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Boys Town California's Family Night Sees Positive Impact

Family bonding and spending time together is ​essential to building strong, healthy relationships between parents and their children. Recognizing the need for families to set aside at least one night to spend time together, Boys Town California recently partnered with OCHealth to hold a monthly family night.

While most families have the time to spend together, they may struggle with finding activities to do all together. This is where California's Family Night comes in. Boys Town California offers a fun- filled night free of charge to families from all levels of the continuum of care and is even open for anyone in the community to attend.

Snacks and games are available to attendees and prizes or gifts can be won through an assortment of different games. Numerous tables are set up to host both individual activities and group activities. Coloring sheets and crayons are available for individuals, and games such as Jenga, UNO and Chutes and Ladders are brought out to encourage whole families to play together. Even larger games such as bingo or balloon tennis are available to bring multiple families together to work together as a team and play for prizes.

For the month of October, Boys Town California held their monthly family night on Friday, October 21, 2016 at the Courtyard by Marriot at the Santa Ana/Orange Country location. This evening was "Superheroes vs Villains" themed and families were encouraged to come dressed as their favorite villain or hero. Families came dressed in costumes and actual superheroes and villains were in attendance to meet the guests. Families went through the process of creating a name for their character, coloring masks and then playing games with the other heroes and villains.

"The main purpose of Family Night is to bring families together and provide them with a structured environment to build positive memories and relationships between children and parents," Angela Myers Boys Town California Volunteer Coordinator said. "But Family Night also creates an environment for the volunteers to meet and interact with the families they are mentoring through Boys Town's Family Matching Program. This overall keeps families connected with Boys Town."

Family Matching focuses on creating helpful peer-to-peer relationships between families with a member struggling with mental or behavioral health issues and trained Volunteer Family Mentors who have had similar experiences.

Each month, Boys Town California welcomes around 20-30 families and about 30-15 children to their Family Night and sees firsthand the impact that family bonding has on their clients and on the community.​