Walnut Creek UMW Executive Committee voted in August, 2019 to support the transition of foster youth as they move from care into independence. Currently there are 769 youth in the Contra Costa Foster Care System.
The motion agreed to stated; ‘Support efforts of ILSP for the next 3 years as they work with Foster Youth that are aging out of the system. This support could take the form of donations to their food pantry, gifts, personal communications. Examples of support we can offer: Moving assistance, Food pantry assistance, Thanksgiving Baskets, Christmas baskets, and personal communication.’
The good news is we don’t have to reinvent the wheel to do this. An organization called ILSP - Independent Living Skills Program, has designed a variety of services to support foster youth from ages 16 to 21. Representatives from the WCUMC UMW have been in contact with ILSP staff to find out their needs and where we can best provide meaningful support.
One of the services ILSP provides is access to a drop in food panty for those qualified youth who need help with food stuff. WCUMC hosts the Contra Costa County Senior Food Bank program twice a month in our Social Hall and there are usually canned goods left over. We have arranged to donate this food as needed by ILSP for their pantry.
Another way to the support the program, is through Extended Family. Those youth transitioning from Foster care into independent living will need help with household goods.
At times, a youth can use clothing and equipment for a baby or toddler.
And, finally, moral support in the form of cards and notes is especially needed.
The UMW is asking for your assistance with donations of canned or boxed food along with monetary donations to ILSP to purchase needed items. Contact Karen Jones (925-676-3611 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about this effort along with where to sent your checks and place your food donations.
While the pandemic has resulted in staying home, it has not stopped the UMW in their outreach and mission work.
Since voting In August, 2019 to support the Independent Living Skills Program (ILSP) of Contra Costa, your UMW, with help from the congregation, has accomplished the following: