JBAY Launches Campaign to Fund Second Year of Critical Needs and Opportunity Fund

By Giving List Staff   |   April 27, 2023

JBAY is closing in on its first year of the Critical Needs and Opportunity Fund and one thing is clear: it has helped a lot of young people! Over 1,600 to be exact. 

This Spring, JBAY is launching a fundraising campaign to continue the program for the 2023-24 year. Our goal is to raise $400,000, which will be provided directly to youth in California who have been in foster care or experienced homelessness. 

A full 100% of the funds go to young people; all administrative fees are underwritten by the JBAY Board of Directors

JBAY created the Critical Needs and Opportunity Fund because we know youth who have been in foster care or homelessness often don’t have many people to ask for financial assistance when a need emerges. 

That was the case for Eliza Aguilar, a student at Diablo Valley College who needed just $147 for gas to transport herself to and from the doctor after a brain surgery, which successfully removed a tumor from her pituitary gland.

It was also the case for Imani Gordon, a student at Contra Costa College who received $200 from the Burton Critical Needs and Opportunity Fund to help him obtain school supplies as a game design major. 

Eliza and Imani are two of over 1,600 young people who were assisted by the Critical Needs and Opportunity Fund.  Each of these young people have a unique story and each of them have a dream. JBAY is proud to be working closely with our 76 community partners to play a part in helping young people achieve these dreams. 

Every week, we hear from these community partners about the difference these small, easily accessible levels of financial support make to young people. 

According to Brittany Delany from the Los Angeles Community College, “We’re grateful to be part of this program. These funds are critical in helping meet an emergency need for a student. Whether it’s a sudden car repair or an internet or mobile phone bill, students benefit in accessing this support. It helps students stay enrolled and focused on their education or career path.” 

Throughout May, JBAY will be working to raise money for this important program. Stay tuned as we share stories through a range of strategies to get the word out about this important program. 

To learn more about how the Critical Needs and Opportunity Fund is helping young people, read the profiles of seven amazing young people. Please consider donating today. 


John Burton Advocates for Youth

Donate now!

(415) 348-0011
Executive Director: Amy Lemley


John Burton Advocates for Youth improves the quality of life for youth in California who have been in foster care or homeless by advocating for better laws, training communities to strengthen local practices and conducting research to inform policy solutions.

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We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s Director of Development and/or Executive Director.

When I was 17, I’d been sleeping at a park for several months and my social worker came to see me. She told me about a new program called SILP. It sounded too good to be true. I cried when I got it. This option gives young people like me a sense of hope and trust in the system again. It has meant being able to hold my own and still be supported.
Jenny Bulanadi, Former foster youth

Be the Safety Net for Foster and Homeless Youth

Foster youth often lack a safety net of people to call on when they need help, so when unexpected costs occur, they can have life-altering consequences: losing a job, dropping out of school, or homelessness. 

“Even though we’re changing state laws and regulations for the long term, we know young people need help today,” says Amy Lemley, JBAY’s executive director.

The Burton Critical Needs and Opportunity Fund is designed to provide that safety net, with funds going directly into the hands of young people when they need it most. JBAY is raising $250,000 this year, and with a $1-for-$1 match, donors can double their impact on helping 1,600 young people with basic necessities like school supplies, transportation, medical bills, and groceries. 

Key Supporters

Art Carter
Ash Bhatt
Bluebird Legacy
Catherine Cope MacMillan
College Futures Foundation
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Corinne Landphere
Crankstart Foundation
George and Judy Marcus
Help for Children
John and Mary Pat Kagel
Kimiko Burton
Michelle Jourdak
Pinpoint Foundation
Pritzker Foster Care Initiative
Silicon Valley
Community Foundation
Sisters of St. Joseph
Healthcare Foundation
Stuart Foundation
Stupski Foundation
The California
Wellness Foundation
Tipping Point Community
United Way California
Walter S. Johnson Foundation