Kidsave Weekend Miracles Comes to NoHo

North Hollywood Christ Chapel of The Valley Hosts The Kidsave Weekend Miracles Info Session

The NoHo Arts District dot com team likes to do stories that showcase the talent we have and the art we create. However, we also like to show the kindness of the NoHo soul. North Hollywood’s Christ Chapel of The Valley has long been a local organization that helps the community. But on June 7th at 11:30AM, they are opening their doors to a larger cause, foster kids. They’re hosting an information session on the great work Kidsave International does for our local youth in foster care.

What is Kidsave?

Kidsave International is a U.S based non-profit focused on finding families for older children in institutional care. Kidsave uses its signature Family Visit Model to help Kids ages 6-17 in the U.S and overseas foster care systems and orphanages to find permanent families and lasting relationships with caring adults. Our programs build capacity for governments and NGOs worldwide.

What is the Weekend Miracles Program?

The Kidsave Weekend Miracles program works in partnership with the L.A. Department of Children and Family Services to help older foster youth ages 9-17 find permanent connections and adoptive families. We do this by recruiting individuals and families who act as volunteers called a Weekend Host that helps find these youth an adoptive family. Hosts are mentors and most importantly act as an advocate by bringing exposure to the youth’s need of finding an adoptive family. As a host you commit to spending two days a month on weekends for a minimum of a year. Weekend Miracles creates monthly advocacy events that are youth centered activities where prospective hosts and adoptive families meet the youth and connect.

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What event are you doing in NoHo?

On June 7th at 11:30 am Kidsave and Christ Chapel of the Valley are partnering to host an informational session/orientation for anyone in the community who would like to learn more about the Weekend Miracles program. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from a current host family and will understand the commitment and impact one makes as a host. The informational session is great for anyone wanting to help at risk youth or those considering fostering or adopting. After attending this informational session participants will be invited to attend the upcoming June 28th Weekend Miracles team building advocacy event.

WHEN: Sunday, June 7 at 11:30AM
WHERE: Christ Chapel of the Valley
Christ Chapel of the Valley
1150 Hartsook Street North Hollywood, CA 91601
RSVP: Via WEBSITE  Or contact: Anthony at 310-642-7283 anthonyp@kidsave.org

Kidsave International www.nohoartsdistrict.com

Kidsave in Action: Jacob’s Story

When Jacob was referred to Kidsave’s Weekend Miracles program at age 12, he had been in foster care for over four years. During this time Jacob had a few very brief County- initiated adoptive matches that did not work out, and as a result, Jacob was apprehensive about being adopted.

In late summer of 2009, Jennifer became Jacob’s Weekend Miracles host advocate. From the very start Jennifer and Jacob spent time together at least three weekends each month and spoke on the phone at least once during the week. On weekends they went bowling, watched movies, worked on art projects and hung out at Jennifer’s place.

Jennifer wanted to help Jacob find a family, but she also wanted to help build his self-confidence. Although Jacob is very intelligent, at the time he was not doing well in school and was having trouble making friends. Jennifer helped Jacob with his homework and with his consent, enrolled Jacob in karate lessons. As the months passed and they became closer, Jacob opened up to Jennifer; their relationship provided Jacob with a safe and special haven where he could talk about his past and share his hopes for the future.

Alex and Gregg met Jacob at a Weekend Miracles event. The couple really enjoyed Jacob, and told Kidsave staff that they wanted to get to know him better. Through Jennifer and Kidsave staff, Alex and Gregg learned they should move slowly with Jacob. The couple began spending time with Jacob and Jennifer at Kidsave’s monthly Weekend Miracles events, then proceeded to spend time with them outside of the events by going to the movies, taking Jacob to his first theatre performance, and just hanging out. Jacob truly enjoyed being with Alex and Gregg, and the three of them soon began spending time together on their own.

March 2010 was a very special month for Jacob. Jennifer, Alex and Gregg had a party for his 14th birthday — it was Jacob’s very first birthday party. It was also at this time that Alex and Gregg made the commitment of adopting Jacob. Soon after, when Jacob moved in with Alex and Gregg, there was a “Welcome Home” banner there to greet him. In September of 2012, Jacob’s adoption was finalized, and Alex and Gregg officially became his forever family.

What other programs does Kidsave offer?

1) Summer Miracles: Brings older children growing up in orphanages to the U.S to spend 5 weeks with a host family with the goal of identifying an adoptive family for each child.
2) Sierra Leone: Incorporates microloans into the family visit model to enable local market women to increase their income, giving them the capacity to host and find a permanent family for local orphans.
3) Malenkaya Mama: Based in Russia, this program keeps teen moms from putting their babies into orphanages by teaching them parenting and job skills and matching them with mentors.

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Kidsave International fier www.nohoartsdistrict.com

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Lisa Bianconi
Author: Lisa Bianconi

Editor of www.nohoartsdistrict.com