While many people may look at the holiday season as a joyous time of year, children in foster care don’t always have the same view. This time of year can be extremely hard for children who may have come from environments where there hasn’t been a christmas tree or presents to open. To bring this magic back into the lives of so many children, Together We Rise, a nonprofit organization helping foster children in need, is committed to bringing these children a great holiday season.
What it’s Like as a Foster Child During the Holidays
For many, childhood memories of holidays include wonderful things like putting ornaments on a christmas tree, opening presents, and spending time with family. As a child in foster care, the same experiences aren’t always available. Instead, holidays can be especially a difficult time, without access to loving family environments. Typically, family time and holiday experiences just aren’t the same for children in foster care.
How Together We Rise Helps Make a Difference
Together We Rise is a nonprofit organization that focuses on helping children who are currently in foster care. These children do not get the same opportunities and experiences as other children, so Together We Rise helps them to have fun experiences and to make great memories. They strive to give these children a sense of belonging and make them feel like they belong in the world. Together We Rise goes above and beyond to help these children especially through the annual winter bonding trips with the Family Fellowship Program.
Family Fellowship Program
Together We Rise offers family-like financial and emotional support to college-bound students and foster youth through the Family Fellowship Program. This program provides an entire support system for children, pairing them with mentors, care packages, and special trips during the winter months. Not only will underprivileged children be able to spend this time bonding with other children in the same situation, they will also receive the financial support needed in order to make a better future for themselves. Those who go through this program end up having a 95% graduation rate, where otherwise they may not have attended college at all. Many go on in their professional careers to attain great careers. The Family Fellowship program is supported by Fund II Foundation, Robert F. Smith, and Hope Smith.
Giving Back: Robert F. Smith and Hope Smith
As avid philanthropists, Robert and Hope Smith are big supporters of Together We Rise and the Family Fellowship Program. Every year, they graciously invite children in the program to their ranch in Colorado to enjoy the holidays. During this winter trip, the children get to do fun activities in the snow, enjoy meals together, and best of all, open presents from the Smiths. This holiday trip is a very special time to these children and their fellows, since most don’t ever have the opportunity to experience a traditional Christmas. Both of the Smiths go above and beyond with Together We Rise to ensure that these children are taken care of and are set up for success in the future.