On Saturday we had our stuffed-animal drive, and I was so touched by little kids who lovingly told me the names of their teddy bears before choosing to donate them. I was so excited to bring our stuffed animals to Casa Pacifica, a wonderful organization that helps kids and families in times of crisis.
Donating to kids and families is a meaningful transition into our April project. This month we are striving to serve foster youth. There are many organizations that do incredible things to provide for foster youth in our area, including the awesome Hope4Kids Run that raises funds and awareness as well as James Storehouse, a nonprofit that helps foster kids and families in emergency situations. Even though there are many organizations that help kids in foster situations, it can be hard to find ways to serve kids in foster care with our young kids. This year, we’ve chosen to partner with Together We Rise to make Sweet Cases. See below to find out how we plan to help!
Want to do something like this?
1. Check out Together We Rise: Here you will learn about the sad reality that many foster kids have to travel from home to home with only a trash bag to transport their stuff. Making Sweet Cases is a fun way for families to raise money for a duffel bags, hygiene kits, blankets, coloring books, crayons, etc.
2. Raise money: Once you’ve set up your webpage, you can raise money. Each Sweet Case is $25, and your group will commit to buying at least 10. It is easy to share your page with others on social media, so fundraising efforts only require a few clicks.
3. Assemble and Decorate: This is the fun part! Once you have raised the funds, Together We Rise will send you the elements of the cases. You and your friends can assemble the bags and decorate them. This is a great way for kids of all ages to get involved.
4. Check out other organizations: Once you’ve gotten into the spirit of helping kids in foster care, look into other ways to help out! You can also check out Foster Care 2 Success for details on how you can send a different type of care package to a child in need. They even have a Red Scarf project where you can use your knitting skills to benefit kids in foster care.Treehouse for Kids is an excellent organization that supports foster kids, and they outline specifics about how to host a donation drive. Check out organizations like Home Forever and Fostercare.com as well as James Storehouse or RaisingHope to learn more about foster care and how you can help.
5. (Optional): Share your experience: post pictures and ideas on our Facebook page, or share a “success story” with us on the blog. The more we talk about service, the more other people want to be a part of the fun.
It can be difficult to talk to our kids about the fact that other kids are in foster care, but I believe that it is important for them to be aware of what is going on in the world so they can develop compassion. Here are a few resources that might be helpful. If you know of any others, please share them!
Maybe Days: This book is geared towards kids who are already in foster care, but it can also be helpful for parents considering foster care.
Home is Where I Make It: This video was created by foster children in order to “bring a positive light to all of the brave children fighting for their place to call home.”
I haven’t personally fostered a child, but I know a great friend who has (Check out Michelle’s Story). I have so much respect for everyone involved in loving kids by fostering them. Let’s all work together to make kids in foster care feel acknowledged, loved, and supported. If you have any thoughts on this post, or if you have other ideas about how we can show love, please let us know. Also, if you are interested, click here to start a club of your own. Thank you so much for reading, and let’s go love people on purpose.