Create Now serves vulnerable kids ages 2-21 who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, orphaned, are left homeless, runaways, teen parents, substance abusers, victims of domestic violence, children of prisoners, gang members or incarcerated. The youth we serve come from poverty-stricken families with histories of violence, substance abuse, or neglect. These “forgotten children” are tucked away in group homes, shelters, detention facilities, special centers and schools throughout the Southern California region, under the radar of the general public. We have served around 35,000 of the neediest youth in the region in 18 years.
We’ve developed a network of 100 partner youth agencies like shelters, group homes and detention facilities, and an extended database of over 1,000 youth facilities throughout Southern California that enables us to match volunteers with youth in need right in their own neighborhoods, based on the youths’ ages, genders, challenges and other preferences. We train our mentors, help them to customize their curriculum and give materials for their workshops.
Through our five program areas; music, art, writing, performing arts and cultural excursions, the neediest kids learn to express themselves in a positive manner versus the destructive ways that they have in the past. Creative expression has been proven to be very therapeutic, especially for traumatized children. Create Now programs develop youths’ talent and abilities. They build teamwork, self-esteem and confidence.
Each year, we also bring thousands of these kids to free concerts, plays and other cultural events at premiere venues throughout the region. These field trips not only educate youth while exposing them to new types of music, theater and art, but also bring them relief and joy.
In addition, Create Now arranges General Mentoring, like one-on-one “Special Friend” relationships, and teaching life skills to small groups of youth.
We send out regular notices about jobs, internships, scholarships, arts contests, free books, computers and other materials to the partners in our extensive network, which reach tens of thousands of youth. Create Now is a conduit for individuals and businesses in the community to give back to the neediest children in the region.