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The Quarterly

Valley of the Moon Children’s Center November 2018

Valley of the Moon Children’s Center

112 Children’s Circle

Santa Rosa, CA 95409

Phone: 707-565-8641
E-mail: aspezzano@schsd.org
Valley of the Moon Children’s Center
Valley of the Moon Children’s Center is a
safe haven for children to feel protected,
cared for, nurtured, respected and loved,
so they can begin their healing journey
and transition into stable, loving homes.

VMCC Art Gallery

Featuring art created by our very own youth artists.

Looking Ahead
Winter is here and the holiday season is upon us! Here
are a few dates to keep in mind in the coming months!

We’re always looking for volunteers to support youth during

their school breaks. With the holiday season upon us, here are
the upcoming breaks:

¨ Thanksgiving Week, November 19th-25th

¨ Winter Break, December 21st-January 6th

Let us know if you want to come share your holiday spirit!

Holiday Caregiver Party

December 8th - 11:00am-1:00pm
We will be having a big holiday celebration, inviting all of our
County’s caregivers to come celebrate together. We’re looking
for any volunteers interested in helping out at this event with
setup and/or running an activity with the kids.
Let us know if you’d like to join!

Valley of the Moon Children’s Foundation Holiday Party

December 12th - 5:30pm-7:00pm
Our Foundation will be hosting a holiday party at VMCC and all
of our volunteers are invited! This is a great opportunity to
meet Foundation members and other volunteers in an evening
of family, friends, food, and fun! If you would like to attend,
please RSVP to aspezzano@schsd.org.

Day of Caring 2018
Two months ago, countless employees from the County of Sonoma
and City of Santa Rosa joined together for a day of community and
team building. Participants worked on a variety of service projects all
across the county; cleaning up parks, removing graffiti, packing food
at a food bank, and much more. VMCC is honored to have been one of
the many host sites, receiving help from a group of hard working
county employees to beautify our garden space.

A great example of the effort and hard work our

volunteers put in from start to finish.
VMCC is honored to have been one of the many host sites, receiving
help from a group of hard working county employees to beautify our
garden space. Some of the projects they participated in were sanding
and painting picnic benches, cleaning and organizing the greenhouse,
planting and watering, and building pallet furniture. Our volunteers
gave 110% throughout the day and we couldn’t be more grateful!

Our freshly organized greenhouse, A previously overgrown planter that our

complete with upcycled containers. Day of Caring volunteers cleaned out and
4 planted succulents and flower bulbs in.
Valley of the Moon Children’s Foundation

Our spotlight this Quarterly is a

unique one, highlighting a crucial
supporter of the Children’s
Center. Valley of the Moon
Children’s Foundation was started
by Sonoma County judge Arnold
Rosenfeld in 1994. The
Foundation’s original purpose was
to create a discretionary fund for
children living at the Children’s
Home. This fund was meant to
provide birthday and Christmas
presents, opportunities for field trips, and other extras to the benefit of the children.
They quickly realized however, that the current children’s home was not capable of
providing the highest level of care to the growing population of abused and neglected
children in Sonoma County. This realization sparked a unique partnership with the
County of Sonoma Human Services Department, as they began a capital campaign to
raise funds for a brand new facility. Through the foundation’s efforts, over $11
million was raised to make our beautiful new Children’s Center a reality.

Valley of the Moon Children’s Foundation’s Mission:

“In partnership with the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home and the Redwood
Children’s Center, to positively impact the present and future lives of the
abused, abandoned, and neglected children in Sonoma County and to assure
the children we serve positive opportunities to aid them to become
productive, equal members of the community.”

VMCF: Community Impact
One of Valley of the Moon Children’s Foundation’s most impactful ongoing programs is
Education Fund Scholarship Program, first established by Dianne Edwards, the Director of
Human Services Department at the time. To date, the scholarship program has awarded
203 scholarships totaling more than $700,000. We are incredibly lucky to have the
Children’s Foundation on the front lines of the fight against child abuse and neglect.

