Be thankful for the traditions you share with your family, and give to foster youth who are not so fortunate.

Each year at Thanksgiving I am filled with warm memories of my family and our Thanksgiving Traditions.  For me, I remember big family gatherings with the children playing while my mom and Aunts were busy cooking and sharing all the joys of the past year.  The day always ended with a fabulous meal and sharing how thankful we were to be together as family.  For Andrea, a member of our team, as a child, her family would visit her grandparents every year, and she would spend hours in the kitchen helping her great-grandmother make the pies for dessert.

Maybe you remember helping your mom make cornbread, sneaking a bite of stuffing before dinner, sitting on the couch and watching football with your dad, or going around the table and saying what you are most thankful for.

Today I am writing to you because foster youth don’t have those happy memories, and I need your help to change that.

Natalie spent most of her childhood living with neglectful, abusive parents. Once she was in foster care, she was bounced around between foster homes, and ended up in a group home where it felt that the staff never really cared about her personally.  In all of her 17 years, Natalie never once experienced a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with people who truly cared about her.

But because of our community supporters, last year Natalie sat down for a family Thanksgiving for the very first time.

Hosted by the Promises team, volunteers and many community supporters, Natalie and her fellow Junior Guardian Scholars students were treated to a Thanksgiving meal complete with all the fixings.

 

The students feasted on turkey, stuffing, and every side dish imaginable.  But more importantly, they were surrounded by people who genuinely care about them and want them to succeed – friends who have been there every step of the way. Thanks to you, Natalie got the happy family memories she always dreamed of.

You can replace the negative memories of the past with feelings of love and the warmth of family for the of foster youth like Natalie can feel this Thanksgiving.

When you stand up and take action, you show Natalie and thousands of kids just like her that in spite of everything, there really are people who care about them, and want to make sure they have the happy memories every child deserves.

Thank you so much for your continued dedication to foster kids during this special time, and throughout the year.

For the children,
Tonya Torosian

PS:  During your Thanksgiving celebrations, share with your loved ones why you support San Diego’s foster youth, and ask them to do the same.