We are once again blown away by the meaningful ways youth contribute to the world around them... We invited FosterClub's youth to contribute their voice to the FosterClub Happy Holidays campaign by sharing quotes and photos of ways they celebrate the holidays or don't celebrate!
"I celebrate Christmas and one thing I like to do every year is giving back. A fun way to do this for me is going to a church and cook for the homeless people. I think it is really fun and rewarding." - April, 16 years in foster care in Oregon
“The holidays have always been a rough time. Fortunately, I have similar friends who are unable to visit their families. We make a big celebration of cooking, laughing, and singing together and it truly feels like the meaning of the holiday spirit.” - Ellen, 4 years in foster care in Los Angeles, CA
"I celebrate with my mom and brother most times. My favorite activity is going up to Big Bear or Mammoth to check out the snow." - Zuleika, 2 years in foster care
“Family is family, blood or spirit, the holidays are for the family you choose.” - Phoenix, 2018 FosterClub All-Star, 14 years in foster care in Oregon
"The holiday I celebrate is Christmas. I celebrate usually by contacting my sister who I got separated from and talking to her about the good memories we had together. It helps bring my spirit up." - Macy, 5 years in foster care in Oregon
“The way I serve others during the holidays is by organizing a donation campaign on campus. I team up with other students and organizations to get donations and food for the homeless population in the Valley since the Valley County has less resources and it gets colder at night there. I’ve been doing this since I was 19 years old, giving back is more than just a thought it’s stable actions!” - Jaci, 13 years in foster care in California
"My family and friends are most important to me so I am with them every holiday. If a family that I don't know didn't have anyone to celebrate with during the holidays I would definitely offer to spend the hliday with them. I am a very caring person and I love people. When I serve other people it makes me all warm inside. Also, when I celebrate with my folks we always go shopping, which is my favorite thing to do. All in all I love the holidays!" - Malaya, 2 and a half years in foster care in Oregon
“My favorite Christmas traditions with my new family include stockings, gifts, baking cookies, and listening to Christmas songs while sitting by the fire. Although I was raised with Ethiopian traditions, much different from this - I can now celebrate both! Merry Christmas is December 25th and Melkam Gena is January 7th!” - Yeshi, 2018 FosterClub All-Star, 1.5 Years in foster care in Washington State
"Christmas used to be a time when I wanted "more". I wanted more gifts, more money, more shopping, more food, more presents wrapped in brightly colored gift wrap. For me, the holidays became a pernicious thief leaving me in debt, even though I only work a part-time job. Not just financial debt, but emotional debt. I'd become saddened if my expectations weren't met. No matter what gifts I received, I compared my "wishlist" to others and still wanted more. Never satisfied. It's easy to get sucked into the quagmire of "entitlement during the holiday season. This year, I ignored every Ad, I resisted every temptation to "want more". Instead, I founded "Kiana's Closet", as my way of giving. I collect kid's clothing donations and transform them into something beautiful. I then give them to homeless children, it's like a boutique-like experience for the kids. I find more joy in giving. Giving is rewarding!" - Kiana, born into the foster care system in Los Angeles, CA
"My family and I celebrate this Christmas season by helping others in many ways. We donate gently used household items and toys to a local homeless shelter that assist holeless in obtaining housing and household items for their new homes. We donate toys to our local fire station. We also help the homeless by giving hem a warm meal and handmade scarfs during the cold season. I personally knit the scarfs and when my children get older I will teach them so they could also help. We are also planning to make homemade Christmas cards for our nearby hospital that has children with chronic illnesses. As a mother, my main objective is to teach my children the true meaning of the season, family and serving others. I am beyond grateful and blessed to have my family and to have the opportunity to help others and teach my children along the way." - Jaqueline, 13 years in foster care in California
It isn't too late to share your holiday survival tips by entering FosterClub's Happy Holidays Contest, enter by December 24th to submit!
Learn more about what young people are doing with FosterClub's 10 Tips to Get Through the Holidays - written by young people, for young people!