Sharing finds is something I love to do, be it a great tailor, fantastic lunch place, or a great book, but I especially love to share when something matters more than a cute pair of boots. A Step Up is a lovely group of women who chose to use their spare (!) time finding non-profits that could use a little love by gathering their friends for an evening of wine, cheese and substantial dessert plates (all donated by local merchants). There is even an off-shoot in Winchester MA – More amazing women doing great work!
Their latest find (and now mine) is The Camellia Network, a non-profit founded by two long-time friends, Isis Dallis Keigwin (top advertising and brand strategist) and Vanessa Diffenbaugh (author of the bestselling novel The Language of Flowers and foster mother), who saw a need (children aging out of the foster care system left with no support) and the resources and energy (of people who wanted to help these young people) and connected the two in their wonderful network.
The tagline for The Camellia Network is A Support Net(work) for Youth Aging out of Foster Care and the need is great. Once a child in the foster care system turns 18, they are considered emancipated and are no longer supported by the system. The reality and the statistics are frightening; “For youth who age out of the [foster care] system without a permanent family to support them, life is often tough. 25% of these youth become homeless by the time they turn twenty. 25% become incarcerated. 60% have children of their own within four years, and those kids are twice as likely to be placed in foster care themselves – continuing the cycle for a future generation.”
These two women leveraged their personal networks and with the help of early supporters and the advance from Vanessa’s book (which I am reading right now) founded this much needed network. The young people are recommended by approved agencies and the profiles showcase stories, goals and needs, and helping is an easy click away.
So what can you do to help?
Visit the site and post a job or internship opportunity, offer words of encouragement or even just buy some school supplies for one of the featured young people. Host a Cocktails with a Cause house party and share this great non-profit network with your own network (contact A Step Up for more information).
Best way to help? Yahoo! Women Who Shine wants to celebrate the women in your social circles who are blazing new trails, changing lives, and doing extraordinary things every day. Help give these inspiring women the recognition they deserve by nominating them for Women Who Shine. The woman who receives the most votes by the end of the program will win a $10,000 cash prize!
(see terms and conditions – http://shine.yahoo.com/women-who-shine/rules)
Vote for The Camellia Network here – that $10,000 prize that would help many young people!
Now that you realize that you can help these young people with the click of a mouse – go vote at Yahoo! Women Who Shine!
From The Cameliia Network:
I was compensated for this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms blogging program.The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.
More wonderful women on Yahoo! Women Who Shine – our own Newton North High School Principal Jen Price was nominated, too (by Pragmatic Mom). Vote for her here and the prize money will go towards GELF.