January Newsletter

Inside This January Issue:
  • A Sweet Adventure For a Child Who Has Been Through Too Much
  • Meet Savannah: A Former Foster Teen Joins Our Staff
  • Chico: A Community That Gives Back BIG TIME
  • Rodney: A Bears Charity Runner Who is Starting Early
  • A Reno Christmas Party on Wheels
  • January Trainings

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Our Plumas County Office: A Sweet Adventure For A Child Who Has Been Through Too Much… 

Marissa is an 11-year-old foster child that has been in care for about 7 months.  She was previously in an adoptive home, and suffered the loss of her adoptive mother last spring.  Marissa is now in a new, and very loving, foster home and recently went on a family vacation to Six Flags Discovery Anna PhotoKingdom in Vallejo, California with her foster parent and the other children in the home.  For anyone who may not know, Six Flags is an animal theme park that has amazing rides, exotic animals, and fantastic shows!  Marissa’s excitement when sharing her experience about this trip is immeasurable!  When asked what her favorite part of Six Flags was, she exclaimed,

“All of it!!!”

Marissa really loved the upside down roller coasters, and even rode on an elephant!  Until now, Marissa had not ever been to a theme park.  Lucky for her, Marissa’s foster parent greatly enjoys taking fun family vacations as often as possible.   You deserve it Marissa, and Mountain Circle is so glad to be a part of your team 🙂

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A Holiday Transition: Meet Savannah,  former foster teen, who has joinedSavannah the Mountain Circle (MC) staff!  Savannah is a previous participant in MC’s Transitional Housing Plus (THP) Program, and was also an employee at Mountain Circle’s Vocational Training Center, the Nu-2-U Store. We couldn’t be more proud of her!! Savannah has always been a part of our Mountain Circle Family, but she joined our Susanville office at one of the busiest times of the year…Christmas. Savannah has been phenomenal in her short 10 days working at making all of our holiday parties and plans successful! She even helped at a local Senior Home, making sock snowmen, and specifically worked one-to-one with a resident who was blind.

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She used her unique style and taste to help make this woman’s snowman a real fashionable one. At the Senior Home, she was joined by our THP house mentor Kathleen, and other THP youth.

Savannah in office

We asked Savannah a few questions regarding her new job.

1. How has your experience been in your new position?

My experience in this new position has been very well. It has been very educational and has pulled me out of my comfort zone.

2. What differences do you find between working at Nu-2-U and in the front office?

The difference that I find between the two jobs is that working in the front office is very fast paced compared to Nu-2-U. It has a lot more paperwork and independent work days.

3. Do you feel your experience in THP has prepared you for the work world?

Originally, I did not feel that THP helped me with much, but once I stayed in the program longer and aged out, I realized when I needed help and reached out. The people working for MC have so much compassion and love for the youth that are a part of it. The only thing I could suggest would be more independent living skills to better prepare youth for the real world. The program is absolutely fantastic and such an amazing opportunity for foster youth to be put back on their feet.

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Our Chico Office: The Community Gives Back BIG TIME: Barnes and Noble really kicked off the Holiday season for Mountain Circle Family Services, by donating hundreds of books to our children and several pounds of coffee to our Foster Families.

Chico 1

To top that, Barnes and Noble generously opened their doors to Mountain Circle to wrap gifts for cash donations. Many of our Foster Parents and even the Chico Chapter of Delta Nu offered expertise in gift wrapping. We spent four full days at Barnes and Noble wrapping books and accessories for time-strapped holiday shoppers; it was a great way for us to give back during the season, as well.

As if that wasn’t enough, we had an amazing woman by the name of Paula Law rally friends and family to make a huge donation to the children of Mountain Circle. Law and her friends and family piled into the MC office one evening, bearing nothing but smiles and gifts for families. Mountain Circle staff stood awe-struck as people carrying piles of gifts walked in, one after another.

Chico 3

These generous people filled an entire room with gifts for boys and girls of all ages. From stuffed animals to bicycles; it was truly a sight to see. That night, we met some incredible people from Paula Law’s group of friends and they made quite the impression on us here at Mountain Circle. It was a humbling experience to be in the presence of so many selfless, thoughtful people.

The outpouring of generosity from our community here in Chico, enabled us to throw our Foster Parents and their childreSantan a fun-filled Christmas Party. All children received a gift from Santa Claus himself, there was plenty of food, laughter and games of hide-and-go-seek.

It’s safe to say everyone left the party full, exhausted, and quite happy.This Holiday season has truly been one of giving and we couldn’t be more thankful for everyone’s efforts and contributions.

 

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RodneyRunning with the Bears Charity Runners Make the Difference!