“Words cannot even begin to express the

gratitude I have for all the people who
have been a part of making my dreams
come true. With this scholarship, I will
not only be the first in my family to attend
college, but I’ll be doing so at the school of
my dreams. I can hardly explain how
filled with joy and excitement I am for this
upcoming school year, all thanks to
individuals like you who have decided to
reach out and help little old me, without
even knowing me personally. This
tremendous act of kindness gives me the
support to begin this new chapter of my
life. While beginning college is a terrifying “Valley of the Moon Children’s Foundation
new experience, knowing that I have seeks to meet the physical, emotional, and
people from all walks of life supporting academic needs of current and former
and rooting for my success gives me the foster youth throughout Sonoma County. As
courage I need to start college with a President of the Foundation, it is an honor to
running start.” work alongside my fellow board members to
-Scholarship Recipient Ayahna Mack serve and support theses brave and resilient
young people who have endured so much in
their lives. My hope is that the Foundation
is able to alleviate some of the burden
placed on those in the foster care system,
and to provide resources for holistic healing
and long-term success.”
-Laura Colgate, VMCF President
Volunteer Resources
Valley of the Moon Children’s Center seeks to not only support our
youth to the highest capacity, but also our volunteers. Below you will
find a variety of resources tailored to both taking care of our youth,
as well as taking care of yourselves. Stay healthy, mind and body!

· Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI)—Training videos on

parenting and caring for youth in the child welfare system.

· Brené Brown—A collection of various resources on

parenting, nurturing courage, empathy, vulnerability, and
dealing with shame among both children and adults.

· Child Trauma Academy—A research and education

focused non-profit organization working to improve the lives
of high-risk children through direct service, research, and

· Foster Youth Wellness Project—A new website by the

California Department of Social Services to promote overall
health and wellness for foster youth.

· The Foundations of Wellbeing—An online program

promoting self-care, resilience and overall well-being. A
great resource to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
Donation Corner
Valley of the Moon Children’s Center seeks to provide the best winter time experiences possible
for our youth. The holiday season is upon us and we have updated our donation corner to
reflect our current needs.


· Painting Canvas (any size) VMCC is looking for groups or individuals
· Paintbrushes interested in sponsoring upcoming gar-
· Art kits den projects.

RESIDENTIAL MAKEOVER If you would like to contribute to one of

We’re in the beginning stages of a major our upcoming garden additions, please

makeover to the Children’s Home’s resi- contact Anthony Spezzano for more infor-

dential areas. mation at, aspezzano@schsd.org.

If you’re interested in helping improve

Upcoming Projects:
our living spaces, we’re looking for bean
· Building Patio Furniture
bag chairs, nightlights, wall decals, and
· Building Planters
other kids’ decorations.
· Laying Pathways
Contact us for more details!

Items Needed:
CLOTHES & SHOES · Work Gloves
We are currently in need of pajamas, · Loppers
sweat pants, and leggings of all sizes. · Pruning Shears

We are also looking for shoes of all sizes, · Compost Bins

especially toddler/boys size 10 & 11. · Weed Cloth

· Outdoor Umbrellas
· Outdoor Swing

From the Kitchen
Valley of the Moon’s Ham & Bean Soup

A beloved dish for fall and winter alike. Grab some

leftover ham and turn it into an entrée that will leave
your mouth watering for more!

1. Soak 16 cups of mixed 4. Using a large stock pot,

beans in water overnight, sauté the veggies with the
using twice as much water garlic and ginger paste,
to beans to prevent adding 2 cups of diced
overflowing. peeled tomatoes.

2. Dice 2 quarts of ham as 5. Add the ham, then the

well as the veggies: 1 beans, then 32 cups of
onion, a few celery stalks, chicken stock.
and a bell pepper.

3. Purée 1 bulb of garlic with 6. Bring to a boil, then let

a bit of ginger. simmer until the beans are
tender. Add salt and pepper
to taste.


Volunteering at Valley of the Moon
Valley of the Moon
Children’s Center is
currently looking for
volunteers to lead
group-based activities
such as music circles,
art groups, Yoga, Tai
Chi, cooking classes,
and everything in-between.

Friday evening and weekend volunteers are also greatly


If you or anyone you know would like to conduct a

group activity, please contact Valley of the
Moon’s Volunteer Coordinator,
Anthony Spezzano—

Thank You For Your Support!

Contact Us By Bonnie Parrish

Anthony Spezzano, AmeriCorps VIP Fellow & Volunteer

Program Coordinator
Phone: 707-565-8641
Email: aspezzano@schsd.org

Briana Downey, Section Manager

Phone: 707-565-4348
Email: bdowney@schsd.org

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