The Valley of the Moon Children’s Foundation’s goal is to provide ongoing support to the Valley of the Moon Children’s Center, which is Sonoma County’s only 24-hour emergency shelter for abused, abandoned, and neglected children. Since completing the new home in 2009, the Foundation has been able to shift our focus to supporting new programs and opportunities for Sonoma County’s at risk youth. Included in the Foundation’s 2010 completed projects at the Valley of the Moon Children’s Center are a state of the art covered playground structure, computer lab and a fully stocked resource library. These projects provide much needed enhancements to the recreational and educational programs at the Center. Additionally this is our fourth year of funding educational scholarships to former foster youth of Sonoma County in which the Foundation has awarded 44 scholarships for a total of $148,000. In 2010 we have seen our first scholars graduate and are extremely proud of these youth and their commitment to their futures. All of these great accomplishments could not have been realized without the generous support and donations from our community.
In other areas of focus the Foundation funded the V.O.I.C.E.S –Sonoma facility with a grant to help staff and increase hours of operation for this comprehensive resource center serving emancipating foster youth who are aging out of the foster care system. We also provided funds to the Redwood Empire Foster Parent Association to help with respite care for foster parents, and have provided funds to the Willmar Center for Bereaved Children who continue to provide much needed therapy for the children at the home. Our continued collaboration with the above and many other agencies in Sonoma County has increased our ability to avoid overlap of resources and services and have narrowed our focus to achievable, actionable programs where we can measure the outcomes and better serve our youth.
While the Foundation accomplished all their goals this year, there is still much work to be done. In 2011, as the Scholarship program continues to grow each year the Foundation will increase their support and funding to students interested in pursuing post-secondary education. Helping these students with scholarships is an investment in creating the future leaders of our community. The Foundation will also focus on assisting the Valley of the Moon Children’s Center with support to open their new Dental Clinic which will play a key role in meeting the oral health needs of foster youth in our county through screenings, assessments, emergency care, cleanings and general oral education. The two dental suites at the center are in need of basic supplies, hand tools, reporting software and administration.
The Foundation continues to study programs to augment services and expand support for the kids. We shall always persist to: 1) enrich the lives of the children while living at the Home, 2) focus on areas of education, housing, and employment opportunities for emancipated (aging out) children, 3) focus on areas of improved support for the foster care needs of Sonoma County, and 4) seek ways to continue educating the public about child abuse prevention.
We are grateful for the generosity and support our local community which has made a significant difference to more than 1,200 children annually. We are excited about our refocused efforts and service to youth and hope for your continued support.
Laura Colgate, President