All of us at Sanctuary Palm Springs sincerely hope you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy throughout the current Covid 19 pandemic. Under normal circumstances we like to keep our supporters informed about our work with LGBTQ transition age foster youth through our quarterly newsletters and the many fundraising events we hold throughout the year. But these current circumstances are anything but normal and like all nonprofit organizations, Sanctuary has had to cancel all of our in-person fundraising activities. So in an effort to keep information about us flowing to you we will send out newsletters on a monthly basis until such time as it is once again safe for us all to gather in person.
The safety of our residents and staff is our highest priority. We are taking every precaution to minimize exposure to the virus by our residents and staff and as a result of our efforts, the good news is that all of us at Sanctuary are well and healthy! Like so many in our community, our residents who were working in restaurants are no longer employed, though some are able to continue their schoolwork online. And thanks to the generosity of several of our donors, the house is well stocked with computers for them to use to study, stay in touch with their friends, and just to be connected to the world.
We are also so very grateful to the many members of our community who have donated masks and cleaning supplies that help to keep our folks safe and for the runs to Costco and other stores that ensure that there is plenty of food in the house! Part of the life skills we try to impart to our residents is the importance of being good citizens and to give back to our community. The desire to be good citizens is the reason so many local restaurants have raised money for Sanctuary through our Eat Well/Do Good campaign and we are eternally grateful to them for their support. But now these wonderful institutions need OUR support.
So we have begun a campaign we are calling Eat Well/Do Double the Good where we encourage you to go to our website where we have posted the names of local restaurants that are open for take-out and delivery services. We encourage you to order meals from these restaurants to make sure they are able to survive past this current challenging time. And if you choose, you may purchase meals from them that can be delivered to the residents at Sanctuary. In this way you are supporting our local restaurants while at the same time providing meals for our kids. Please contact Ellen Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our Eat Well/Do Double the Good initiative or the many other ways to support Sanctuary Palm Springs. While so many aspects of our daily lives have come to a grinding halt, one thing that doesn’t stop is the march of time that drives young people toward their 18th birthdays. Last month we received a referral for a new resident who was about to turn 18. He’d been living in a group home for minors and because he would no longer be a minor he would have to leave his placement on his birthday. He had nowhere to go and was terrified that he would have to, in his exact words, “Live under a bridge with a candle.” He was brought to the house by a social worker for a tour and an in-person interview. At the conclusion of the interview it was clear he would be a great fit for the program so we let him know on the spot that he could move in. Upon hearing this news he erupted in tears, so grateful that he would have a safe and supportive place to live and that living under a bridge with a candle was not a hardship he would have to face. Ask any social worker who works in foster parent recruitment what the number one most effective referral tool is and they will tell you that it’s word of mouth. Foster parents who have had a good experience with an agency will tell their friends and those friends oftentimes become foster parents themselves. The same is true for Sanctuary and the referrals we receive for new residents. Our newest resident is so happy to live in a place where is completely respected for being who is he that has already told his friends about Sanctuary. And one of those friends, who is nearing her 18th birthday and who is approved for extended foster care services, has been referred to live in our program as well. These examples serve as a reminder that, even during a time when it feels as though the world we know has ceased to exist, LGBTQ foster youth continue to need programs like Sanctuary Palm Springs to help them enter their adulthood safely, armed with the skills they will need to lead happy and productive lives. Our residents continue to draw from the deep wells of resilience that have helped them survive their time in foster care. They, along with our brave and dedicated staff who show up to work with our kids every single day, are a source of tremendous pride and inspiration for all of us at Sanctuary Palm Springs.
We intend to hold an appreciation event for our donors at the house once the spread of Coronavirus is contained. In the meantime, we have created a plaque, which will be mounted on a wall of the house, to honor the community who saw a need and stepped forward to bring Sanctuary Palm Springs to life. We look forward to gathering for an official unveiling as soon as it is safe to do so. For a larger image please visit the Founder page on our website sanctuarypalmsprings.org/our-founders Please take good care and I look forward to seeing soon!