Reno Office Holidays

This year our Reno office had a master plan for December: Match up Mountain Circle with other local agencies, people or organizations that wanted to do something great at the holidays.  One thing I love about our Agency is that (although the foster children remain anonymous) we invite you to get involved with what we do and where your donations or gifts are going.  When you find great people that want to help and they see what an amazing difference they can make in the lives of others, magical things happen.



Thank you doesn’t remotely sum it up.  Honestly, I don’t have adequate words to express the level of gratitude our Reno office felt towards our “Santa’s Helpers”.  Here are some glimpses into what we were able to pull together with the help of others.  One thing I can be quite frank about:  Our families and children had the best Christmas ever.  Truly.

First was the Sierra Association of Foster Families Christmas Party with the Women’s National Charity League:

Next, two of our Running with the Bears Charity Runners from the 2014 race had a vision of doing something MORE at the holidays.  In San Francisco, Courtney and Erica planned a party.  We sent them a list of children and a few items off of each child’s wish list.  They sent a link to all their friends who were then able to sign up for the gifts they wanted to purchase.  The party was a huge success!!!

Jennifer met them in Sacramento and the exchange was amazing!!!  Just overwhelming!

Next we partnered with the Toys For Tots local branch.  They allowed us to bring our children’s wish lists to the warehouse (several times) until we fulfilled as many items as we could.  Just amazing!!

We also wanted to have a foster parent holiday appreciation party with gift baskets.  Talbots donated TONS of items and created fabulous gift baskets for us.

Then the Department of Taxation donated SIX gift baskets.  Holy cow!!!

Ladies from Department of Taxation!!!

Ladies from Department of Taxation!!!

The Department of Taxation also gave us money to use which covered most of our dinner party at Roller Kingdom.


Roller Kingdom donated their facility for two hours exclusively to our staff and families.  The only things we had to pay for were the pizza and soda.  With Department of Taxation money and a few smaller miscellaneous donations, our entire party was paid for!!!

In the end, Mountain Circle Family Services was able to give our families the BEST Christmas ever and ALL of it was done because people wanted to do something to make a difference.  It’s amazing when people come together – each doing something relatively small – to make such an ENORMOUS difference in the lives of others!!!  Our office was overrun by gifts, baskets and an amazing community feeling of giving.

Posted in Foster Care | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Today Decides Tomorrow

Chico State 10

By the time former foster youth are 19 years old, only 57% have received a high school diploma or GED and less than 5% of former foster youth graduate college. That just will not do!

At Mountain Circle Family Services, Inc. we focus on equipping older foster youth with the skills they will need to be productive adults in the real world. We decided to practice what we preach and take some teens to college, CSU, Chico to be exact.

Chico State 7

Because of our dedication to transitioning youth, it is exciting that colleges are starting to have the same goals-reaching out and helping former foster youth navigate the difficult process of college applications, financial aid and academic advising.

One program close to us is PATH Scholars at California State University, Chico. They were nice enough to invite our foster teens for a presentation and a campus tour.

It was an early morning, carpooling from Susanville and Greenville all they way to the big college town of Chico but our awesome foster teens made it and were excited for the day! Upon arrival to the campus the staff asked the high school students their education and career goals. One young woman is considering a career in the medical field while others expressed interest in legal and animal fields.

The presenters were able to give each student individualized attention about their potential fields and which programs would best fit their interests. Marina Fox, Foster Youth Program Coordinator, walked the students through important dates to remember when applying to college. She highlighted that in her PATH Scholars program she would help each student navigate Academic Advising, Admissions, EOP, Financial Aid, Scholarships and Housing!

After the informative session, a Chico State student took up on a tour of the campus highlighting their different departments, beautiful campus and impressive sustainable buildings. In their student WREC center, the stationary exercise bikes supply power to the building! The students were having a blast asking questions, taking selfies at landmarks and most importantly, imaging themselves as students of the university.

Chico State 2

Some of the students looking at graduating class’ time capsules. 

Then, we all got to go out to lunch a few blocks from campus at Franky’s.

Chico State 9


The Italian restaurant was kind enough to donate lunch to our group and the pizza was amazing! Everyone had a great time and the teens got some hands on experience on what college can look like for them. We also want to take them to Butte Community College and Feather River College to give them a junior college experience-and the best part about the trip!? No test at the end!

