FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) –A Fresno nonprofit is working with social workers to bring a smile to kids in the foster care system during the holidays. On Sunday afternoon, Rainbow of Light held its annual toy drive at Splash Bar.
“My partner and I had adopted two little boys and we were inspired to create Rainbow of Light for kids in foster care,” said Ray Quenga, who founded the organization three years ago.
“We just wanted to be able to give back to the community, and as a gay couple we didn’t think we’d be able to adopt and here we are today.”
Today they’re fundraising to bring a smile to those who may not have a reason to this holiday season.
“If they’re in our care but without their biological families it is tough,” said Valerie Rosales, a social worker with the County of Fresno.
“[After the fundraiser] we’re gonna get a bunch of friends together and have like a toy wrapping thing and donate them to the county,” said Quenga.
Rainbow of Light partners with the County of Fresno year-round to connect LGBTQ+ parents to adoption agencies.
“There is a lot of children that kinda get lost in the system being in the closet, not coming out,” said volunteer Pete Hernandez,
Studies show LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the foster care system and they are more likely to struggle to find supportive adults.
“We do have LGBTQ youth who also need loving homes,” said Rosales.