May is National Foster Care Month. I know the month is almost over, but there’s still time to bring awareness and help enhance the lives of children living in foster care.
My good friend started a fundraising page through an amazing organization known as Together We Rise to help the more than 400,000 children in foster care.
Together We Rise began with a group of college students after one of their classmates found their nine-year-old cousin living in a car. Since the students were under 21 years of age, the government denied their help due to federal regulations. Before Together We Rise, the only way to really help those in foster care was to become a foster parent. Now, this wonderful organization offers many other ways, including their build-a-bike program, a college scholarship program, sweet cases program and more, to improve the quality of life for those in foster care.
The statistics for those in foster care are quite grim:
Foster youth fall behind their peers on every education measure in King County, including grades, test scores, and discipline.
70% of teens who age out of foster care say they want to attend college, but less than 3% achieve a bachelor degree (source: Parent Map).
Studies of youth who have left foster care have shown they are more likely than those in the general population to not finish high school, be unemployed, and be dependent on public assistance. Many find themselves in prison, homeless, or parents at an early age (source: FosterClub).
Together We Rise is an organization that wants to change those statistics.
Help Make Sweet Cases for Foster Kids
I met my friend organizing this event through teaching, so I know how much dedication she has toward helping children in need. Her heart broke, as well as mine, when she found out that children in foster care are typically given trash bags for their belongings.
No child deserves a trash bag for their belongings. One of Together We Rises’ outreach programs tries to ensure that all children receive a sweet case instead.
A sweet case is a duffel bag decorated by volunteers and filled with a pillow pet, hygiene kit, blanket, coloring books, and crayons. My friend is having an event in her community to help decorate and put these sweet cases together. I love this idea. It’s such an easy, small way to make a big difference in a child’s life.
Unfortunately, my friend recently moved out of the area, so I won’t be able attend her event. Fortunately, there’s still an opportunity to help even from a distance.
For those interested in donating to this amazing cause, head over to my friend’s Together We Rise Page. Even a small amount can make a difference. They are so close to reaching their goal! Once the sweet cases have been completed on June 27th, I’ll be sure to update this post with pictures.
For more information about foster care in America, head over to ChildWelfare.gov.