Here's to Great Big Grins that Say, "I Get It!"

Welcome to our latest Spotlight! I wish you could see the faces of our foster and at-risk teens and young adults when the light goes on for them and they suddenly "get it". This Christmas we salute the breakthrough that changes everything. That one moment comes from months of day in and day out steps toward achievement that they take diligently as we guide them through each leg of their journey. They sit, staring in wonder when they realize who they've always meant to be; how to turn their biggest source of humiliation into a proud win; how to trust again and who to place their trust in; and how to approach their future with hope and a workable life plan.

Meet Our Teens

Our teens are much like every other young person with notable exceptions. Yes, they're intelligent and witty but also a little too defensive and a lot more self conscious. They're always watching to see how you'll react and if you'll judge them. They tend to exhibit strong common sense yet can act much younger than their years around touchy subjects. Many dream of success, wanting children in the future who can be proud of them. They want a house - a home - and to help others like them. It's with solemnity that they confide their dreams, and after 20 years of listening, I'm still moved by it.

View our Guidance at Work

Each Gift is Remarkably Touching

From our early days until now, our friends and neighbors have been there for us. There's a group of women in Los Altos who sew 30 beautiful blankets for our youth every fall and give each of them a $20 Target gift card for Christmas. There are others who send us generous donations. One couple has gifted us $10,000 every fall since 2011 and has had it matched by Google. Yes, that means up to $20,000 total! Annual. Wow! Yet it's the follow-up phone conversation that's priceless. And there have been family trusts and foundations who send eye-popping checks without our having to do a thing. No grueling grant application to write. Unheard of! The funds arrive in amounts that are sobering in their kind-hearted generosity. Our only fundraiser is a letter that goes out in November. That way our time and talent is truly devoted to our youth. And every year people give in amounts we know must stretch them, and some of the checks arrive with sweet notes or funny comments in the memo line. Love that! A few give monthly, which they'll probably never realize how much we appreciate. And one lady always - I mean ALWAYS - is the last person to send her PayPal gift. How does she always know?! So, yes, your gifts matter. They help us do what we do. Yes, they are deeply appreciated and the sentiment behind them is treasured. Thank you.

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