Join ICAP for the 2016 Holiday Party
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Each year ICAP donates monies received from attendees to a chosen charity. This year we're asking our members to select which of the three worthy charities should be this year's charity of choice. Please review the charities below and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your choice of charity.
1. Project Graduate
Founded in June of 2011 as an official, philanthropic program of the Riverside County Bar Association, Project Graduate works in collaboration with the Riverside Superior Court and Riverside County’s Department of Public Social Services to assist foster youth to graduate high school, to continue their education beyond high school, and to plan for a successful future.
In 2011, members of the Riverside County Bar Association (RCBA) discovered that foster youth have a less-than 50% high school graduation rate - a product of a high likelihood of changing homes multiple times in a school year, enrollment in low-performing schools, and lack of consistent monitoring of their academic progress. As a direct result, they are at high risk for homelessness, unemployment and sexual exploitation when they reach age 18, emancipate out of the foster system, and are left to their own devices at this young, still-impressionable age.
Without the ability to actually foster these at-risk youth, the RCBA attorneys sought a way to help them using the skills and abilities the RCBA has an abundance of: the ability to provide advocacy, representation, guidance and a sympathetic ear. Working with the Department of Social Services (DPSS), a program was developed to provide attorney volunteers to advocate for these young people, and to help them grab hold of the one tool we could give them to lift themselves above the high risk of homelessness and exploitation: successful completion of high school. The RCBA turned to its membership to recruit and train volunteer Educational Representatives. DPSS could then identify the most at-risk foster youth, and match them with those volunteers. A Juvenile Court bench officer would then oversee the students' progress during a monthly Education Calendar.
By approaching their education in this way, all of the foster youth who have successfully completed the program have gone on to continue the academic successes they realized in high school and to use the resources provided to them by the state of California to attend college instead of falling prey to the problems that often lead to homelessness, drug use, and sexual exploitation. We are exceedingly proud of these remarkable students, and we want to continue this crucial work…. but we need your help.
In the few years since the program’s inception, fifteen students have graduated from the program, and all have enrolled in college. Each year, the number of students who participate in the program has fluctuated based on funding and on the number of attorneys available to volunteer, but the trend has been for the number of student participants to increase each year.
The willingness to serve is there, and representatives are available to provide their (extensive) time and attention to the foster youths’ needs, but we lack the resources to provide them with everything they need to succeed. We provide the program graduates with a base-level laptop computer; with a Visa Gift Card reward for the incentive points they earn as they progress through the program by maintaining a high GPA, by attending all their classes and by participating in the leadership and volunteer opportunities offered by their schools; with a plaque commemorating their successful completion of the program; and with a luncheon celebration each June, all of which are paid for by our fundraising efforts. Additionally, when individual students have specific needs, these needs are brought before the Project Graduate steering committee for consideration, but these modest requests often go unfulfilled due to lack of funding.
Please help us to say “yes” to these needy requests and to our continued ability to provide our students with the tools and resources they need to be successful, independent adults. Please help us to encourage those foster youth who take it upon themselves to take the initiative to work hard despite all of the challenges they face, to succeed, and, in turn, to go on to help those that follow in their footsteps. Please help us to reward this attitude of service, volunteerism and hard work.
2. Animals Are First Fund (ARFF)
Every year thousands of animals are admitted to San Bernardino County Animal Shelter facilities, which include the Big Bear and Devore Animal Shelters. Last year alone, over 16,000 animals were admitted to these facilities. The homeless animals in San Bernardino County need your help and ARFF is the only non-profit charitable organization established to specifically aid and help the animals cared for at these facilities.
ARFF is a Unique Charity
ARFF is unique when compared to other animal welfare agencies in that 100% of your contribution is used to help the animals cared for at the San Bernardino County’s Animal Shelters. ARFF is supported by volunteer efforts and no funds are used to pay for salaries and wages. When you donate to ARFF you know that every penny is used to help an animal in need, and to support the County’s animal shelter operations.
What has ARFF done?
ARFF officially became a federally recognized 501 (c) (3) charitable organization in October of 2004. Since then ARFF has been able to host several fund and friend-raising events, including a “Putts 4 Mutts” golf tournament, a “Be Kind to Animals Week” Car Show and Carnival, a “Funny Bunny” Easter photo session, and our annual “Santa Paws” event where families and pets can have their photo taken with Santa.
As reflected on our homepage, one of ARFF’s primary programs has been to pay for subsidized spay/neuter surgeries for pets adopted during the Counties off-site pet adoption events. Every year, the County of San Bernardino holds off-site adoption events and ARFF pays for the spay/neuter fees for the pets taken to these events. We believe that reducing the cost for those individuals to adopt a pet, encourages people to adopt from our County shelters when compared to other available adoption facilities. The support of this program has helped the County to realize one of the lowest euthanasia rates in our County and one of the highest pet placement rates when compared to the twelve other animal shelter facilities that serve the County.
ARFF has also provided a variety of assistance to the County’s Animal Shelters in Devore and Big Bear Lake. ARFF has purchased equipment, supplies and vaccines to directly help and aid the animals at these facilities and has purchased humane education materials for students participating in responsible pet ownership classes. ARFF has assisted in purchasing micro-chip scanners for each of the Animal Control Field Officers to carry in their vehicles to aid in reuniting lost pets who are micro-chipped with owners.
ARFF’s Future Goals
- Continue to Sponsor the Homeward Bound – Mega Pet Adoption Event which is held annually in partnership with local community animal rescue groups.
- Continue to fund subsidized spay/neuter programs to make pet adoption more affordable for families wishing to adopt.
- Fund a “free” microchip program in which all pets adopted or reunited from a County Shelter can be micro-chipped “free-of-charge.”
- Develop and sponsor specific seasonal adoption programs, such as “Super Senior May” or “Furever Yours – Valentine’s Day” adoption campaigns.
- Purchase and fund the operation of a mobile spay/neuter clinic.
Support ARFF through AmazonSmile
Support Animals Are First Fund by shopping at AmazonSmile. You can help animals at San Bernardino County shelters by shopping on AmazonSmile! Amazon will make a donation to ARFF! Support Animals Are First Fund by shopping at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate to Animals Are First Fund. Support us every time you shop.
The homeless animals in San Bernardino County need your help and financial support.
3. Safe Alternatives for Everyone (SAFE)
S.A.F.E. is committed to providing services for children, youth and families who have experienced or are at risk of abuse and violence.
Safe and healthy families where children can thrive is a universal vision. In some homes, however, there are problems of abuse and violence, and in some cases the problems are severe.
Because abuse and violence are not limited to any particular family or community, services to address the complex nature of children, youth and families struggling with abuse or violence are imperative. S.A.F.E. provides those services.
Our vision is of parents, schools, businesses and agencies working together to make a difference in the lives of children, youth and their families.
“During our time at the safehouse, I watched my sons go from being on edge all the time, to just playing a board game and laughing together. I can’t remember the last time I saw them do that.” ~ S.A.F.E. Client
Here are some of the services that S.A.F.E. provides:
- Basic Needs Assistance
- Case Management
- Domestic Violence Services
- Emergency Assistance
- Parent Project
- Police Activities League (P.A.L.)
- Training and Workshops
- Resources and Referrals