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Kindness Counts: Youth-Serving Organizations

With school starting up again this month, we’re shining a spotlight on local organizations that contribute to our children’s overall well-being—especially during these trying times. The following are groups of people who’ve come together to see that no child is left behind, despite financial circumstances or stressful living conditions, by assisting in education and providing resources and opportunities that are often hard to come by.

Folsom’s Hope

1100 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom, 916-425-5013,
Who they are: Folsom’s Hope was founded in 2008 by Salwa Kasabian, a mother who saw the need for extra support for students—and felt God’s call to respond. Folsom’s Hope believes that consistent, one-on-one attention can transform the lives of children (elementary through high school) struggling financially, coming from unstable homes, or suffering from loneliness or need.

Folsom's Hope


What they do: STARS After School programs offer a safe, loving place for kids where they get help with homework, are provided a healthy snack, enjoy recreational activity, and receive exposure to the arts. Their mentoring programs connect at-risk children with a caring, supportive adult mentor in a safe, supervised environment once a week during school lunch hour. They plan to build a Family Resource Center adjacent to Theodore Judah Elementary School meant for tutoring and mentoring children, and counselling and educating parents.
How you can help: Volunteer opportunities include one-on-one mentoring, after-school tutoring, homework help, and in-class help. They also need donations for the new resource center.

Count on Kids

3941 Park Drive, Suite 20, El Dorado Hills, 530-535-8781,
Who they are: After founder Kelli Plevyak was on the board of a child-focused nonprofit, she was inspired to do something in her own community. Enter Count on Kids. This 100% volunteer organization established in 2018 has crafted age-appropriate community projects for children volunteers aged 2-13. The goal is to take youth from a “me” to “we” perspective and inspire a socially conscious way of thinking while gaining valuable qualities such as confidence and compassion. 

Count On Kids


What they do: Their Leadership Squad (youth that attend events) has completed 50 community service projects that benefited 28 different organizations, including local shelters, food banks, and schools. As of February 2020, they’ve had 2,200 participants join events, 921 of those being youth. Programs include “Superheroes Clean Up The Town,” making care kits for homeless children, an in-school community service curriculum, and week-long kindness camps.
How you can help: Sign up to volunteer in the community (events scheduled to resume next month) or donate at

Boys & Girls Club of El Dorado County Western Slope

Various locations throughout El Dorado County, 530-295-8019,
Who they are: This club began serving 40 children a day and has since grown to more than 500 children (ages 5-18), over 65% of whom are financially disadvantaged. Serving El Dorado County youth for over 20 years, they have sites in Placerville, El Dorado Hills, Georgetown, and Pollock Pines. Their mission is to enable youth to reach their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.

Boys & Girls Club of El Dorado County Western Slope


What they do: Every child experience focuses on academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In the last year, the club has served over 140,000 scratch-made meals, delivered thousands of hours of STEM learning, fine arts, computer instruction, music, sports, gardening, cooking, financial literacy, and recreation programming, and provided one-on-one mentoring to hundreds of children.
How you can help: Make a donation or volunteer one hour a week at the club.

Boys & Girls Club of Placer County

679 Lincoln Way, Auburn, 530-889-2273,
Who they are: This club has been a cornerstone of Placer County since 1994 with a mission to inspire and empower all young people who pass through their doors to become productive and self-sufficient, and provide a safe place for kids to learn and grow.

Boys & Girls Club of Placer County


What they do: They offer critical services to young people in areas like education, character development, career exploration, sports and recreation, the arts, and community service. They are committed to their Youth Development Strategy of instilling in their members a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging, and the power of influence. A new Clubhouse in Roseville will begin serving youth in 2021. They hope to have their Golf Tournament fundraiser at Winchester Country Club on August 18.
How you can help: Contribute to “Fund a Need,” which sponsors members who aren’t able to pay the $10 membership cost. They have a number of volunteer opportunities as well.

My Mother’s Voice

8331 Sierra College Boulevard, Suite 206, Roseville, 916-770-6887,
Who they are: After working in education and at nonprofits, Donja Marie Garvey wanted to make more of an impact and started MMV in 2007. Their mission is to end generational and situational poverty through early education and support to children in need. They focus on literacy through third grade—the most important benchmark to reading literacy.

My Mother's Voice


What they do: They concentrate on schools where the poverty rate is high and most of the students don’t speak English as their first language. Their “A Book of My Own” program gives every child a brand-new book every month along with backpacks filled with supplies for home and school. They’ve also assisted during the pandemic—providing rent support, medical, and social service referrals, and over 8,300 meals to families.
How you can help: Volunteers are needed to assist in classrooms, shop for groceries, organize clothing, etc. You can also sign up to be a Friend of MMV Families—a special group that’s contacted for immediate needs and special requests. 

by  Tara Mendanha