Count On Me Family Foundation's passion is to enhance the lives of children in need whether they are economically disadvantaged, medically fragile or developmentally challenged.
With this in mind, the Foundation has developed individual and unique programs that reach children directly and positively impact their lives. Our Holiday Shop and Tailgate Party programs have served thousands of deserving children throughout the last decade and have continued to grow. Our Bus to the Bowl and Youth Football Extravaganza programs have reached and empowered even more children in our communities.
Count On Me Family Foundation was created to support children in need, primarily in three target areas: children from low socio-economic backgrounds, mentally and/or physically challenged children and children at risk. The Foundation affords young individuals the opportunity to realize their potential and achieve their dreams. The organizations we assist and partner with provide stability in young people’s lives, support advocacy for children’s needs and offer opportunities that allow children to have a voice.
Count On Me Family Foundation supports children in need primarily in three target areas: low socio-economic backgrounds, mentally and/or physically challenged children and children at risk. We strive to empower children through our outreach programs as well as to lend support to children’s charities through monetary grants and partnerships. Our goal is to help children improve their lives by building and instilling confidence; encouraging health, wellness and safety; fostering learning opportunities; and using the sport of football as a springboard to talk about life and life lessons.
Giving The Gift of Gift-Giving
Giving the gift of gift-giving – that is what the Count On Me Holiday Shops are all about. In its eleventh year, this special program traveled to five states and seven hospitals, all in the spirit of empowering over eleven hundred children who find themselves hospital-bound during the holidays and providing them the chance to give to those from whom they receive so much.
What are the Count On Me Holiday Shops?
Our Holiday Shops provide children in long-term hospital care the opportunity to “go shopping” for their parents or care-givers without leaving the hospital during the months of December and May. Festive “pop-up shops” are brought to life for a day in select children’s hospitals and young patients browse, select and wrap the gifts they’ve chosen for mom and dad, or grandma and aunt – whomever their adult care-givers might be. Giant-hearted volunteers spend the day in the shop hosting our shoppers, providing assistance as they choose from a wide selection of gifts and colorful wrapping papers, bows and tags. Individuality and creativity abound as these kiddos wrap and decorate each gift, empowered and equipped to “give back” to those they love.
For those patients who are unable to leave their hospital room, decorated carts laden with gifts and wrap travel the hospital wings visiting every room possible.
Parents and family members are treated to a respite of holiday cheer and festive snacks while their youngsters shop.
For infants and toddlers too young to “go shopping” a goodie bag with an appropriate baby blanket or interactive toy is provided, ensuring every child in long-term care to a warm and cheery “shopping” day.
Holiday Shops Reach Across The Country
The Holiday Shops began in 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia as a service project of the Atlanta Falcon’s Wives Association. The next year, the program was moved under the umbrella of the Count On Me Family Foundation when it was founded and has continued since. What began with the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta at Egleston expanded to two Children’s Hospital’s in Atlanta, two in Seattle, and two in Los Angeles by 2013. In 2015, we added hospitals in Phoenix and New Orleans with plans to continue to expand in 2016 and beyond.
Count On Me raises funds to support the Holiday Shops through various events and campaigns throughout the year. In 2014, we started a new annual tradition for the Los Angeles Shops – Girls Night Out – held in Manhattan Beach every November. This wildly successful evening sells out weeks in advance and is a great evening of fun and fun-draising. In 2015, we participated in our first #GivingTuesday campaign in an effort that supports all our Holiday Shops.
If you are interested in how you can sponsor or support this program, please let us know. We’d love to talk with you!
Bus 2 the Bowl
The Bus 2 The Bowl Program was launched in April of 2014 in alignment with the Foundation's mission of supporting and enriching the lives of children in need and at risk.
Bus 2 the Bowl provided kids, ages 7-13, from the greater Los Angeles area the chance to experience the thrill of "going to the game" at the historic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. Count On Me and program sponsors and donors provide the busses, tailgate meal, general admission into the UCLA football game as well as a T-shirt, other snacks and goodies for the ride home.
Thanks to our very generous sponsors, the Bruin Report Online, the Nick Pasquale Foundation, Mariner Wealth Advisors, Neil & Marylyn Warren, Craig & Stacy Bloom, and the Bruin Fan Alliance, 2015 was a great success as we brought 27 busses of kids from 25 children’s organizations and schools to the Rose Bowl for five UCLA home football games.
California Pizza Kitchen, AQUAHydrate, KIND Bars and Melissa’s Produce supported the program with meals, beverages and snacks. Our teenage volunteers from several local high school football programs were awesome and participated at every single game from organizing product before game day through the set up, operation and strike at our tailgate location at the Rose Bowl. This program would not be possible without the generosity of UCLA Athletics Department, which made tickets available to Count On Me for every game.
Click below to see some of the fun we had at the 2015 Bus 2 The Bowl!
Youth, Education, Safety!
Count On Me Family Foundation developed YES! Programs - Youth, Education, Safety as a platform for events and clinics that focus on the education of socioeconomically disadvantaged youth in the communities we serve. The ultimate goal of YES! is to enrich disadvantaged youth in all aspects of life from academics to arts to athletics. Currently, the Count On Me Youth Football Extravaganza served as an anchor program under the umbrella of YES! and incorporated safety, teamwork and life skills into a fun-filled football clinic for elementary and middle school age children.
Great fun was had at the second annual Count On Me Youth Football Extravaganza held at UCLA athletic facilities in June 2015. Developed for youth football players and their coaches, activities took place over a two-day period and provided important facets of football in a fun and exciting environment.
Count On Me Tailgates
Count On Me Tailgate Parties are celebrations during both the college and professional football seasons that bring young patients out of their rooms to gather together and watch games with friends and families at our partnering children's hospitals. For kids that can't experience football in person, the Count On Me Tailgates bring the game to them so they can have fun cheering on the Atlanta Falcons and the UCLA Bruins! It's a great experience for patients, their families, and hospital staff to enjoy a game, snacks, and arts and crafts! We look forward to cheering on our teams in the coming seasons.
As the 2013 UCLA football season got underway, Count On Me Family Foundation hosted its inaugural Tailgate Party for patients and their families at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. Gathering rooms were transformed into cheering sections where patients can root for the favorite team, which of course was UCLA!
Arts and crafts were also available for patients, adding even more fun to the afternoon.
Count On Me Tailgates have been a special way to spread cheer and allow patients and their families a break from their daily routine.