Nonprofit Spotlight: Promises2Kids in San Diego
Some children suffer from domestic abuse and violence, leaving many of them under the care of social services. The silver lining in all of this is that several non-profit organizations have sprouted in U.S. states – and even here in our local communities in San Diego – to provide shelter for kids and let them lead normal lives. One of these organizations is Promises2Kids.
Promises2Kids is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1981 under the name Child Abuse Prevention Foundation (CAPF) in San Diego County. Since then, Promises2Kids has been able to provide for the needs of thousands of foster children, as well as extend support for children who have been taken away from their homes due to abuse and neglect.
Promises2Kids not only gives the children with their immediate needs – such as shelter, food, and clothing – but also provides education, healthcare, and proper guidance. All of these things aim for these young individuals to live normal lives while under their care.
Programs at Promises2Kids
Promises2Kids supports children through four core programs:
Polinsky Children’s Center
This shelter is designed for kids who can no longer remain in their homes as a result of abuse and neglect. The center opened in 1994 from the huge effort made by the Promises2Kids, which was able to raise $12 million to build the facility.
The facility houses 6 residential cottages, an infant nursery, school, library, medical clinic, gymnasium, cafeteria, 2 playgrounds, 2 swimming pools, and an outdoor athletic field.
It now stands as San Diego’s only emergency shelter for children. It also serves as a national model for protection and care of abused and neglected children.
There are many children at Promises2Kids who have siblings. The organization ensures that the kids continue to have a connection with their siblings, and provide opportunities to nurture their relationships with each other.
Each year, a four-day camp is being held to help siblings connect through various activities.
This program aims to provide financial support to those who have aged out of foster care and would like to continue their college or university education.
This program aims to provide financial support to children under Promises2Kids, like having to pay for an instrument, sports equipment, or even applying for college.
Promises2Kids was founded by Norma Hirsh, Renée Comeau, Rob Butterfield, Carla Snyder and Mary Avery. Their first activity involved increasing awareness with regards to child abuse, and raising funds for food, medicine, and supplies to children.
By 1985, CAPF volunteers provided funding assistance to remodel San Diego’s Child Abuse Hotline Center.
In 1988, CAPF created a new program intended to help drug-dependent pregnant women in delivering drug-addicted babies.
In 1990, the organization began its campaign to raise $12 million to build the new emergency shelter for children. The center was named A.B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center. It was formally opened in 1994, when children from Hillcrest Receiving Home were transferred.
In 2000, CAPF started to raise funds for the construction of building a residential high school for teens, which is now called San Pasqal Academy.
In 2001, CAPF received $2.5 million donation from Sunshine Brooks and established the Hattie “Sunshine” Brooks Endowment Fund to provide for the future needs of abused and at-risk children.
In 2008, a program intended to reconnect siblings separated due to neglect or abuse was created (Camp Connect Program).
2009 marked a significant year wherein CAPF was formally renamed to Promises2Kids.
2011 was another milestone year for the organization, as 175 former foster children have earned their college degrees.
In 2015, the Guardian Scholar program expanded its program to include support to foster care children in preparation for college.
In 2016, Promises2Kids launched the expansion of the Guardians Scholars to serve all foster youth from 9th to 12th Grade.
Promises2Kids is an institution that has become reliable in providing the immediate needs of foster children. It may be unfortunate for these children to be separated from their own homes and families. However, Promises2Kids has designed all of their programs to be sufficient in helping these children lead normal lives even outside of their homes.
More About Foster Care
According to the 2015 National Foster Care Statistics, more than 300,000 children were displaced from their homes in the United States and turned over to various foster care agencies. These children had to suffer a great deal of low self-esteem and depression at an early age.
Unfortunately, the help that these kids receive from foster care may not be enough to make them feel “whole” again. Nevertheless, foster care centers are trying their best to ensure that the children are given the proper care that they need.
Additionally, 50% of these children will never graduate from school or obtain GED. In addition, only a small percentage among those who aged out will be able to attend college, and even a smaller percentage will earn a college degree.
An even alarming fact was that at least 25% of foster teens will become homeless after “aging out”.
Being in a foster care means that the organization will be taking care of the immediate needs of the children until someone comes to adopt and care for them. Some of these children are lucky to be taken under the care of loving families. However, the problem arises when a child ages out and finds it difficult to be on his own.
San Diego has several foster care agencies and homes that shelter approximately more than 3,000 children. About 2,800 of these children have one or more siblings. The primary cause of children entering foster homes is abuse or neglect by their families.
We at Kids2Community are happy to discover other organizations like us who are able to help the children in San Diego and allow them to have the best possible future. If you have the heart to help out through Promises2Kids, visit their website for more information.
You may also lend a hand in Kids4Community, if your goal is to activate the young people of today to make a difference in the world.