Celebrating 11 Years As A Children’s Non Profit
Together We Rise is celebrating 11 years as a children’s non profit. This is an amazing feat that would not be possible without our amazing volunteers and staff! We started off as just a couple of college kids trying to make a difference in the lives of kids in foster care in Chino, CA. Today, we are helping kids nationwide, while still powered by the love of community.
Starting A Children’s Non Profit
In early 2008, Danny Mendoza discovered that his 9-year-old cousin, Roger, was living in a car. In his attempts to help, Danny found many obstacles due to his age. After getting his young cousin into a real home, he took action and created Together We Rise, to help foster children.
In the beginning, Together We Rise provided after-school sports camps to local kids in foster care. These sports camps were run by Danny and his friends who would literally dig through trash to find recyclables to raise money.
Another way we tried to get extra donations was through vote farming. The TWR volunteers would apply for online voting based competitions and have our supporters share the vote link with all their friends. The voting rallies would often take place at Danny’s parents’ living room. If it was a larger group we would meet at New York Pizzaria in Chino.
The after-school sports camps evolved into cross country bike builds, Sweet Case duffel bags, and clothing shops for foster youth.
Thanks to those voting contests, we first gained national attention and awards, including the Pepsi Refresh Project, Chase Community Giving, People’s All-Stars Among Us, and the VH1 Do Something! Awards.
A Long Way From Living Room Meetings
We’ve come a long way from Danny’s parents’ living room and dumpster diving for recyclables. We established our first brick and mortar office in 2009 and now have three locations: two in Brea, CA and our Foster Love Center in Austin, TX. It is amazing to know that this growth happened because of our supporters.
Our programs have grown to include, Sweet Case, Bike Builds (formerly known as Build A Bike), Skate Builds, Birthday Boxes, Superhero Boxes, and Teen duffles. We continue to provide nationwide self-esteem building shopping sprees for youth in foster care. Our sibling reunification programs are growing to include events at Disneyland and Six Flags. With our Family Fellowship Scholarship providing the largest scholarship for “aged-out” and current foster youth in America, this year our 100% of our first Family Fellowship cohort graduated!
Because Of You
Thanks to our volunteers, corporate sponsors, foster partnerships, staff, and most importantly YOU this continues to be possible. Because of you, we can celebrate 11 years as a leading voice in children’s non profit. We have grown so much and continue to look to the future for new and innovative ways to help youth in foster care together. This journey has only just begun and we are grateful to have you on our side. So, THANK YOU!