Posted in Foster Care, The World Around Us, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scheels – Thank You

Sparks, Nevada

Sparks, Nevada

My name is Jennifer. I work for Mountain Circle Family Services in Reno, NV.  Our organization serves Nevada and California with foster parents. We also have an annual event – Running with the Bears in Greenvile, CA. Continue reading

Posted in Foster Care, The World Around Us | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charity Running – Deanna Morris

Deanna started running 2 1/2 years ago at the tender, young age of 48.  Her sister was training for her first Ironman and Deanna was amazed at her dedication and hard work.  Continue reading

Posted in Foster Care, Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charity Running – Rosey Bertoluzza

Rosey ran in high school but never stuck to it afterwards.  She started running again in 2010 to combat the boredom of working from home.  After running consistently for about a month and a half, she ran her first half marathon.  Love was born.  Rosey has run two marathons and tons of other races, but Running with the Bears is BY FAR her favorite!!!  (She did mention that the people are awesome.  Why thank you!)

Rosey loves the feeling of finishing a marathon, but really likes the 10K distance as it’s easier to finish and you can push for a PR – personal record.

Rosey at Running with the Bears!

Rosey at Running with the Bears!

This year is Rosey’s 3rd year with us and she plans to do it every year no matter what.  Last year, just 4 weeks before the race, she shattered her toe but still came to hobble the course.  A friend of hers ran it the first year and once Rosey saw how awesome our organization was and how great the people at Running with the Bears are, she had to run it!  She wants to come back every year and help in any way she can.  She’s a local, so we expect to see her there!!

When asked why she became a charity runner, she replied, “How could I NOT be a charity runner?!”  Raising money for children is a no brainer especially in a small area.  She feels that the foster kids deserve all the best that any child gets.  Her in-laws owned boys homes years ago for some of the toughest boys in the major cities.  Hearing the stories of how they took the kids camping or how even some of the hardest of kids fell in love with the outdoors makes her want to help bring that to other kids who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.  The donations they received from people and businesses to help bring new clothes and shoes to kids that would never have been able to have them, drives Rosey on to be someone who can help provide that as well.

Rosey at CIM

Rosey at CIM

Rosey generally only participates in events that have a charity or a cause she feels is worthwhile.  She feels she doesn’t perform well on race day, so she enjoys the atmosphere of the race.  Running with the Bears is a small town race and the feel of it and the people makes it one of her favorites.  How can you not love parking in a pasture and having the start/finish line on someone’s front steps??

Donate to Roseys page HERE

Posted in Foster Care, Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Charity Running – Jamie Kelley

Last year Jamie completed her first half marathon and would like to complete a full marathon next year.  It’s the first time she’s joined us at Running with the Bears and heard about our race online.  Her boyfriends family is from Greenville.  Running for a good cause made it worth coming since she knew the efforts that go into her training make completing the race a great feeling.

Jamie cheered in high school. She originally wanted to sigh up for a race just for motivation to keep running and stay with it as a form of exercise, but found it so rewarding and fun after finishing the first race, she was hooked. She loves having her boyfriend there waiting for her or seeing him along the course since he comes to cheer her on at each race.

Donate to Jamie’s page HERE 

Jamie Kelley 1 Jamie Kelley 2 Jamie Kelley 3

Posted in Foster Care, Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sneak Peak: Hoedown Raffle!




T-minus 4 days until race day! We are getting pretty excited over here at Bears Central! We can’t wait for Saturday and want to give you a sneak peak of some of the cool raffle prizes available to win.

Of course there will be live music, turkey-bingo and an amazing catered dinner at our Running with the Bears Hoedown after party but that’s not all! All year our amazing staff at the Nu 2 U thrift store in Susanville have been putting together raffle baskets for participants to win. They got so creative this year and have really out done themselves! Here is a few photos of the MANY baskets they made.

raffle 1For the girly teen or tween!

raffle 2

fondue you love cheese?

raffle 3

Tea time!

raffle 4Movie & popcorn! 

Make sure you get your hoedown tickets on Friday during packet pick up or on Saturday before or after the race. $30 for adults over 18, $15 for 15-18 year olds and free for children under 12. See you all on Saturday!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment