- Fritzie Saintoiry
Pinwheels, Punch, and a Purpose
Our open house was a great celebration of our Friends of Genesis – our champions without whom we would not be able to do anything. We had 45 people show up and over 30 children. Our guests enjoyed a tour led by one of our children. They learned about our “Foster to Famous” theme throughout the house, each room represented by a famous person who once was in the foster care system. We ate together as one big happy family. Kids enjoyed yard games, a bouncy house, face painting, and pumpkin carving and decorating. One of the siblings in our sibling group home shared her story of life at GHH, her wonderful experiences and the things she’s learned. One of our aged-out boys talked about his experience turning 18 and feeling lonely in the world. Another shared his summer camp experience and thanked our supporters. One Friend of Genesis, Emilie, talked about upcoming engagement events that her team is planning for next year to provide supporters with more opportunities to engage with GHH kids. Angela, one of our board members, discussed the Explorer Program and hopes for its growth in the new year.
This year we’ve accomplished a lot thanks to our donors.
We were able to hire an assistant for our Executive Director and also hired staff for summer camp to assist in facilitating our life skills workshops. We increased our summer camp participants from last year’s 6 to 18! We were able to pay for professional staff development, marketing, and even started a reserve. We were able to create an emergency fund for our aged-out youth to assist them with whatever they couldn’t cover for the month. Your support also assisted us with starting a new initiative – the Explorer Program. Its purpose is to allow foster children to gain new experiences through travel, to forge new friendships and to gain self-confidence by exploring this big, beautiful world. We took 3 of our boys to Maine for our very first trip this summer, and it was a life-changing experience for them! Our sibling youth were able to participate in swimming classes, football, basketball league tournaments, karate and ballet. We paid for our age-out youth to get tutoring services. Last but not least, your generosity helped pay for 18 foster youth to have transportation to and from our life skills summer camp and transportation for 10 to participate in weekly internships. We also paid for our youth to participate in fitness classes. An athletic trainer provided one-on-one coaching for our youth who struggled with self-esteem and weight issues. We were able to pay for weekly therapeutic art classes this summer, take several fun field trips and do monthly engagement throughout the year. None of this would be possible without our supporters! We’ve accomplished a lot this year and believe we can do even more in the next fiscal year.
Next year we hope to do even bigger things! We want to have longer summer camp hours, serve more youth and hire more staff to facilitate workshops. Another big goal is to purchase a 16-passenger van to transport our youth. We hope to take more children on trips out of state of Florida and conduct 8 weeks of traveling workshops. We’d like to rent another home for aged-out youth and continue to support them financially, like what most youth who depend on their parents receive. We will expand our Internship Project to serve more youth. And together we plan to build a community center for foster youth – a haven where they know they are seen and can feel that they matter and they have a place where they belong. Our dream is for a community where they can heal their broken hearts and have a sense of hope for brighter future. Please support us for this year Give Miami Day – as we know, it takes a village to foster new beginnings. Thanks again for helping us Build Genesis.