Featured Fridays: Casa Youth Shelter and Robyne's Nest

Featured Fridays: Casa Youth Shelter and Robyne's Nest

It's been cold here in Southern California.  Freezing, in fact.  Or...I guess what the Bookworm girls and I call "California Freezing" or "California Cold" because we are scientists and we know that it's not technically freezing here. 

Having said that, I will tell you that there's this homeless Asian guy that is in our area.  I first noticed him somewhere near where the girls went to preschool.  So he's been around for almost a decade, at least.  He seems youngish, but I don't know.  Certainly he's not a teen anymore. And it really hits me--not that I don't care about non-Asian homeless people, but this guy could be my brother, my cousin, my son. 

I will tell you that I've never been truly cold at night.  Unless by choice via camping.  And that time that I camped out with my roommate outside Pauley Pavilion to get student seats since the Bruins were doing so well.  I know that there are many people and homeless families and tent camps sprouting up all around this area.  And there are teens too. 

Now that I work in a private practice I don't see these teens.  But they're out there, running away from something, or taking care of themselves for some time now.  And I'm always torn about how I can help shelters or places like this.  (Could I volunteer my time and expertise?  Maybe.  But there's always that unfortunate question about malpractice....and many of them actually could go to one of the community clinics where I used to work.  If they wanted to.  Or are able to.  But they may not want to or may not be able to.  See, I'm torn.  It warrants further investigation....)

When my twin and I were teens ourselves, Melissa volunteered at a homeless shelter for mothers and children who were victims of domestic abuse.  Being the creative person she was, she would go weekly to offer various arts and crafts activities.  She wasn't sure who would turn up if anybody....but the kids always showed up.  I'd forgotten about her volunteer work until a few weeks ago when we were discussing the very same shelter. 

Casa Youth Shelter and Robyne's Nest

So while I'm investigating other options, my hope is to shine some light to two local teen programs that we will be donating to this holiday season. 

Casa Youth Center (from their site): "Casa Youth Shelter is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Los Alamitos, California providing emergency temporary shelter for homeless, runaway and abandoned youth. We have 12 licensed beds dedicated to providing 24/7 shelter care for youth ages 12-17."

You can volunteer, or send or drop-off meals (enough for 15), or for information about donating, click  here. There is also a wish list, including for gift cards to various restaurants.  

Robyne's Nest sounds like a wonderful organization that helps local teens in the Huntington Beach Unified High School district.  From their site: "Robyne’s Nest provides support to homeless, unaccompanied and at-risk students of our local Huntington Beach high schools to encourage high school graduation and further education. Students are referred to Robyne’s Nest by school administrators."

They have food pantries at the schools for grab and go foods for teens in their program.  They also supply financial aid for living expenses. For information about donating money, products, or time, please click the respective links.  They are looking to raise $30K in 30 Days and are a bit behind.  It's the perfect time for you to donate. 

Look, I know it's a crazy busy time.  And I know that every single non-profit is emailing you or calling you right now.  Which is part of the reason why I'm featuring some of the smaller non-profits, ones that are close to my heart.  There's so much white noise going on out there, but I have to tell you that learning about these two organizations really sparked something in me.  I'm looking to do so  much more.

In honor of Macy, I'm doing a Featured Fridays special to highlight non-profit organizations on the nine Fridays leading up to her ninth birthday.  It's my countdown for the winter holidays as well as a way of hopefully fundraising a tiny bit for some wonderful organizations.  It's the time of GIVING and these are some fantastic places to support. 

Look for a new non-profit feature on the Fridays leading up to her birthday in January.  Or click here to see the full listings so far.

Best Nine

Best Nine

The Best Bookworm Gift List Ever (For now)

The Best Bookworm Gift List Ever (For now)