December 2020 is the 8th year of our annual Angel Tree Gift Drive. KYJO Staff has been working hard throughout the month to run this year’s fundraiser, gathering wish lists, setting up angel trees and sorting through gifts. Thank you to Foster Family Agency Operations Coordinator Michelle De Leon for once again doing a flawless job spearheading this year’s fundraiser. We are overwhelmed with gratitude at the kindness and participation from the Central Valley community. Thank you to the following locations for opening up their businesses’ to host an angel tree this year.
- James G. Parker Insurance Associates
- The Mug Community Coffee Shop, Inc.
- Intrinsic Hair Salon
- Meraki Salon & Spa
- Peter Graveline
- All About Smiles Dental
- North Fresno Primary Care
- Lorenz & Associates
- Realty ONE Group Infinity
- CORE Business Interiors
- Town & Country Dry Cleaners
- Executive Interiors
- Brenntag Pacific, Inc.
- Tractor Supply Co. (Herndon/Brawley-Fresno)
- KSEE 24/CBS47
- Little Leaf Tea
- Coleman & Horowitt, LLP
- Thomas Vu Dental
- Di-Cicco’s-Old Town Clovis
- Clovis Glass Co.
- Quizno’s (Merced St.-Fowler)
On the early morning of December FFA Social Worker Veronica Welch was featured on the morning shows of the news stations KSEE 24/CBS 47, discussing our 8th Annual Angel Tree Gift Drive. The interviews took place at The Mug Community Coffee Shop in Fresno. We are so thankful to both news stations for allowing us the opportunity to spread the word of our annual holiday fundraiser. Thank you to Journalist Fabiola Ramirez and her news crew for taking the time to diligently make sure that the Central Valley community was aware of how our Angel Tree program operates.
Jose is a 16 year old resident in one of our male residential youth homes. In the past 8 months that he has been placed with KYJO, staff have witnessed substantial personal growth. Most notably being able to communicate his needs and advocate for himself. He has opened himself up to meeting new people and socializing. KYJO staff have observed that Jose is more receptive to feedback from others, learning to maintain a calm respectful demeanor when he is frustrated. Jose has also grown in his abilities to express his thoughts/feelings more openly and show compassion for others. Great work Jose! We are so proud of all of the hard work he has put forth to reach these milestones.
Foster Family Agency
This month foster parents Fabian Sanchez and Fabian Carrasco partnered with Home Depot delivering Christmas trees to each of our Residential Youth Homes and several of our foster homes. Each tree was delivered with festive ornaments and a tree stand. As always thank you to the Sanchez-Carrasco family for their commitment to ensuring KYJO children are well taken care of and experience the JOYS of Christmas.
Employee Spotlight – Staff Anniversaries
As this year wraps up, KYJO would like to highlight the year anniversaries of each long term KYJO employee. This past month each staff member received a KYJO pin that honors the KYJO anniversary that they are celebrating in 2020. Thank you to all of these staff members for your endless dedication and hard work!
6 years: Angie Keys, Fatima Alcarez, Sienna Curtin, DeKeydra Mothershed
5 Years: Laurie Lopez, Cedric Pulliam
4 Years: Marlen Hernandez, May Vue-Lee
3 Years: Michelle De Leon, Luis Santiago, Marilyn Cantu, Shayla Taylor, Virginia Hernandez
1 Year: Elizabeth Romero, Clarke Lauren-Richard, Tashon Smallwood, Anthony Olivarez, Yazmin Perez, Uriel Amezcua, Veronica Welch, Katie Counts, Cristina Palacio-Gomez, Anthony Anderson, Ebony Harris, Njeri Omawahleh, Mary Sanchez, Johnathon Avilez, Mari Berber, Josieana Garcia, Tyri Haynie, Doris Anderson, Arlet Hernandez
This year, KYJO has been blessed to continue our partnership with Cake4Kids. This nonprofit partners with youth-centric social services organizations to provide free cakes and desserts for birthdays, graduations, and other milestone achievements. Working with over 140 organizations throughout the United States. Cake4Kids’s operates completely through volunteer baking staff who bake over 3,000 desserts each year. Take a look at some of the AMAZING cakes that have been made for KYJO kids in 2020.
With only a couple of weeks left in this unprecedented year, I would like to challenge our thought process as we reflect on 2020. Under the current circumstances, it would be easy to focus on the things that did not go as planned. Our everyday world, as we knew it, changed overnight. The ability to be flexible, innovative, and adaptable to change became critical for survival in our personal and work lives. Although 2020 has been a challenging year, it has made for a more resilient team. During extraordinary times, it takes an extraordinary team to accomplish the outcomes KYJO has been able to achieve through the pandemic.
KYJO’s STRTP Residential, Mental Health and Foster Family Agency teams have been outstanding through the pandemic, and would like to highlight a few of KYJO’s 2020-year accomplishment:
- Angie led the Mental Health Program application submission
- Laurie spearheaded FFA Intensive Service Foster Care (ISFC)
- STRTP Team engaged residents in outdoor activities: camping, kayaking and hiking
- KYJO celebrated its 13-year anniversary
- Several employees were pinned for 5+, 3+, 1+ years of service
- Adopted 403b retirement plan
- Successful virtual Angel Tree gift drive
- Possessing the ability to adapt to change and showing up day in and day out
- FFA Social Worker Veronica Welch took on Public Relations role, facilitating communication with community partners
- Development of Quality Assurance, Mental Health and HR departments
These accomplishments could not be possible without the support and engagement of our Direct Care Staff, Foster Families, Board Members, Community partners and KYJO supporters. Know that we truly appreciate you!
Our doors are always open to donations for our Residential Group Homes and foster youth. We are in need of:
- Athletic shoes, hiking boots and river sandals (variety of men’s and women’s sizes)
- New pillowcases and bath towels
- New or gently-used sweatpants
- Paper products (toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels)
- Kitchen supplies (aluminum foil, zip lock bags in sandwich and one-gallon size)
- Cleaning supplies (no-ammonia all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergent, dishwasher soap)
- New, unopened packages of athletic socks – crew or low cut – and boys’ and girls’ underwear
- Personal hygiene items for boys and girls (deodorant, hair supplies, bar soap, toothpaste/toothbrushes, body lotion, etc.)
- Gift cards to grocery and retail stores (Target, Wal-Mart,), restaurants/coffee shops
- Movie, bowling, skiing or swimming passes or tickets to sporting events, concerts or plays
- Arts and crafts items (yarn, beads, art paint, construction paper, poster board)
- Board games, puzzles and playing cards
KYJO Enterprises, Inc. is now a featured organization of the Amazon Smile Foundation. Amazon Smile is a charitable extension of Amazon that allows consumers to donate a portion of their purchases to the organization of their choice. Most products that are featured on Amazon are eligible for Amazon Smile with 0.05% of profits being donated. Please visit https://smile.amazon.com to learn more about the program and to sign up to have your Amazon purchases benefit KYJO.