First Member of West Valley Boys & Girls Club, Now a Single Father, Receives Much-Needed Grant from Extended Family
Jaylen Castillo, a four-year-old boy who lost his mother earlier this year in a car accident, has received a grant from Extended Family designed to help him move forward with his education.
His father, Eric Castillo, was the very first youngster to join the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley when it was formed, nearly 20 years ago. When tragedy struck the Castillo family, the Club wanted to help and contacted Extended Family, which agreed to assist the Castillo family by paying for Jaylen’s entire year of preschool – as well as some extra money to help make the holiday season a special one for him…a grant in excess of $7,000.
Jaylen is now Eric’s sole priority and the focus of his life. Eric works in Northridge as a sales representative at Thermo Metrics during the day, while Jaylen goes to a quality preschool. When Eric comes home from work his nights and weekends are spent with Jaylen. Despite the accident that tore their lives apart, both are doing well. Jaylen is thriving, but a quality preschool is expensive, and with only one income, Eric was struggling to make the monthly payments.
That’s when Extended Family stepped in to help.
Extended Family is a nonprofit organization based in Woodland Hills, founded to help children of single parents who are raising a child or children without assistance from the other parent, like Eric and Jaylen.
According to Mark Carmer, Founder and President of Extended Family, “We assist those single parents who are employed and working hard for their families, but find it’s still not enough. Unfortunately, our system is not designed to provide aid to those who are trying to better themselves. Single parents who are employed in an effort to improve the lives of their children often fail to qualify for government or charitable assistance because they are earning an income. Extended Family believes these are the people who should be supported the most. We believe in helping those who are alone and working hard to help their family.”
Extended Family recently formed an ongoing relationship with the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley in an effort to locate and assist deserving families in need.
For more information about Extended Family and/or to make a donation so the 501(c)(3) organization can help families like Eric and Jaylen go to www.ExtendedFamily.org or contact Carmer at 818-936-2614 or at MCarmer@ExtendedFamily.org.
The nonprofit Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley was founded in 1992 as a response to the need for safe, healthy, productive activities for local youth during non-school hours. Eighty-one percent of the Club’s 3,100 members come from families below the poverty line. Approximately 125 youngsters visit the Main Clubhouse in Canoga Park each day, in addition to more than 500 children provided after-school activities at Blythe, Reseda, and Topeka Drive Elementary Schools; Tierra del Sol; Canoga Park High School; and Hale Charter Academy. The Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley is located at 7245 Remmet Ave., Canoga Park.