On December 7, Voices For Children Foundation and Marlin’s Ayudan joined forces to make this holiday season a little brighter for youth who have aged out or are aging out of Foster Care. Volunteers surprised these teens with a $500 shopping spree at Target in Midtown, acting as their personal shopping assistants, helping them select appropriate items.
As these youth transition into adulthood, they encounter many challenges, including finding new living arrangements, becoming financially responsible and adjusting to the emotional weight of becoming an independent. Most of the time these children lack the family support available to other adolescents, leaving them on their own to learn how to manage adult responsibilities like work, housing, relationships and self sufficiency.
In addition to picking out brand new items for the very first time, this event provided these adolescents an opportunity to bond with an adult in a positive, fun way.
This experience also made a difference in the lives of the Volunteers, who spent all day giving back to the community through the “Marlins Ayudan” front office community service program. After carefully selecting items he needed, one of the participating youth arrived at the checkout counter beaming with excitement from his shopping spree. With his goodies all rung up, the cashier notified him that he had $20 left and asked if there was anything else he wished to add to his cart. “I’ll be right back,” he replied, “I’m going to go get a gift card.” A few minutes later, he returned, not with the gift card everyone expected, but with a Thank You greeting Card for the team of volunteers who spent the time with him.
“We are extremely grateful to the Marlins organization and employees for their generosity,” said Nelson F. Hincapie, Voices For Children’s President & CEO. “These children are among the most at-risk in the Foster Care system, this has made a tremendous difference in their lives”.
For more photos from the event, visit our Facebook Page here: http://on.fb.me/Vip8Ac
THANK YOU MIAMI MARLINS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!