Disneyland really is the place for dreams to come true – just ask Doris Gentry and the kids of the Napa County Family and Foster Care Association.
“Over 70% of the children in our program have never been to Disneyland,” Doris explains. “And we are going to fix that.” Listening to her talk, you believe she will make it happen.
Doris and her team are trying to raise money to send all of the kids in the Napa foster care system to Disneyland this Summer, along with their foster families and some 60 chaperones. Many of these kids come from homes that are going through a crisis – maybe Mom is in rehab, or Dad is in jail, and they have no other local family to care for them while their parent overcomes their own issues. Only a small percentage of the kids are actually waiting for a proper adoption. The rest simply wait.
Many of these families have never been able to afford the trip to Anaheim, much less pay for a few days of mouse-filled fun. While in the foster system, Doris does try to plan some kid-friendly trips to help ease the frustration and make the kids feel as welcome in their temporary homes as possible. “Usually we do a 4-day camping trip over the Summer – the kids just love that!”. But this year, after hearing the kids ask to go to Disneyland (and how many have never been), Doris decided to start raising money.
She has been hard at work since last Fall, setting plans for this vacation. Taking almost 230 people to Disneyland is no easy task – or a cheap one! Thankfully, the park has been very receptive to their needs, and has “rolled out the red carpet”, as Doris puts it, for their trip. The kids and their foster families will be staying at the Grand Californian hotel at a deeply discounted rate, as well as getting some large deals on the 2-day Park Hopper tickets for each child. “They have been wildy receptive to the whole thing, it’s really been great” said Doris.
Already, the kids have received some great support from the local Napa community. Frys.com recently donated $5,000 to the cause, an Jamieson Ranch Vineyards is pitching in $2,000!
If you can help, please go to the Napa County Family and Foster Care Association website and click on the donate button.