2020 – Heart-filled Accomplishments
To our generous donors: here’s what we have done this year—together.
Accomplishments YOU Made Happen:
- A New Home. Purchased a 4-bedroom home with an $80k gift from the King Ridge Foundation (and matching funds). This TLC-owned home means foster youth (ages 16-24) will have clean, affordable, safe housing for years to come.
- 22 New Foster Families have been recruited and vetted, despite COVID. With only 3 families left to complete their home inspections.
- New Culinary Program. Began planning TLC’s newest program with generous support from the John Jordan Foundation.
- New Parents Support Club. For young parents (ages 16-24) juggling work, school and the pressures of raising kids—this new club offers a little ballast.
- New Orthodontia Services. We now provide orthodontia services for all TLC and Sonoma County foster youth—upholding the legacy of Sonoma County Children’s Village.
- Expanded Post-Adoption Care. Expanded post adoption services to all TLC and Sonoma County foster families.
- New Collaborations. Worked with Sonoma County’s Community Development Commission to meet the acute need for a supportive housing program. TLC now serves transitional age youth (ages 18-25) who are experiencing homelesness.
- Emergency Equipment & Plans. Campuses are now outfitted with backup generators, emergency supplies, and go-bags. New plans & procedures are in place for power outages, evacuations, and future climate-based disasters.
- Ongoing trauma informed care of 85 teenagers by our talented Journey Academy staff, therapists, and teachers in our Residential Treatment Program and non-public high school.
- Reliable adults guiding youth through high school and college–while simultaneously teaching them skills like how to drive, vote, pay bills, save money, and find a place to live.
- When COVID hit, TLC moved quickly to create new protocols to protect our staff, youth, and families. Creating a COVID-19 Manual which was held up as an example of EXCELLENCE in our industry by the California Alliance.
- We created and hosted Project Flare, a digital storytelling event intended to ‘undo aloneness’ and create higher visibility for LGBTQI Foster Youth. The awe-inspiring Project Flare videos were RELEASED on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
- Gut-wrenching examples of racial injustice led to a public statement outlining TLC’s stance against racism. A COALITION of employees focused on anti-racism was also created, with a movement towards diversity, equity, and inclusion in TLC’s current policies, procedures and practices.
- Recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as INNOVATORS in supporting and serving LGBTQI youth and families.
COVID is NOT our Kryptonite:
- New Santa Rosa office. COVID increased the needs for Foster, Adoption, and Post-Adoption Services. TLC’s team rallied to meet those needs by expanding the services we offer in Santa Rosa.
- Creative Solutions. COVID threatened our annual Foster Families appreciation event, but we found a way to virtually bring families together with food, fun, and a sense of community.
- Hiring. As existing staff juggled both sudden and continuous changes, TLC remained competitive by hiring dynamic teams across all programs.
Fun Builds Relationships:
- Getting Outside for Team-Building. Partnered with the State and a white-water rafting company to get TLC youth on the river in a COVID-safe way. Research shows that being in nature INCREASES EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL WELL-BEING by reducing anger and fear, and by lowering blood pressure, muscle-tension and stress hormones. Plus, teenagers need to be outside.
- Trying New Things. For many TLC youth, this year’s snow trip to Lake Tahoe was a highlight of the year. They talked about seeing sights they’ve never seen, learning about their growth zones, overcoming challenges, and CHANGING NEGATIVE BELIEFS ABOUT THEMSELVES AND OTHERS. It turns out, having FUN is vital for increasing success.
- Camping. Our residential youth went camping at Silver Lake. Hiking, fishing, storytelling, making smores by the fire, and star gazing were a FIRST EXPERIENCE for many.
- Saying Thank You. The TLC Board brought in a culinary team from the Jordan Foundation to cook up a VERY SPECIAL FARM-TO-TABLE SPREAD for youth and staff. It was a delicious way to say, “We see you, appreciate you, and recognize you.”
A Final Thought:
It’s been said that the depth of one’s pain reveals one’s true capacity for joy.
Despite the pains of 2020, we remain strongly connected as a heart-filled team.
We approach our work as people who create joy, cultivate growth, and catalyze hope. And we include YOU in that definition.
Thank you for being a wonderful part of our TLC community!