Successful Donation Drive for Children in Foster Care

The Student Leaders with PSU NSSLHA completed a very special community outreach project this year. We held a donation drive and created welcome boxes for children entering foster care. Every Child PDX, is a non-profit that supports foster families and kids. They collect completed welcome boxes and then distribute them to Child Welfare offices throughout the state. These boxes are full of age-appropriate toys and goodies to occupy the child's time while they wait for a foster placement. Most children are able to bring little to nothing with them when they are removed from their home, so the welcome boxes are a huge psychological comfort during this confusing and emotional time.

Our project was completed in 3 stages: Planning & education, Organization & packing, and finally, Drop off!

Planning & Education

We are lucky to have an active resource (foster) parent, in the speech and hearing sciences department! Morgan Palm shared her important insights about foster care in this blog post. This educational piece made the project even more meaningful!

We built the welcome boxes as a community. Each box is required to have something to write on, something to write with, a flashlight, a nightlight, and toothpaste. The NSSLHA board decided that all the boxes would be gender neutral and inclusive for BIPOC children. We found book suggestions on Black Garnet Books, to make sure as many boxes as possible had an inclusive book. We made a wish list on Amazon with book and toy suggestions, as well as the essentials mentioned above. For those not shopping online, Emme, our Community Outreach Coordinator, installed a drop off box in the SPHR department lobby. We had a great turnout for both online and in-person donations! Over 20 people contributed!

Organization & Packing

As donations started rolling in I organized them into boxes according to age groups. Our original goal was to make one box for each of the following age groups: 2-4, 5-9, 10-12, and 13-17. We exceeded our original goal of 4 boxes and made a whopping 9 boxes total!

After each box was filled and an encouraging note taped inside the lid, I attached the Every Child PDX label to the outside and closed the whole thing up with a rubber band. It was a delight each time I marked a box as done!

Drop Off

The final step was to drop off at GracePoint Church, which is one of the main storage sites in Portland for these boxes. It was such a joy to see everyone's generosity coalesce in this project!

Thank you everyone who supported this project. Here's to many more successful community outreach projects to come!

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