St. Germaine Charity Luncheon

St. Germaine Children's Charity luncheon was held at The Lot in La Jolla on June 8, 2021. The luncheon was highlighted by the announcement of the 2021 Grant Recipients whose focus is on child abuse prevention and care.

The 2021 recipients were:

Angels Foster Family Network
Armed Services YMCA San Diego
Casa de Amparo
Center for Community Solutions
Monarch School Project
Outside the Lens
UPLIFT San Diego
Voices for Children
Women's Resource Center

The mission of St. Germaine Children's Charity is to prevent the abuse of children and young adults in San Diego by providing financial support and community awareness to those agencies dedicated to the care, shelter, and treatment needed for victims newborn to 25 years of age.

The charity began on September 14, 1984 when Barbara Christensen recruited nine friends who became the founding members of St. Germain Auxiliary to the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation (now St. Germain Children's Charity). The group became a positive force against child abuse in San Diego. Since its founding, Christensen's legacy continues and St. Germaine has grown to 250 members.

St. Germaine has contributed over $5 million in cash and in-kind donations to over 50 local agencies in San Diego that offer supportive services to victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment. Its support has touched the lives of close to 10,000 children and young adults.

With less than one percent overhead this is covered by membership dues ($65), 100% of the donations St. Germaine receives goes directly to child abuse prevention programs.

Each agency receiving funds is vetted by the Grants Committee to insure its programs match the mission of St. Germain. In addition, St. Germaine hosts events (Cocktails & Conversation) to educate the public on the escalating crisis facing this vulnerable population.

This past year, with mandatory quarantines and in-home schooling, many teachers, coaches, and mentors have been unable to physically "see" the children and young adults who are daily victims of abuse, thus unable to assist them. In addition, these victims are falling prey to sex-trafficking at an alarming rate as the pandemic provides additional fuel on the internet to online traffickers using web cams and videos for exploitation. It has been reported that one in five kids online are sexually propositioned through gaming platforms. The child abuse prevention agencies in San Diego have faced an uphill battle due to these unprecedented times.

St. Germaine signature function, the Silver Tea, is the touchstone of the organization. It is held in December at a local home in La Jolla.

During the pandemic crisis, the 2020 Silver Tea did not lend itself to a virtual format. The Board, led by President Stefanie Bedingfield and Silver Tea Chari, Julie O'Brian, focused all of their efforts to create something of value that could be sold to raise money. They teamed with local restaurants, also in a business crisis, to create a cookbook titled Dining In - Recipes from La Jolla's Finest Restaurants. The phenomenal success of the cookbook sales allowed St. Germaine to award full grants to nine social service agencies at the 2021 luncheon.

Photography by Gilda Adler