By Tiffiny Gaston | Staff Writer|
A pajama drive for at risk youth in the San Bernardino foster care system was held at CSUSB this past quarter.
The goal of the pajama drive was to “tailor the focus for all children in need,” said Aurora Vilchis, Educational Counseling Graduate Student Association Vice President.
In San Bernardino County there are approximately 5,000 children who are currently in the foster care system.
According to the San Bernardino County Government website, only 34 percent of children are placed with relatives or non-relative extended family members.
Approximately half of the children in the foster care system have been awaiting placement for a year or longer.
CSUSB students saw that there was a need to help children in the foster care system.
The Educational Counseling and Graduate Student Association also known was ECGSA, here at CSUSB partnered with the San Bernardino County Children’s Fund in order to raise funds for the local youth.
This is the second annual drive for ECGSA, who devotes each year to a different charity in order to help the San Bernardino community.
“This event helps us get out into the community to let them know we work for them,” said Claudia Esqueda, the secretary for ECGSA.
ECGSA gathered donations from different business and organizations throughout San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
ECGSA had collection sites set up throughout CSUSB for people to donate to the pajama drive.
Vilchis has been apart of the ECGSA for the last three years and is very excited about the progress they were able to make.
When asked what she was most proud of, Vilchis answered, “Knowing that we partnered with so many different entities on and off campus and expanding all the way out into riverside county for the first time.”
The donators included, Sun Country Marine, Inc., Jet Cutting Solutions, San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association (SEBA), Angel Romero and Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Valentina Watson and SOAR Charter Academy, Marci Daniels and Veterans Success Center, Upward Bound, and the CSUSB Educational Opportunity Program.
According to csusb.orgsync.com, “The PJ drive was a wonderful success. With your help and support, we were able to provide 1,252 pairs of brand new pajamas valuing $14,816.67 for the Children’s Fund.”
According to an earlier press release from CSUSB News, “We are very excited about these numbers and none of this would have been possible without dedicated and caring people who participated,” Jones said. “On behalf of the ECGSA, I would like to thank everyone for their help in spreading the word about the drive, getting boxes for us and all the work that was done to really make this drive a success.”
When asked what were their hopes for future drives Esqueda answered, “hoping that more of the word gets out and helping the different children in need.”
The ECGSA and the San Bernardino County Children’s Fund hope to continue to provide for foster care children through future drives.