Millions of our children and youth run away each year, are victims of child abuse, domestic abuse or poverty, don't have access to computers society tells them is a must for their future, commit violence, return to empty homes, abuse drugs and alcohol or are kids having kids!
With government cutbacks, private industry and non-profit groups are not filling the gap. Foundations, many with more assets than ever, as discussed in a recent 17-page San Francisco Bay Guardian series of articles, are hoarding their funds to grow richer, playing politics and not giving away the 5% of assets required by law.
Many non-profits are spending more money...on big salaries...helping themselves more than our kids.
There aren't enough good, concerned people to go around...and our kids need more help than ever.
Streetcats Foundation and National Children's Coalition are making a big difference with no salaries, no hidden agendas, no huge budgets. All you'll read about here is happening on, shockingly, an annual total budget of well under $25,000 a year!
Streetcats Foundation and its National Children's Coalition first began working with streetkids, runaways and other at risk children in 1988 on the streets of NewYork, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Our unique involvement in the lives of youth and young adults on the streets helped turn the lives around of children society had written off as 'unreachable.'
In 1992, Streetcats founded the National Children's Coalition (NCC) as both a much-needed national networking organization among children's and youth groups throughout the country and a central national resource center for every kind of information and referral related to children, youth, parenting and K-12 education.
Today, NCC is one of the three largest such organizations in the United States, has won 27 awards and works with over 600 other youth groups.
In 1993, we began our Youth and Children Net (YCN) on the web as a one page resource project. Today, YCN has over 45 national and regional children's and teens' resource and activity sites and is the largest non-profit resource of any kind on the Internet. We link to 6,000 other resources and are linked to from over 700 public library, school district and individual school web sites. We receive and answer over 4000 requests for referrals each year, have an audience of over 2 million parents, educators, children and teens each year and operate a free national resource telephone hotline. Our web sites have won 93 major awards and been featured on CNET's Snap Online, Prodigy, Discovery Online and America Online Much of the support to keep YCN growing has come from Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary, AST Computer Research and Motorola. Advertising support has come from Sprint, Disney Online and MindFoodMedia.
In 1996, Kidsurfer Project was begun by Streetcats to begin opening free after-school drop-in computer centers and classes for at-risk kids in several cities. This model project seeks to occupy youth with growthful activities during the 2pm-7pm after-school hours when, often, no one is home and teens get in trouble. Teens can drop-in and get free access to computers, do homework using the internet, take free classes in career search, word-processing, choosing a college, finding volunteer opportunities to help other teens in need, youth with disabilities and seniors, learn graphic arts, web site creation and more. They can also have free e-mail accounts.
In 1999, we launched Teen-Anon as the first national 12-step fellowship especially for addicted teens and teens in recovery. IAnd we began a national and now international educational initiative on the web and on radio, One Heart for Kids, to educate the public about the unmet needs of children and youth and foster joint projects between youth-serving organizations, both secular and faith-based.
And in 2001, we launched ur own international 24/7 uplifting radio station Celebrate Radio on satellite, shortwave and the web and an international weekly music and interview radio series for youth Reaching Up! Radio, and several podcasts for both.
In 2002, launched local Teen sites for 10 cities and unique sites for African-American, Latino and Asian-American youth at Teen City as well as a portal for Youth Counselors.
1. GATHER RESOURCES/RESEARCH -Help us keep our very important children's and youth resource web sites for 23 cities complete and up-to-date or help start one to serve kids, teens, parents and youth groups in a new city.(No technical knowledge is required--just some web research skills. About 1 1/2-2 hours a week)
Existing Cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St.Paul, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, SF/E.Bay, Seattle, St.Louis, Tucson and Washington, D.C.
New Cities: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Fresno/Stockton, Milwaukee, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Orange County, Orlando, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, Tampa Bay, Vancouver.
2.COMMUNITY FUNDRAISE Have a community bake sale, relay race, art show, bake sale, book fair or other fundraising event to raise donations for National Children's Coalition and our other programs.
3.PUBLICIZE. Contact and get stories published on your local tv news,radio, community weeklies, daily newspapers, public access channels and local NPR stations so that we can reach and help more people in your community. (1.5 hours per week)
4. HTML AND DO WEB PAGES. If you have technical knowledge of how to do HTML code and web pages or have graphic artist experience, help our web sites grow and be up to date (1-2 hours per week).
5. DONATE----EVEN $5 WILL HELP! Whatever you can afford, please make a personal contribution to Streetcats Foundation, whether you are volunteering or not. On a yearly budget of under $20,000, your donation truly counts!!! Donate and Help Now By Secure Credit Card Form
6. BECOME A SCHOOL/COMMUNITY LIAISON. Let all the schools and school districts in your city know about our local and national resources and our local City Kids and Teens and Edu Center web sites Do the same with all local youth groups and children's health services. Keep us informed of each school's programs, projects and special kids.
7. GET LOCAL SPONSORSHIP. Secure a local business sponsor to be the sponsor of a local City Kids and Teens web site. The business gets advertising for a year for a very nominal rate and gains the public relations value of helping community kids. Their advertising is very affordable and counts as a tax-deductible donation as well. It allows us to expand in your community and help more children.
8. COUNSEL. There are ways you can do phone counseling or resource referral twice a week for a couple of hours, without ever leaving your own livingroom.
9. START A KIDSURFER AFTER-SCHOOL CENTER. This is a most ambitious project, but you can be a catalyst. It involves getting volunteers, networking to find a suitable space, getting some small grants, but we can provide computer equipment to give a Kidsurfer free computer-access center in your city a head-start.
10. BE A REPORTER---SEND LOCAL KIDS NEWS AND KIDS PROGRAM STORIES TO US. Just clip them from your local newspapers.and let us know about outstanding children for our NATIONAL Teens of the Year and and Kids of the Year program honoring outstanding children and encouraging kids to care about other kids and their communities.
IT'S VERY IMPORTANT
As an all-volunteer organization with no salaries and a tiny, tiny budget to accomplish so much, we simply can't do it without you...so please send a small donation and volunteer in one of the ways above. You will make a very real difference and help many children. We are all part of the "village" it takes!
Click here to Volunteer
HOW TO START
Just call, write or email us and be sure to tell us what city you're in and what you'd like to help with. We'll give you lots of guidance and support in each endeavor and you can share your commitment with a neighbor, workmate, friend or family.
Share all you've read here with your friends and people at work or where you worship.
HOW TO CONTACT US
Oakland, CA 94612
SEE ALL OF OUR PROGRAMS
Just go to www.youthandchildren.net and click on the links to all of our sites and all of our local and national programs for children, teens, college students, parents and teachers.
Streetcats Foundation is a member of United Way of the Bay Area