header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
61°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 19
1863 - Gen. Edward F. Beale loans money to A.A. Hudson and Oliver P. Robbins to erect toll house in Newhall Pass [story]
toll house


| Friday, Aug 20, 2021
Participants shop for clothes during Tidings for Teens' Back-to-School shopping event for foster youth at Old Navy on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services
 

More than 200 local youth in the foster care system were given the chance to shop for new clothes ahead of the school year Sunday.

The Santa Clarita-based organization Tidings for Teens, which works to help the underserved youth in foster care, has partnered with the Department of Children and Family Services since 2016 to hold annual shopping events.

Each year, Tidings for Teens partners with Old Navy, which opened its store after hours for the private shopping event, along with Augusta Financial, which matches all funds raised, dollar for dollar, which has also helped to spur donations.

Participants enter Old Navy to shop for clothes during Tidings for Teens’ Back-to-School shopping event for foster youth on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

Since 2016, the event’s been growing, with the organization able to serve around 65 kids when the event began, to this year, serving 200 foster youth, as well as 30 who’ve aged out of the system.

Participating kids are chosen by the DCFS social workers as those in most need, and each child gets $100 to spend at Old Navy.

This year’s event was the biggest yet, and Michelle Penez, children’s services administrator with DCFS Santa Clarita, said it couldn’t have come at a better time, as the pandemic continues to impact local families.

Backpacks await foster youth at the Tidings for Teens’ Back-to-School shopping event at Old Navy on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

Whether due to lost income during the pandemic or simply families who just need some extra help, foster youth need all the support they can get, Penez said. That includes older children, like Maya Hofmann, an 18-year-old who recently aged out of foster care, and is starting her first year at California State University, Northridge.

“I’m so excited. I haven’t been in school since … the beginning of the pandemic,” Hofmann said. “Foster youth like me that are just off to college and on their own now, we can’t always go out and spend (money) on clothes. We have to recycle the last year’s (clothes), make them look a little vintage.”

It’s because of this that Hofmann said events like this one are so helpful, adding, “It’s just clothes, but it’s much more to us because when do we get to do this?”

Maya Hofmann shop for clothes during Tidings for Teens’ Back-to-School shopping event for foster youth at Old Navy on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

Some of the DCFS staff even traveled across the Santa Clarita Valley picking kids up to make sure they were able to attend the event, as the $100 goes a long way toward helping these foster youth feel prepared for the new school year, especially in the midst of the pandemic, as many wouldn’t have been able to get new clothes or school supplies otherwise, Penez added.

“It’s huge,” Penez added of the event’s importance. “A lot of our families have to choose between paying for utilities and rent or … backpacks and school supplies. That’s extra. A lot of our families are just going basic needs, and this is really helping them get extra support really when they need it most. … Tidings for Teens and the rest of our community have really risen up to the occasion to help us.”

DCFS is already prepping for holiday events to come in the fall, with a free community resource fair set to kick things off in October, followed by a Thanksgiving food drive, adopt-a-family program and more ahead of the holiday season.

Tidings for Teens’ volunteers pass out food to participants at the Back-to-School shopping event for foster youth at Old Navy on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Emily Alvarenga/The Signal

For junior co-founders Jessica and Kaylin Mai, 15-year-old twins, seeing the kids shopping around happily is the most rewarding part of the process.

“It feels amazing just to know that our hard work is paying off and to see this recipient of all of our hard work,” Jessica said as she and her sister watched kids run around with bundles of clothing in their hands.

“Especially with COVID last year we couldn’t do this, so this year it was just really great to do it again,” added Kaylin.

Tidings for Teens’ volunteers help participants at the Back-to-School shopping event for foster youth at Old Navy on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Emily Alvarenga/The Signal

Each year, the Mai twins enlist the help of their West Ranch High School cheer team, as well as other friends, including juniors Tenley Romberger, Lola Harrington and Lily Fair, all of whom were excited to return to volunteer at the shopping event for their second year.

“They do so much, and it makes me feel so nice helping them out, too,” Harrington said of helping the Mais.

“I know the foster system is really overpacked with kids, so anything to help the system and all the kids in it,” Romberger added.

Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services social workers attend the Tidings for Teens’ Back-to-School shopping event for foster youth at Old Navy on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Courtesy of DCFS

Both Harrington and Fair said it’s both rewarding and fun helping the kids shop around.

“I just had so much fun helping the little girl I was with shop around,” Fair said. “It makes me feel really good.”

