As you know, one of the tenets of our Order is to “educate the orphan”. Well, the Davis Odd Fellows do it in their own special way by providing help and support to “emancipated foster youth” – this is a group of young adults who have left the foster care system, and now find themselves without a lot of support. One of the main beneficiaries of Breakfast with Santa are these young adults emancipated from the foster care system. They often need help to pay rent, buy books for school, get gas for their cars, etc. We work with a number of organizations, including the Guardian Scholars at UCD, to help these young people. This is why we look for sponsors for Breakfast with Santa – we raise a substantial amount of money so that this Lodge can help these young folks.
I want to relate a story about a young man, Jonathan, to whom we gave a check, just yesterday, for $350 to help him out as he makes his way through life. Valerie Ranns, a Pledge in our Lodge, and I met up with the young man in front of World Market to hand him the check. He was so moved and touched that we had committed to helping emancipated young adults in their quest for a higher education or just keeping their lives in order. He was pretty much in tears of appreciation. He has no family to be there for him. Giving us some history of his teeth issues, car issues, rent issues (lives in Fairfield for lower rent) and how he has made his way thru life,, determined to graduate in June,, head off to Cal Poly, SLO for a masters and then hopefully to Stanford to finish up. Jonathan is not in his twenties.. but we figure somewhere in his thirties.. he has survived to make it thru many challenges and now to finish up at UCD. I told him we would be there for his journey thru Cal Poly and would continue to help him out. For Valerie and for me, it was a moment to reflect that this is why we do the fundraising and hard work of events like Breakfast with Santa.
F – L – T
Davis Odd Fellows Lodge