Friends of Foster Children Support Trinity El Monte Enrichment Activities

21st of August 2017

Trinity El Monte

Author, marine biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson wrote that “Play, incorporating animistic and magical thinking is important because it: Fosters the healthy, creative and emotional growth of a child; Forms the best foundation for later intellectual growth; Provides a way in which children get to know the world and creates possibilities for different ways of responding to it; and Fosters empathy and wonder.”

For youth in foster care, such fundamental development opportunities are difficult to make reality. Furthermore, obtaining a sense of normalcy for a child living on a residential campus certainly has its challenges. Thanks to the support of community partners, children at Trinity Youth Services get a chance to learn basic social skills by going out to eat at a restaurant, team building skills though participation in sports, and opportunities to interact in nature to engage and inspire.

Nonprofit organization, Friends of Foster Children San Gabriel Valley (FOFC), recently donated to Trinity’s El Monte residential campus. The organization was established in 1976 to enhance the quality of life for abused, abandoned and neglected children in the San Gabriel Valley. The organization’s Foster Caring Committee approved a budget to provide 6 residential campuses in the area with spring and summer opportunities and experiences.

“The purpose of the Foster Caring Committee is to provide a resource to these facilities for immediate needs and for us to respond quickly. The facilities present their requests to their appointed liaison prior to each Committee meeting.  The Committee may award funds for cottage enhancements, recreational equipment, holiday parties, graduation expenses, craft supplies, and many more. Foster Caring has a limited budget and we stretch it as far and as fairly as possible at each meeting. We base our decisions on the type of request, the dollar amount and the urgency,” said Carole Kolla of the FOFC Foster Caring Committee.

The Foster Caring Committee chose to fulfill many of the boy’s requests at the Trinity El Monte residential campus including 6 skateboards and pads, 5 video games, 11 DVDs, 5 volleyballs, 4 basketballs and 1 hacky sack. The committee also provided new basketball shorts and swim trunks for their outdoor activities.

The donation also included some off campus activities. Youth in foster care face many challenges as they strive to just feel like a “normal” kid. Clearances and supervision must be in place and youth living on a residential campus can feel cooped up. This is why it is so important for them to have real life experiences off campus and to learn to develop in the area of social interactions. Thanks to FOFC, the youth were able to experience either a Dodger game, a Shakey’s buffet, or a day at Speed Zone this summer.

One group of boys went on “a trip to a favorite restaurant for dinner and an etiquette class, [which is] exciting for the boys who have earned a special off-campus outing,” the FOFC newsletter said. “The youth were given guidance on dressing nicely, how to order, table manners, party smarts, and showing kindness,” said Trinity El Monte Recreation Supervisor, Cathleen Duran.

“I admire Cathleen’s great love and support for the boys on campus and her dedication to Trinity El Monte. She is a pleasure to work with,” Carole said.


A surprising item on the boy’s wish list was gardening supplies. They chose a variety of plants and flowers to grow and have been diligent to keep the small garden prospering. “The good news is that the plants are still alive and flowering. Good job boys!” read the FOFC newsletter.

A big thank you to Friends of Foster Children San Gabriel Valley for their generosity in helping provide group enrichment activities, skill building opportunities and social outings during the spring and summer. These experiences are cherished by Trinity youth and staff as we work together with our community partners to bring a sense of normalcy to the lives of youth in foster care. These essential development opportunities truly make a difference as the youth learn to cope with and heal from the trauma in their lives. Trinity strives to be the #1 choice in providing quality care for children and their families, with one goal in mind: permanency for children and families so they can create a better future.

For more information regarding Trinity Youth Services programs, call 800-964-9811 or email

Jenelle Rensch

Jenelle RenschMarketing & Promotions Specialist
Jenelle maintains a distinctive look and voice for Trinity Youth Services through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the Trinity team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as a graphic designer, photographer, writer and editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications at California State University Fullerton and has won several awards throughout her career including a few from the National Newspaper Association.
Tel: (909) 825-5588 | Email:

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