Your Donation Makes a Difference

 In grantmaking, philanthropy, PVF Donors, PVF News, Social Worker Grant Program

Through years of radical philanthropy, we at PVF have found that small can be significant and impactful, reflected in both our modest staff size and our small and strategic grant size. Our signature Social Worker/CASA Resource Grants Program is no exception. This program provides $250 grants to dedicated social workers and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) to support the critical needs of children in court dependency and foster care with whom they work. Despite the seemingly minor $250 price tag, these grants impact the lives of our communities’ neediest children in significant ways.

A 13-year-old autistic foster youth in a regional home was approved for a grant to attend the ‘Claymation Flix Camp’, where kids 7-13 make their own clay figures, film, direct, and voice over their own story. The film is then sent back to them after camp is over. This youth– who considers himself an artist– loves the creative outlet of making a story and its figures. He also received the social benefit of working with other kids his age doing something he loves.

We received the following report back from the boy’s CASA:

I have been volunteering with [my] youth for four years and was joined by another CASA in the past year, a woman, who has an autistic child of her own and is a CASA tutor.

This CASA tutor gave my youth an incredible gift– she volunteered to accompany him to a summer camp, if funds could be lined up for him to attend.

You generously came through with a $250 grant and the youth was able to sign up for a Claymation Flix art summer camp through the City of Concord. This week of summer camp was for 3 hours a day where the attendees would create a story, make character clay figurines, and use video equipment to make a movie of their story.

One thing I have learned working with this young man is to not have expectations on how he would react in a group setting. He is passionate about all art but his challenge is working with others– and that challenge can make him give up sometimes, so the CASA tutor and I went in not knowing what would happen.

The first day after an hour the foster youth needed to leave. But to the CASA tutor and I, this day was a success! He did not throw a tantrum, did not yell, controlled his emotions and asked to leave. I waited with anticipation how he would react to being picked up the next afternoon to return!

When the CASA tutor picked him up Tuesday afternoon, he had a great attitude– he said he wanted to go back and try again! They ended up staying the whole three hours and the boy would have stayed longer if it had been possible!

He finished out the week loving every minute of the camp! I will reiterate with him this experience over and over: how at first he shut down but when he gave the experience another chance he LOVED it!!

Your gift of this grant reaches him weeks before a huge change is coming in his life– one that will be very hard. He is changing residences and going to a new school. This will be very stressful for him but your money for him to go and enjoy a fun filled week will hopefully give him strength to pull on in the upcoming month of change.

Thank you again. Your money makes a difference.

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