Fair also recruited her sister, Ryann, a freshman at West Ranch, to help, who was grateful to know others during the event, which made it even more fun to volunteer, she said.

Participants shop for clothes during Tidings for Teens’ Back-to-School shopping event for foster youth at Old Navy on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

This year, other cheer teams even got involved in the event after Isabela Sandoval, junior varsity cheer captain and sophomore at Valencia High School, found out about the opportunity.

“I went to my cheer advisers and my coach, and I was like, ‘We need to be a part of this,’” Sandoval said, adding that she ended up recruiting more than a dozen people to help out.

Sandoval’s cousins were foster kids, and she found herself wondering what it’d be like for them — or herself — to be in a situation where they didn’t have school supplies or clothes for back to school.

Foster youth visit with a storm trooper at the Tidings for Teens’ Back-to-School shopping event for foster youth at Old Navy on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

“I wanted to be part of something that helps those kids,” Sandoval said, adding that she hopes to help Tidings for Teens make this even bigger.

Her mom Jeanne Sandoval, who was also volunteering, described her daughter as a “heart with legs,” saying she was proud to see her rally for such a great cause

“As a parent, it’s really cool to see your kid take the initiative to care about other people,” she added. “Honestly, that’s what COVID did more to her — it made her look around and go, ‘Wow, this person’s suffering.’ … I think we’re going to see great things from this generation. They noticed a need, so it’s awesome.”

Participants line up to enter Old Navy during Tidings for Teens’ Back-to-School shopping event for foster youth on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

It’s people like Sandoval that Hofmann thinks can truly make a difference in their community.

“There are people out there that want to make a change … but they just don’t have the power and the resources,” Hofmann said. “So, they need to put their efforts together so more stuff like this can happen.”

DCFS Santa Clarita’s community resource fair is free and open to the public, with more than 60 community agencies set to attend to share their services and resources, such as housing, mental health services, faith-based community services and more.

Participants enter Old Navy to shop for clothes during Tidings for Teens’ Back-to-School shopping event for foster youth on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

The fair is scheduled 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 12 at the DCFS Santa Clarita office, located at 28490 Ave. Stanford, Suite 100. Any nonprofit agency that would like to table at the event to share their resources that can help foster families and children can register at tiny.cc/DCFSfair, or anyone who’d like to donate services or volunteer can contact Michelle Penez at penezma@dcfs.lacounty.gov or 661-702-6255.

For more information on how to volunteer with Tidings for Teens or how to donate, email Tammey Mai at tammey@brandolinogroup.com.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NONPROFIT LINKS