Meet Rodney (on right, with his pup)~ The Rodney and Sumalee page has already fundraised $160- THANK YOU!! Rodney is committed to starting his fundraising early, in order to support Mountain Circle’s work all year around.

We asked Rodney, “What is the first step to asking for support?”

“First, I can’t say enough about how much I love RWTB, from the race event to the after party to the staff and volunteers.  This is my favorite race every year and I make sure to let my other running friends know it!

How did I go about asking my friends/supporters to donate to my page?  Well, I have been using word of mouth and Social Media (Facebook) as my way to let others know about RWTB.  I have only used Facebook to solicit donations to RWTB by making posts asking for donations to the great cause and linking to my donation page each time I make that post.

August 20th can’t get here soon enough.”

You can launch your own page RIGHT HERE, and thank you for joining our team! Together we can make a world of difference to the special children served by Mountain Circle.

CHECK OUT this short article on why runners make awesome fundraisers. Here are three tips:

1.) Ask for higher amounts. The Boston Marathon runners collected the majority of their money from donors who gave $25 to $75 or $100 to $150. But the most successful of those fund-raising runners—those who brought in more than $7,500—generated twice the number of donations in the $100 to $125 range than their peers. “If you ask for higher amounts, they will give it,” Ms. Askanase says. “Don’t ask for $25. Ask for $100. You very likely could get it.” The average online donation was $75.

2.) Start early. Runners who started raising money seven to nine months before the marathon raised higher amounts, on average, but more than 90 percent of donations came in during the four months before the marathon. Ms. Askanase recommends that runners ask their close friends and families for support first, since they’re more likely to give and donate higher amounts. Those gifts can then be used to motivate others.

3.) Hit your benchmark. To raise $3,250, the minimum requirement for the Boston Marathon, runners needed to obtain  contributions from 36 to 40 donors, on average.

Runners who raise money for charity by participating in marathons need to recruit sponsors at least four months before they race, secure commitments from 30 to 40 sponsoring donors, and ask donors for contributions in the $100 to $125 range, according to a new study.

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Our Reno Office: A Lesson in Making A Challenging Month Special For Foster Kids:

Making the Holidays special for during the Holiday season is always difficult for children in foster care, but with the help of a few huge hearts this season we were able to give our kids a Christmas that is worthy of remembering for a lifetime.

In light of giving to our foster children, we also make it a point to give to our foster parents. They work up close and very personal Reno2with each of these kids, and we really wanted to shower them with appreciation. The ladies at Talbots were kind enough to donate three HUGE gift baskets to our foster parents.

Some received new board games, movies, anything family related. Our amazing contact with Toys-4-Tots was again a great success. The Reno Rodeo held a drive this year as well and we were able to get more for the kids! As the gifts poured from Reno we got an amazing donation of books from the Chico area. The Reno office wasn’t done yet. Every person in the Reno office helped out by wrapping each and every gift. Our parents were so thankful, as many of them have up to seven kids to wrap for!

Now, what better way to celebrate another year coming and going than by food and roller skating? The Owner of Roller Kingdom was beyond giving Reno1this season. Mountain Circle’s Reno office received not just the space to host our party but the skates and part of the food and drinks for free! We were all so shocked and thankful. Each of the kids were excited to skate, eat pizza, and have fun. There were so many other parties going on and the kids made fast friends. Nothing warms a heart like watching a child whom we have accepted into our agency and homes, smile just light up with excitement and joy. This holiday season was yet again quite magical.

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THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF OUR TEAM!!

Please, Help Us Serve Foster Children and Families All Year Around~
Click to Donate

Non-Profit 501c3# 680062345

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Chico Trainings:
Thursday the 14th: FP1 Orientation 6-8pm
Saturday the 16th: FP2 Policy and Documentation 10am-4pm
Saturday the 23rd: FP3 Parenting Foster Child 10am-4pm
Friday the 29th: Crisis Intervention ITFC Part 1 8:30am-5:30pm
Saturday the 30th: Crisis Intervention ITFC Part 2 8:30am-5:30pm

Lassen and Plumas County Pre-Certification Trainings:
Saturday January 9th, 2016 9:00am – 3:00pm: Pre-Certification Training “Documentation, Policies & Procedures” in Susanville
Saturday January 16th, 2016 9:00am – 3:00pm: Pre-Certification Training “Documentation, Policies & Procedures” in Greenville
Saturday January 23rd, 2016 9:00am – 4:00pm: Pre-Certification Training “Parenting a Foster Child” in Susanville
Saturday January 30th, 2016 9:00am – 4:00pm: Pre-Certification Training “Parenting a Foster Child” in Greenville