What Drives Us
Our Mission Statement
To improve the quality of life for foster, homeless and low-income youth (ages 0 – 18) through the collection of tangible goods; by encouraging Christian responsibility and instilling commitment to strengthen the family structure.
Our Vision Statement
- Increase awareness of the alarming rate of youth placed in foster care and its linkage to homelessness.
- Build partnerships with churches, child welfare agencies and community members to strengthen the family unit, and produce prepared, productive young adults to make positive contributions to our society.
Why We Do this Work? | Deuteronomy 15:7-8, 10-11
7 If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them.
8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.
10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
the change we want to make
THE OPPORTUNITY BEFORE US
In response, Rays of Light Philanthropic desires to build “Rays Up 2 Live”, a highly structured, academically rigorous and well-supervised transitional living program for teens that age out of the foster care system. Rays Up 2 Live would offer short-term, curriculum-based housing and guidance of a resident Life Coach to help build a productive and sustainable Life Roadmap…
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To accomplish this goal, Rays of Light Philanthropic is planning to make significant investments in our resident’s educational goals, provide psychological support and spiritual guidance, equipping them with basic skills for productive living and encouraging them to come back and become mentors themselves. There could be no greater encourager than someone who has overcome the hurdles another faces. Rays Up 2 Live residents will be required to complete our uniquely designed Life-Skills program, be employed and enrolled in an educational or vocational program, and contribute a portion of their income toward expenses, as well as being expected to build a healthy savings account. Rays Up 2 Live will be a vehicle that allows us to build a community of mentorship and ultimately, change the world with love and hope as we release prepared young people into society to “Be a Blessing” to others!
ABOUT THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM
The goal of the US Foster Care System is to provide temporary, safe living arrangements and therapeutic services for children who cannot reside safely at home due to neglect, or for children whose parents are not able to provide adequate care. The ultimate aim of the US Foster Care System is to safely reunite children with their parents or secure a permanent home. However, too often, this goal is not achieved. Instead, many children spend years in foster homes and/or group homes, often moving multiple times. These children are at increased risk for a variety of emotional, behavioral, and academic problems….
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About 10% of foster youth “age out” of the system (i.e. they reach age 18 or 21, depending on the state) and services end abruptly. California extends care up to age 21. While the Affordable Care Act ensures that health coverage continues until age 26, this end in services can create other challenges. A high percentage of youth who “age out” experience inadequate housing, low educational and career attainment, early parenthood, substance abuse, physical and mental health problems, and embattlement with the legal system. Some of these problems may stem from their exposure to abuse/neglect and some may result from a lack of services (or service interruption) and systemic planning to equip youth with the skills and resources to successfully transition into adulthood.
100% of your donated tangible goods are distributed to organizations that provide basic needs for underprivileged children, youth, teens and their families. Our primary benefactors are Inner Circle Foster Care and Adoption, the Union Rescue Mission (URM), Door of Hope and Penny Lane.
Your financial gifts and contributions are making a positive impact on the lived of foster, homeless and low-income youth in Greater Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley communities. From 2008 to 2018, the CHRISTmas “Be a Blessing” Gala (C BaB G) project has collected more than 10,000 toys that have been distributed to deserving children, youth and teens as our demonstration of love and hope!
Over the course of six years, the Backpack Drive & Family Fun Fest (BD&FFF) has been overwhelmingly successful. Not only have we given away thousands of backpacks and school supplies; in 2018 we evolved this scope of this initiative to include giving away new clothes and shoes to help students return to school in style.
In March 2013, RLP also donated new clothing, shoes, undergarments and toiletry items for homeless children in the care of the Union Rescue Mission through the RLP Easter Outreach Drive. This effort helped to ease the financial burden of the parents and bolster the image and confidence of their children.