We host birthday parties for foster children three times a year (typically, April, August and November). The August party is typically a birthday party and back to school event. At this event all kids are provided with school supplies. The November event is a combination of a birthday party and Christmas celebration. In addition, the children have the opportunity to take pictures with Santa Claus at the November event.
At all parties, the birthday kids receive a birthday gift from their wish list, a new book bag and a book. The book bag is for the kids to store their most precious items and the book is to encourage reading.
Children entering the foster care system often leave home without the items they value, like their favorite teddy bear, blanket and other personal items. Children are placed into care while at school and do not have the opportunity to return home prior to being placed into care. In other cases, children are placed into the care at twilight evening hours and are rushed to pack limited contents into garbage bags before heading to foster care. We believe that Georgia’s children should be greeted with the love and dignity of a care package that they can call their own when they enter the foster care system. Therefore, our organization works to provide children entering foster care with a duffle bag containing essential items to increase comfort and security during their earliest days of placement.
We partnered with YESS (Youth Empowerment Support Services) to provide support to youths who are transitioning out of foster care. We do this by providing a full-course meal for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. In addition to meals, we provide Christmas tree, decorations and a gift from their wish list.
In Georgia, there are approximately 14,000 children in foster care. Students who have been in foster care are far less likely to graduate from college than the rest of the general population. Only 3 % of foster kids make it to college, and even fewer graduate.
Our goal is to send monthly (You are Special) care packages to foster youth in college. A special package will be sent for their birthday.
These young adults are defying the odds, and we want to give them an added boost to their confidence.