A Christmas celebration is planned Saturday for hundreds of Riverside County youths in foster care, as well as their families, who will be treated to meals, gifts and a host of activities intended to brighten the Holidays.
The second annual Winter Wonderland event, hosted by the county Office of Education, is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. in Harvest Christian Fellowship, on the west end of Riverside.
“The Winter Wonderland is a way for all students to have something to look forward to this Holiday Season,” county Superintendent of Schools Edwin Gomez said in a statement. “This event represents an opportunity to wrap our community’s collective arms around students who are deserving of positive reinforcement, loving kindness and a fresh reminder of the importance of hope for the future.”
About 1,000 minors are expected to join in the celebration.
An estimated 19,000 youths and young adults countywide are in foster care settings or are living, effectively, in homeless or borderline homeless conditions, according to officials.
The Winter Wonderland will feature ice skating, a musical light show, a sledding hill containing real snow, carnival games, gift giveaways, photos with Santa Claus, food booths and related activities, the Office of Education said.
Harvest Christian Fellowship, the Western Riverside Council of Governments, 1-2-3 Wellness and other area entities helped sponsor the celebration.