Temporary Home for the Foster Care Charity Collation
What it is:
The Foster Care Charity Collation of Illinois is a grass roots organization that allows those who have contacts in the foster care agencies of Illinois to partner with regular people who want to help kids in foster care. No funds are collected, donations or sponsorships requested. This is not a 501(3c) organization, just a group of people helping other people to do good for kids in foster care. It is an open Facebook page that hopefully will use the power of social media to spread the word about simple projects and drives that can make a big difference to kids in care.
Why foster kids?
I have always been touched by the stories of kids without a home. At the age of 11 the fiction Anne of Green Gables solidified in me the belief that no kid should be without a family. Our own family’s journey included adopting two boys from foster care. We didn’t “have to”, this wasn’t a consolation prize. Our oldest is our biological child, but even before he was born we talked about adopting instead of birthing our own. The 27 hours of training required by Illinois for foster parents solidified in me that this invisible population of children needs to be more visible and they need to be treated with dignity and respect by the system, foster parents, and society in general. Currently, that is not universally happening.
How it works:
Do you want to help foster kids? Here are some ideas to make that happen. I am an organizer so I have check lists, fliers, and info on how to do each one. I will also help you get in contact with a foster care agency if you need one. These make great school service projects, community outreach activities, girl and boy scout projects, and social group activities to make a difference. Send in a message or PM the Facebook account, post your ideas and I or someone else can try and help you. Spread the word through posting your events on our Facebook page, liking, following and sharing. Lots of people want to help foster kids, but overwhelming to do on your own. So lets not do it on your own- lets do it all together.
Suit Cases: Kids in foster care move homes on average of four times before they find their forever home. Too often the kids move belonging with a trash bag instead of appropriate luggage. Together We Rise (in California, https://www.togetherwerise.org/aboutus) and Comfort Cases (from the DC area, http://www.nomoretrashbags.org/) are two charities that work to change this. You can also work to change this here in Illinois by hosting a packing party. We have the list of what should be in a case as well as check lists and instructions to make throwing your packing party easy.
School Supply Drive: kids often lack the basics in school supplies like backpacks, paper and pencils when entering a foster home or group home. School supply drives get the kids the supplies they need to blend in with their peers.
Girl’s Hygiene Kits: Can you imagine moving in with strangers and needing to ask for feminine hygiene products at the age of 12? I can’t think of anything more embarrassing. If the suitcase party seems too much for you, put together cute kits of pads, pantyliners and tampons for the girls to have on hand.
Knit toys/stuffed animals for Juvenile court: The juvenile courts for abuse and neglect try and make it as kid friendly as possible by providing toys and games for when kids visit the court. Donate knit stuffed toys to your county’s juvenile court so that the kids can get a soft toy to comfort them in a scary environment. Often these kids have few possessions to call their own, so a new stuffed animal is treasured. This is close to my heart because when my two youngest boys came to live with us neither one had a special lovie that they snuggled and slept with. That broke my heart! So now I knit toys to give to kids like my own.
Do you have ideas of your own? Share them with me and I will update the page.