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Rivers provides hope to foster kids

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning
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    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    By: Jen Rojas


    Tiffany and Philip Rivers love children, obviously, since they have five of their own. And they both come from big, loving families. Now they are extending this love to children who most need and deserve it.



    Tiffany and Philip Rivers[​IMG] love children, obviously, since they have five of their own. And they both come from big, loving families. Now they are extending this love to children who most need and deserve it.
    Today the couple will launch their own charitable foundation: Rivers of Hope to support kids in need, particularly the children that are abandoned and in foster care due to child abuse.
    “We took our time starting a foundation mainly because we really wanted to have a passion for what we were doing,” Rivers said. “When you have your own kids, you know the things that you provide them and how much they need a mom and dad, and to think that so many kids don’t have anyone is so unfortunate.”
    The Rivers of Hope mission is to help abandoned children find permanent loving homes and provide children in foster care with some semblance of a normal life. The foundation hopes to achieve these goals by supporting three programs in San Diego County: the Rivers of Hope Birthday Club, the Something Special Fund and the Heart Gallery. The Rivers of Hope Birthday Club and Something Special Fund will be programs administered through Promises2Kids, the leading nonprofit organization against child abuse and prevention in San Diego. San Diego County Adoptions will oversee the Heart Gallery program.
    The idea for the foundation was first sparked after Rivers participated in a photo shoot for San Diego County Adoptions’ calendar a few years ago. It was the first time he interacted with foster kids and was moved by the constant change they endure when moving from foster home to foster home.
    “You ask them what school they go to and they’re unsure because they’ve already been to five different schools in two years,” explained Rivers. “I know how impactful these years are on their life and how important it is for them to have some stability. We just want to give them a little bit of that and hopefully also find them a permanent home.”
    Promises2Kids Director of Development and Communications Edith Glassey couldn’t be happier to have Rivers’ family on board with their cause.
    “Philip and Tiffany’s support will most importantly help raise awareness of child abuse and neglect,” Glassey said. “We want to break the cycle of abuse, so having them as advocates for this cause will mean a great deal. They’re also really focused on making sure these kids are adopted, which is critical since the sooner these children get into permanent loving homes the better it is for them.”
    According to Glassey, there are currently 900 foster kids in San Diego County awaiting adoption. Many of them have moved as many as seven times within the foster care system, creating a feeling of instability in their lives. During that time, more often than not, even their birthdays come and go without acknowledgment. The Rivers of Hope Birthday Club aims to change that by providing these kids with a birthday card and a gift on their special day.
    “I know how important birthdays are to our children and how much they look forward to it,” Tiffany said. “To know there are children that also look forward to their birthdays, but don’t get any kind of acknowledgement, really breaks my heart. It’s a small gesture and there is so much more that needs to get done, but we do want to give them something to recognize their special day.”
    Rivers knows how important each program is, but he is most excited about the Something Special Club. It will provide funds for kids to participate in extracurricular activities such as music lessons, summer camps or intramural sports. The funds also will help purchase items like school yearbooks, class rings or even caps and gowns for graduation ceremonies.
    “A kid wants to play little league baseball, but doesn’t have a glove, or a girl wants to play flute in the middle school band, but can’t afford the instrument … that’s where we step in,” Rivers said. “Foster families can only provide so much, which is mainly a roof, clothing and food. They don’t have the means to help with extras. This program will allow these kids to pursue other activities and be like other kids.”
    The third program, The Heart Gallery, is a traveling photographic exhibit created to find families for children. The gallery is designed to increase the number of adoptive families for children needing homes.
    Currently, there are more than 5,000 children in the San Diego foster care system. It’s Rivers of Hope’s intention to raise awareness of their plight and help find them loving homes.
    “Rivers of Hope means both short-term hope and long-term hope,” Rivers said. “Our ultimate goal is to find them a permanent home. Our short-term hope is to do the little things that can get them to tomorrow. We want to provide the little things that keep hope alive so that one day they will have a perfect place to call home.”
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    Chargers team with Dairy Council to support school breakfast programs

    No one knows better about the value of eating well – and right – then the Chargers' players. Eating a proper breakfast helps them perform at the highest level in their physically-demanding profession.

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    The Chargers know the same can be said for the benefits of a healthy breakfast to students’ academic performance and classroom behavior.

    The San Diego Chargers have teamed up with Dairy Council of California to support the San Diego Unified School District Food Services Department by providing breakfast placemats to area schools participating in the Breakfast in the Classroom program.

    The placemats are being introduced Monday, April 19 at Sherman Elementary School in conjunction with the launch by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell of the state-wide campaign called BreakfastFirst, which aims to increase access, participation and nutritional quality in the School Breakfast Program.

    The placemats feature Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo[​IMG], safety Steve Gregory[​IMG] and the USDA’s MyPyramid, and will be distributed to the 46 San Diego Unified School District elementary schools with the Breakfast in the Classroom program.

    The production of the placemats is a continuation of the partnership between the Chargers and Dairy Council formed in 2009 for the Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative, which provides nutrition education and physical-activity programs and incentives to elementary and middle school-aged students for free.

    “Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages children to make smart choices about nutrition and staying physically active,” said Kimberley Layton, San Diego Chargers Director of Corporate and Community Relations. “It’s important that kids get in the habit of having a healthy breakfast everyday to help them lead to a more active lifestyle and live a healthy life.”

    “Studies show that children who eat breakfast have healthier overall diets compared to children who skip breakfast,” said Peggy Biltz, Dairy Council of California CEO. “We want to acknowledge San Diego schools that offer this innovative program by providing something fun and visual that students can enjoy while eating breakfast in their classrooms.”

    Throughout California, more than 2.2 million low‐income students who are eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals do not participate in the School Breakfast Program. Sherman Elementary is an example of a school that successfully utilizes the national breakfast program and the goal is to get more schools to follow.

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