Coming to the Rescue with Grants for Social Workers & CASAs

 In Social Worker Grant Program, Youth Opportunity Scholarships

PVF runs two grant programs providing resources to foster and court-dependent youth. The Social Worker/CASA Resource Grant program provides $250 grants to support the critical needs of foster youth and children in court dependency. The Youth Opportunity Social Worker/CASA program allows low-income middle and high school foster youth apply for funds to pursue fun extracurricular activities that they have always wanted to try, without financial worry. The program awards youth scholarships of up to $500 (in two installments) to fund anything from guitar lessons, basketball camps, and art classes to YMCA memberships, cooking classes, and robotics workshops.

We have seen these small grants make a big impact in the lives of our communities’ children and youth.

Social Worker & CASA Resource Grants

Photo by Craig Sherod

“I just wanted to say thank you for all the clothes that I got! I appreciate it so much. I’ve never felt so good about myself as much as I do now. My self-esteem has built so much. Very much appreciated. A lot of people say $250 isn’t much, but it is very much for me as a kid in a group home. Thank you so much.” –15-year-old CASA/foster youth

“I so appreciate the generous grant you awarded to my CASA youth, J. As the County no longer has funding to pay for tutoring, your grant was the only way we could provide the service which he so badly needs…. I told [J] about your organization and grant program. He couldn’t believe you would send him money without having him take a test or ‘jump through hoops’ first. It seemed like the perfect time to define and explain the word ‘philanthropy.’ Many thanks to you and your organization for ‘coming to the rescue’ when all other options had failed.” –John Lewin, CASA volunteer, Alameda County

“There are no words to describe the significant impact that you have made to this child’s life. You have enabled him to make a purchase that will open many future opportunities for him. He is now optimistic about finding employment and graduating from high school and pursuing college. He no longer feels left out without access to information and the ability to send emails, without having to use someone else’s laptop or go to a library. Foster youth are often overlooked, and this has made him feel that there is an agency that believes in him. As a social worker, it is enlightening to see that there is an agency out there that supports the vision and dreams of children and youth who are part of the foster care system. We appreciate you, and these children appreciate you.” –Christina Zarrabi, social worker, Santa Clara County

Youth Opportunity Scholarships – Social Workers & CASAs

“The ripple effects of the [swimming] lessons taken thus far are many. Twice a week, the children did not spend the whole time after school at home, usually unsupervised, and alone, but got outdoors, got some exercise, and saw lots of people being active at the pool…. As they began to feel stronger, they began to care more about their fitness level and being healthy. The girl finally became disciplined about what she ate and lost ten pounds. She started jogging several times a week. The boy is growing rapidly and likes feeling stronger…. As their CASAs, we are grateful to see them start to broaden their horizons, to have a life outside and away from watching screens all the time, to care more about being healthy and to achieve some success, so a huge thanks for the swimming lessons! Please never underestimate the difference your generosity is making.” –Sandy Creighton and Adrienne Medalie, CASA volunteers, Santa Clara County

“I want to say thank you for the grant! I really appreciate it. I’m having a great time and enjoying riding! I feel like myself and so happy! Riding again makes me very happy because I can escape by riding and it feels really nice. Thanks a lot again!! I’m very thankful and happy.” –CASA/foster youth

“As a CASA, I would like to ensure that you are aware of how a small amount of cash can impact a foster child’s life and what an important part foundations such as yours play in developing confidence and strength in young women in [CASA youth]’s position. No one has ever given her anything without expecting something back, either silence or complicity. She expressed disbelief that strangers who didn’t know her would give her money to join a gym. She wanted to know what you expected from her and when I told her that people just wanted to help her, she couldn’t quite grasp the concept…. Thank you for your positive involvement in her life. Please keep supporting foster youth of all ages.” –Evelyn Bealby, CASA volunteer, San Mateo County

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Photo by Michael "Mike" L. Baird
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