NONPROFIT HEADLINES
Thursday, Sep 16, 2021
Well more than 100 people gathered at the Elks Lodge on Sierra Highway Saturday to enjoy time with friends and family — and raise funds for local charities — during the Elks’ Car & Bike Show.
Monday, Sep 13, 2021
The Santa Clarita Master Chorale is proud to announce its annual benefit event - Cabaret and Cabernet - will be held Saturday, Oct. 16, at 5:00 p.m., in the Bridgeport Clubhouse.
Monday, Sep 13, 2021
The American Cancer Society is holding a Relay Rally on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., at Westfield Valencia Town Center.
Thursday, Sep 9, 2021
Following the announcement that the Gibbon Conservation Center would be leaving its Saugus home of more than 40 years this summer, officials said they are planning to stay a bit longer.
Thursday, Sep 9, 2021
Zonta Club of Santa Clarita's LifeForward Virtual Workshop entitled, “Awareness – Recognize Behaviors that Lead to Sexual Harassment-Assault! Emotional Impact for High School Students, College Students & Adults,” will be held Saturday, Sept. 11, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1863 - Gen. Edward F. Beale loans money to A.A. Hudson and Oliver P. Robbins to erect toll house in Newhall Pass [story]
toll house
1962 - Articles of incorporation filed for Golden State Memorial Hospital on Lyons Avenue [story]
Golden State Hospital
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed the first death due to the West Nile virus for the 2021 season in Los Angeles County. The patient, a resident of the eastern region of Los Angeles County, was hospitalized and died from WNV-associated neuro-invasive disease.
Public Health Confirms First West Nile Virus Death of 2021
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 25 new deaths and 1,823 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 35,090 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley. Additionally, Public Health announced that the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order will be modified today to require vaccination verification or a negative test prior to entry to all mega-events and event venues by Oct. 7.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Health Officer Order on Vaccination Verification to be Issued in L.A. County; SCV Cases Total 35,090
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance Wednesday that would require developers of various types of residential, commercial and industrial projects to provide public art in private developments in the amount of 1% of the building valuation or pay 1% of the building valuation toward a public art fund.
Supervisors Approve Art Fee for Developments, Barger Abstains
The Santa Clarita City Council received a brief report Tuesday about Camps Scott and Scudder, two Saugus facilities recommended by the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council’s Juvenile Justice Realignment Block Grant Ad-Hoc Subcommittee in May to become the new homes of violent juvenile offenders in Los Angeles County.
City Council Receives Update on Camps Scott, Scudder
A big-rig fire Friday afternoon rapidly grew to a 100-acre brush fire east of Interstate 5 at Vista del Lago Road.
100-Acre Fire Closes I-5 Ramps at Vista del Lago, 0% Contained
During Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 19 through 25, the California Highway Patrol will educate the public on the importance of ensuring children are riding in a properly fitted and installed child passenger safety seat.
CHP to Take Part in Safety Effort During Child Passenger Safety Week
The atmosphere on the outdoor patio of the Holiday Inn Express in Valencia was fun and lively during the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Latino Business Alliance’s Hispanic Heritage Month event Wednesday evening.
Latino Business Leaders Celebrate a Growing Community at Hispanic Heritage Month event
In the same week Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials said they’ll be expanding the limitations on deputies drawing their AR-15’s in the field, some Santa Clarita Valley activists said they still want to see more changes to law enforcement policy
LASD to ‘Modify’ Rules for Deputies Drawing Weapons in the Field Following Inspector General’s Report
1879 - First official Newhall School building erected near Walnut & Ninth streets [story]
First Newhall School
CSUN President Erika D. Beck last week greeted the CSUN community — and welcomed students, faculty and staff returning to a partially reopened campus — in her annual Fall Welcome Address on Sept. 10.
CSUN President Sets Tone of Inspiration, Challenge in Welcome Address
One of the toughest decisions a pet owner can face is no longer being able to keep their beloved pet.
County Animal Care & Control Launches Resource for Rehoming Pets
Midway through the 2021 season, the Santa Clarita Christian Cardinals girls’ volleyball team finds itself ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division 8.
CIF-SS Ranks Santa Clarita Christian Girls Volleyball No. 1
If the teams are still having trouble figuring out their schemes, right now would be a very good time to turn it around: Foothill League competition starts next week.
SCV High School Football Week Five Preview
Today’s blog is the third and final installment in a series in which I review how the Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control (DACC) has improved its operations over the past 20 years.
Marcia Mayeda Reflects on 20 Years at Animal Care & Control | Third in a Series
Well more than 100 people gathered at the Elks Lodge on Sierra Highway Saturday to enjoy time with friends and family — and raise funds for local charities — during the Elks’ Car & Bike Show.
Elks’ Car & Bike Show Raises Funds for Area Charities
Officials from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported two additional deaths Thursday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths to 165 since the onset of the pandemic, hospital spokesman Patrick Moody confirmed.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: Henry Mayo Reports 164th, 165th Deaths; SCV Cases Total 35,022
1872 - Mitchell adobe home in Soledad Canyon area first used as schoolhouse; genesis of 1879 Sulphur Springs School District [story]
Mitchell adobe
Students across L.A. County may soon have access to more mental health services with the expansion of the Community School Initiative. 
Student Mental Health Services Expansion To Be Explored County Wide
Supervisor Kathryn Barger has read a motion to accept a portion of Sloan Canyon Road near Castaic High School into the county system of highways in an effort to ensure roadway safety and prevent future crashes. 
Supervisor Barger To Address Sloan Canyon Traffic Safety
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Tuesday confirmed 37 new deaths and 1,930 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 34,936 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: Public Health Issues New Vaccine Order; 34,936 Total SCV Cases
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Station deputies are looking for the scoop after multiple Baskin- Robbins ice cream shops were burglarized overnight Tuesday, including two locations in the Santa Clarita Valley.
2 Suspects Arrested In Connection To Baskin-Robbins Burglaries
The city of Santa Clarita invites non-profit organizations interested in learning more about the 2022 grant cycle of the Community Services and Arts Grants Program to a meeting on Thursday, Sept 23.
City Invites Non-Profits To Informational Meeting On Non-Profit Grant
%d bloggers like this: