonprofit also 4,400 in emergency financial assistance which paid bills and purchased items for youth who were unemployed and held a graduation ceremony for eight youth who missed out on their high school or college ceremonies.

“We’re particularly excited about our campaign’s $10,000 match that will enable donors to double their impact,” explained Olsen. “FYI is so blessed to have a leadership team who is personally invested in our mission. Not only are all our board members contributing to the matching fund, but several of our board members also serve as volunteer Allies for our organization.

“We know the generous Santa Clarita community has many choices when deciding to donate their support dollars, and we hope that people who are making their end-of year-charitable giving plans will consider donating to FYI and help the approximately 50 local foster youth we serve.”

Olsen explained that FYI’s administrative costs are low, so the majority of donations go directly towards crucial programs and items that are expected to support the youth.

“And our goal is to continue to grow our organization and ability to help many more foster youth, as the need in our community is great,” Olsen added.

Donations can be submitted by clicking here, or by contacting FYI at (661) 360-1500.

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Foster Youth Independence To Launch Year-End Campaign

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As Santa Clarita’s only local radio station, KHTS FM 98.1 & AM 1220 mixes in a combination of news, traffic, sports, along with your favorite adult contemporary hits by artists such as Rob Thomas, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Maroon 5. We are vibrant member of the Santa Clarita community. Our broadcast signal reaches all of the Santa Clarita Valley and parts of the high desert communities located in the Antelope Valley. We stream our talk shows over the web, reaching a potentially worldwide audience.