Wishful Thinking was formally organized in 2002 as a nonprofit organization. All funding is though private donations and grants. “All volunteers all the time” correlates to close to 97 percent of all money that comes in is earmarked for direct use to our clients.
Wishful Thinking’s current projects:
Sole Support collects and distributes new shoes and sneakers to kids in foster care throughout Los Angeles County. Since its inception Sole Support has distributed thousands of pairs of shoes. Additionally, over 100 new prom dresses were distributed to dependency kids last year and just under 100 this year. Kids come with their caretakers and get to choose a gown of their liking from the collection we are able to amass each Spring. We are looking forward to repeating this effort again in 2006. Over 24,000 trendy t-shirts have been distributed to kids over the last two years.
The Starfish Project grants wishes to kids in foster care, simply because they ask. There is no need for sickness or imminent death to get something, These are kids who have had very little opportunity in their short lives. Some of the experiences the project has been able to offer are: limousine transportation for a kid’s birthday while hospitalized at Metropolitan State Hospital, tickets for Disneyland, tickets to meet and greet stars at NBA games and WWF Wrestling, participating in a high school band’s trip to the Rose Bowl, a foster youth’s reunification with an adult sibling in India, computers for high school achievers and visits to TV and movie sets to meet the stars and see a behind the scenes look at filmmaking.
The Education Advocacy Project has a core group of volunteers helping low income and foster youth who have been denied access to an appropriate education. Training workshops are held to help broaden knowledge and empower child welfare professionals and parents. This project receives referrals from local mental health providers, and agencies such as, Court Appointed Special Advocaates, Public Counsel, schools, Department of Children and Family Services, Deparment of Mental Health and others aware of Wishful Thinking’s effectiveness.
The GAL Work – Legal Advocacy represents the interests of children in a variety of matters not related to Dependency Court where the appointment of a lawyer is not necessary. Some services offered include representing kids education issues and settling trust account issues ranging from five hundred dollars to over six figure amounts.
The Founder, Michael Ludin, is a member of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s 317E Tort Reform Committee and the 317E Panel For Educational Matters is pictured above.