‘Celebrate 18!’ – a statewide birthday party for 100 girls turning 18 and aging out of the foster care system – will be held on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at the Auburn Community and Event Center.
This year girls who turned 18 in 2020 during the pandemic are invited to attend as well.
At Celebrate 18! each girl receives a new outfit, a makeover by professional beauticians, a rolling duffel bag, a swag bag filled with everyday necessities and individually wrapped birthday gifts. On hand are service providers, employers and social service organizations that can answer questions and provide needed guidance and information. The evening concludes with a catered dinner and foster alumni sharing a message to “their 18 year- old self” Girls can now register at https://bitly.com/Celebrate-18.
Historically, to many girls aging out of foster care, turning 18 has not been a time to celebrate but rather a time of anxiety; many are without clear direction or support as they transition into adulthood. After the last celebration, one of the girls said, ““I feel like I was actually loved and supported by others. It’s kind of overwhelming because I’ve never had this kind of care and love in my life…I love today”
Celebrate 18! is hosted by Eileen & Callie’s Place, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established specifically to support girls aging out of foster care. The organization focuses on building relationships with these girls through one-on-one mentoring. Plans are in the works to open a transitional home to provide safe and secure housing for girls as they age out of the system.
More info here: https://eileenandcalliesplace.org/celebrate-18-6/