This Sunday’s offering will focus on ILYA (Independent Living for Young Adults), the social action program launched at First U 18 years ago to support young adults who have aged out of foster care.
Several other Delaware UU churches now also collaborate with the Delaware Division of Family Services (DFS) to support ILYA’s programs. Many First U members have supported the Holiday Giving project by contributing to the collection each fall or by buying, organizing or wrapping gifts themselves. But ILYA is busy all year with eight other projects:
Graduation Celebration —Youth who have been in foster care rarely have even a family acknowledgement of this proud milestone. ILYA celebrates high school graduates at a festive event where they connect with other graduates who have been in foster care. And they start their path to the future with a new backpack full of practical gifts for the school year ahead.
Furniture Vouchers — Furnishing a first home is a far greater challenge without a family to help. It’s much easier now that Cokesbury Village, the retirement community a number of First U members call home, has offered their warehouse of ‘gently’ used furniture for young adults to select and purchase (with ILYA funds) furniture of their choice.
New Apartment Kits — First-time renters receive a big laundry basket brimming with kitchen and bathroom supplies to help set up that first apartment.
Emergency Grants and Loans — Sometimes just a few hundred dollars can prevent a young adult from being evicted, dropping out of school, losing a job, or remaining in a dangerous living environment. Thanks to your contributions, ILYA can help.
Baby Supplies — An unplanned pregnancy is especially challenging for a young woman on her own. ILYA collects used baby supplies and buys a new car seat/stroller for each newborn.
Student Care Packages — Youth in college, vocational school or the military are each supported by an ILYA volunteer through the year with personalized packages, notes and more.
Tutoring — Volunteers are available to help young adults pass those classes!
Advocacy — ILYA has effectively supported legislation to improve Delaware’s foster care system.
To learn more, visit the monthly ILYA table or contact Barbara Crowell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (302) 235-1609.