Monday, May 13, 2019
Foster Youth Hit Sharks Ice for Afternoon Fun
Ice skating is one of those sports that not all children have the opportunity to experience, particularly those in foster care. However, earlier this month, 45 foster children laced up their skates and hit the Sharks ice arena for an afternoon of healthy activity and fun. As a student interning at Child Advocates, I have been helping the Community Development Department recruit more volunteers to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs). To see the children Child Advocates is serving laughing and having fun was the highlight of my internship.
The ice-skating party is a yearly event organized by Jessica Lee, a CASA volunteer. She involves other members of the community as well. The Santa Clara Blackhawks sponsored lunch and the Sharks ice skating rink provided the venue and buckets for beginning ice skaters to lean on. Others donated free goodies such as backpacks, bobble heads and stuffed toys, as well as sweaters, mittens, socks and scarfs to help the kids stay warm on the ice.
This community-led effort took place during Foster Care Awareness Month–a time shine a light on all the children who are in the foster care system through no fault of their own and the community that supports them. Watching the children experience a fun, new activity for the first time truly moved my heart. Some of the kids skated the entire two hours!
Seeing these youth spend time with their CASAs and meet new people that were so supportive of them was truly inspiring. It showed me that when our community comes together to make events like this happen, children benefit. For a child in foster care who is going through one of the most difficult times of their lives, having an afternoon of fun can provide moments of relief that can make a world of difference to that child's outlook. Child Advocates' CASAs provide a bright light to guide children and show them that life can be positive.
- By Iliana Plascencia