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You mentor, discover, and inspire us!

A big thank you to all of our generous donors this holiday season. You reached above and beyond to help us provide gifts for our Juvenile Justice Services youth, and we want to honor your kindness and support.

Being an example to children

Founded in 2000, Mentor, Discover, Inspire (MDI) is a national nonprofit organization developed by male volunteers focused on empowering men to overcome life challenges and embrace a sense of community. MDI is comprised of teams who promote the 15 tenets of the MDI honor code, through weekend or weekly trainings, one-on-one mentoring, and regular group meetings.

The 15th tenet of the MDI model is “Be an Example to Children”. In this spirit, MDI’s West Bay Men’s Division partnered with CJCJ’s Juvenile Justice Services to provide a positive and meaningful experience for the Bay Area’s most at-risk youth.

Five of our Wraparound families were adopted by MDI volunteers through a project know as “Operation Elf ”. The name stands for “Everybody Loves Families” and it’s in its 15th year of providing meals and gifts to Bay Area youth and their families. CJCJ Wraparound families received cleaning and laundry products, gift cards, food baskets, blankets, school supplies, clothes, board games, and even a PlayStation 3!

The MDI volunteers ensured there was something practical and fun for the whole family. One transitional-aged youth (18-years-old) and his 14-month-old daughter received shoes, hats, clothes, toys, diapers, gift cards, and blankets.

“They really helped out our family this year, when we didn’t have money for gifts. Thank you for the gifts this Christmas.”

We cannot thank all of the MDI West Bay Men’s Division volunteers enough for so generously supporting our young people and their families. Special thanks to MDI’s Kraig Beal and Brian Kelly for organizing Operation Elf, and for diligently wrapping so many thoughtful gifts this holiday season.

Making a heartfelt difference 

MDI volunteers were not the only holiday helpers we had this year for our justice-involved youth! Many of our friends, family members, and concerned community members contributed to making this winter a little warmer.

Altogether you raised $520 to buy our youth memorable and practical gifts to help them succeed in 2014. You also contributed through our Amazon wish list, supplying our youth with headphones, hair straighteners, watches, jackets, and I-pods. These gifts were not only well received; they demonstrated to our youth that their community values them.

Special thanks to Frank and Sally Lopez, Rebecca Rhine, Rochelle Low, Sally and Sarah Faison, Mario Tarantino, Jennifer Johnson, Patricia Hitchcock, Selena Teji and Debora Munk for your generous contributions.

Our young families face so many challenges in their lives, including barriers to education and employment, mental illness, addiction, homelessness, disabilities, trauma, and poverty. This holiday season you provided them with a strong example of generosity and understanding.

Thank you all again for being such a wonderful part of the CJCJ extended family. We could not do this without you. Best wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy 2014!

Keywords: JJS, juvenile justice services, Selena Teji, Wraparound

Posted in Blog, Model Local Practices

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