LA Kids For Change, Making a Difference During the Pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pali’s LA Kids For Change club continued to push forward initiatives with the goal of donating to and raising awareness about local foster care communities. 

Founded during fall of 2019, the group is united under a common goal to “educate, empower, and better the young lives in the foster system of Los Angeles,” according to their mission statement. 

In April of 2020, LA Kids For Change discovered that a girls’ group home called Maryvale was lacking supplies during the pandemic. Club co-president Davina Yashar said that they “needed basic hygiene products such as shampoo, hand sanitizer and deodorant.” 

The group kickstarted their COVID-19 initiative, which gathered these products through an Amazon wishlist. They published a video on their Instagram which advertised the project and got more than 500 views. The drive was successful in helping to donate a couple hundred dollars worth of supplies to Maryvale.

 As well as organizing drives, the group aims to spread awareness about foster care youth. 

“A primary goal of LA Kids For Change is to educate both the community and our members,” vice president Talia Davood said. “We work on our social media to make graphics to show what’s really happening in the foster care system.” 

She added: “We’re being proactive in helping out foster kids by donating. But at the end of the day, for those who can’t always contribute or be a part of our event, awareness is another way we can help.”

Freshman Sydney Meza is a first year member of LA Kids For Change and first heard of the group by finding their Instagram in eighth grade. “I saw a lot of important things on [their Instagram page] to help the foster care system…and I knew that when I went to Pali, LA Kids For Change was definitely a club that I wanted to join,” Meza said. 

Three months ago, LA Kids For Change ran its Holiday Helping Hands event, which raised money for a foster family that includes four children who all have some sort of mental disorder. LA Kids For Change organized an Amazon wishlist that enabled people to make direct donations. Items included sensory toys and headphones for the kids. 

The drive raised more than $925 in both supplies and donations. “Honestly we weren’t expecting much [money],” Yashar said. “But our entire wishlist was purchased and we received many donations as well. We are so grateful to our community for participating and helping.”

Sophomore and member of LA Kids for Change Ayla Davidi is very proud of the work the group has done during the pandemic. She said, “I think they’ve done amazingly well considering the circumstances of COVID-19… and they are making a very large impact.”