In our April and May Newsletters, we highlighted our medical funding program, and showed you how it is helping children thrive with their forever family. This month we want to highlight another essential part of Connected Hearts, our foster care programs.
Often when children enter into foster care they are taken abruptly. Because of this, many times they are not able to take any of their personal belongings with them. For the children that are able to take a few items, they are often given a trash bag to carry those items in. At Connected Hearts, we believe children deserve better than this, and we seek to help them during this difficult transition. Through our Connect Case program, we provide children with items that meet their physical needs, and also bring them comfort during their transition into foster care. Our Connect Cases are duffle bags or messenger bags that include items such as hygiene products, clothing, blankets and more. In addition, they also include items that provide much-needed comfort for children, such as stuffed animals, a Bible, toys, coloring books and other items to help them get through this difficult transition. Throughout the years we have been blessed to partner with churches, businesses, small groups, Mother’s ministries, schools, and even individuals who are passionate about caring for children in foster care. These groups and individuals help decorate the Connect Cases with pictures and words of encouragement. They also help purchase and pack items for the children. Recently, a class at Augusta Christian Schools in Augusta, GA, volunteered to donate items, and pack and decorate bags. Each of these bags were delivered the next week, and put into use right away by a local foster care office.
“Having your personal items thrown in a trash bag, it makes you feel really small.”
Charell Charleston, former foster youth, talks about her experience of moving placements in Foster Care.
Another program we offer is our birthday box program. This program was specifically requested by a local foster care office in our area, as many children in foster care do not get to celebrate their birthdays. These boxes provide everything a child needs to celebrate their birthday, and let them know they are loved and valued. Items include candles, balloons, party favors, party hats, banners, a birthday card, and a gift card to allow them to purchase a cake and/or a toy for their special day.
Youth Group at Revivify Church
Next Month- Learn How a Community Rallied Together for a Local Foster Care Office:
Lastly, in next month's newsletter we will be sharing with you how Connected Hearts and other ministries, churches and individuals worked together to help meet an urgent foster care need. These groups also helped redecorate a foster care family room in South Carolina. This room is used for children in foster care to visit with their family. It also doubles as a waiting room for children who enter foster care at all hours of the night. Children wait in this room (sometimes for many hours) until a social worker can find a foster family for the child. This room had not been updated in over 20 years. Through this remodel we were able to make this a more welcoming and fun environment for the children, as they wait to be connected with a foster family.
Meeting the urgent needs, and remodeling the family room, were great examples of unity, and how the body of Christ can come together and share love with children in foster care. This group not only poured out love for the children, but they also poured out kindness on the social workers as well. We’ll provide more details next month, as well as photos of the family room after it was remodeled!
Before photo of the family room. A few of the items that were donated.
These are a few ways, with your generous support, that Connected Hearts is making a difference for children in foster care. Our goal is to help children feel loved and seen while they are in foster care. Thank you for making this possible through your generous support!
You Can Help Provide For The Needs of Children in Foster Care!