Rays of Light Philanthropic, Inc. (RLP) is a newly formed Non-Profit Organization that will provide basic needs items to low-income children & youth, specifically those that are homeless and living in foster care. In response to the growing number of foster care and displaced children and youth, December 13, 2008, Rays of Light Philanthropic hosted our first CHRISTmas "Be a Blessing" Gala at our home in Chatsworth, CA. In 2009 we applied for our Doing Business As (DBA) and began operating as a Sole Proprietorship. December 2013 we received our Non-Profit Status under section 501(c)(3). RLP is a Corporation, owned and operated by Christopher and Elaine Ray.
The ultimate aim of the foster care system is to provide temporary, safe living arrangements and therapeutic services for children who cannot reside safely at home due to neglect or for children whose parents are not able to provide adequate care. The goal of the U.S. foster care system is to safely reunify children with their parents or secure another permanent home, such as adoption. However, too often this goal is not achieved. Instead, many children spend years in foster homes and/or group homes, often moving multiple times. These children are at increased risk for a variety of emotional, behavioral, and academic problems.
About 10% of foster youth "age out" of the system (i.e., they reach age 18 or 21, depending on the state), and services end abruptly. California extends care up to age 21. While the Affordable Care Act ensures that health coverage continues until age 26, this end in services can create other challenges. A high percentage of youth who "age out" experience inadequate housing, low educational and career attainment, early parenthood, substance abuse, physical and mental health problems, and involvement with the legal system. Some of these problems may stem from their experience with abuse/neglect; and some problems may result from a lack of services (or service interruption) and systemic planning to equip youth with the skills and resources to successfully transition to adulthood.
RLP exists to improve the quality of life for underprivileged (specifically foster care and homeless) children and youth; with an emphasis on those that are in foster care and homeless. RLP specializes in the collection of basic needs items (i.e., clothing, undergarments, toiletries, backpacks, school supplies and toys) reducing the financial burden on the caregivers. We accomplish this goal hosting family-focused events that mobilize our community members. Our primary goal is to create awareness around the pervasive issue of foster care and homelessness among children and youth. Our secondary goal is educating our community on ways they can get involved and invest in the lives of children...our future.
Many of our community members have little to no awareness of the challenging conditions of the lives of so many socio-economically disadvantaged and displaced children. As a result, we are compelled to amplify this issue by exposing the growing and exponential issue of foster care and adoption. In addition, we desire to educate aspiring foster care or adopt parents on how to navigate through the fost-adoption process.