Imagine you are a young child going through the uncertainty and trauma of being removed from your home with only a few of your precious belongings stuffed in a garbage sack. Imagine the fear, anger and sadness that would accompany you.
The Fostering Love Kit (originally developed by Katie Mettner from Rice Lake, Wisconsin for foster care children in her county) offers hope and love to a foster child coming into the system in the form of a duffel bag full of comfort and necessity items tailored to their gender and age. These bags are meant to go with the child on the next step(s) of their journey in the Foster Care system.
The Fostering Love Kit for youth ages 3-11 contains a soft blanket and small pillow to wrap up in, a stuffed animal to hug, a coloring book and toy for distraction, a snack for an empty tummy, and a night light and flashlight to keep the dark away. Toiletries included are a washcloth and towel, toothbrush and toothpaste, and a brush and comb. A large T-shirt and socks are added for temporary sleep ware.
The Fostering Love Kit for infants - 2 is contained in a diaper bag with items necessary for the first several days such as a sleeper, blanket, hat, baby wipes, diapers, baby wash and lotion, a bottle, pacifier, and a small baby toy.
Example of kit for Infant to 2
Example of kit for Youth Girl 3-11
Example of kit for Youth Boy 3-11
The kits contain the following items:
For infant to 2 Years
Diapers (Dollar Store has small packs of diapers)
Rattle or small baby toy
For boy or girl youth 3 to 11 years
Duffel Bag - boy or girl specific (Amazon has bags for kids from $12-30)
Blanket (Small Fleece)
Small Travel Pillow (Walmart has youth pillows – see pictures)
Medium Adult T-shirt for temporary pajamas
Towel (hand towel)
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Brush and comb
3 in 1 kid soap (Walmart has White Rain – shampoo - conditioner -body wash)
Toy, book, coloring book and crayons, puzzle book (Dollar Store has a good assortment)
Snack (Animal Crackers, Goldfish and /or Fruit chews)
This will be an ongoing project to help the children moving into foster care in Columbia County. Fostering Love Kits would also be a great project for a church, youth group, Senior project, school group or families who want to make a difference. I would be happy to speak to your group.
If you can help with donations of the items listed above or gift cards to Walmart please contact me, Linda McMann, (Volunteer for Columbia County effort) at 971-227-5250 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org, Nichole Watkins, Office Manager DHS Child Welfare at email@example.com, or Ali Daniels, Social Service Assistant DHS Child Welfare at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can help make a young child's journey a little brighter! Thank You!!