Warning this is going to be a longer blog post than normal. It’s the holidays, the leaves are falling, it is getting cooler and everything is pumpkin spiced. I love this time of year just because everything is so cozy and warm. I am actually bouncing as I write this post because I am so excited. I am excited to decorate for the holidays and Starbucks cups. I am excited for Christmas lights and snow back home. Also the giant ornaments that they do on Michigan Ave. If y’all from Chicago you know what I mean! Mostly I am excited because I have the amazing opportunity and fortune to be part of 3 projects to give back this season.
Firstly, I got to design and get to sell Holiday boxes that donate a large portion of proceeds to various foster care non profits with LSME. You can check out more about this on the blog post about it! It was so much fun and pulling ideas from what things that make the holidays special to me personally that do not include going out in large numbers of people. Also being able to offer people a way to shop and give gifts to one another while also supporting those who may not be able to afford or have the luxury of holiday presents or grand holiday meals!
Secondly, This is a personal project for me that I have wanted to do since before college! I am looking for induvial that work in some way shape or form with foster youth, that are currently or recently aged out of the system that could use some extra help. Right now I am keeping it to the Chicagoland and Nashville area, because that’s where I am. It’s not huge but its a step to being able to help 2 areas that have large number of foster youth but the lowest number of nonreligious 501c3s that actually help these youths. To explain why I do not count religious 501c3s that serve foster youth is because those organizations statistically have a tendency to be a bit discriminatory on who gets help and who is able to help. 2020 has been hard enough and I want to be able to support organizations that are helping all induvial in a community, a foster child is still a child. As a society we already treat these children like less than and on top of that children that are lgbtqia, poc, have any form of disability or even older get treated even worse. On the flip side of that those that identify as lgbtqia, poc, have any form of disability have a substantially harder time becoming foster or adoptive parents. That’s all I am going to say about that, I am too emotionally and mentally tired to keep fighting for all humans to be treated like humans. SO I want to start something where I can offer a resource to connect those foster youths and foster families who are in need of things like food, school supplies or even it being the holiday season gifts, with those that can and are willing to help. So if you are a teacher or social worker or have friends, families, neighbors who you think would like or need a little help or are part of the foster system and need to request a necessity. I created this google form. Like I said we are starting so small so unfortunately I cant help everyone who reaches out but I have to start somewhere. This google form will be active all year not just the holiday season so I may reach out at anytime concerning a request submissions. If you are someone who lives in the Chicagoland or Nashville area and would like to be involved and sponsor a foster youth or family email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Lastly is this blog post and also my social media posts about ways everyone can get involved in the holiday season! On my social media I will be sharing various ways people all across America can help their local communities in various ways and still be safe with the current pandemic. Here are some ways you can do to give back this season as of right now!
Ways to give:
1) Monetary Donations – kind of basic but important and you can write it off on taxes. Monetary donations is a surefire way to know how much you are giving to a nonprofit and knows it goes directly to the cause you are supporting. When it comes to foster care I normally do not choose this option when I want to directly impact foster youth just because I love supporting the nonprofit but if my goal is directly helping youth monetary donations may go towards wages or operational cost which in larger pictures helps the youth but if the goal is a one time donation for larger impact this may not be the way to go. But any way you give as long as your heart is in the right place that’s what matters.
2)Supporting businesses that give back to nonprofits (ie, amazon, my business, love your melon, sports teams, ect. ) – This is the most common way because you get something for yourself but also its feel good. The only issue is for many businesses the nonprofit only gets like .0003 of your dollar. None the less it helps.
3) In kind donations – This can be anything from donating food, gently used goods, new things, gift cards, or even shopping amazon wish lists that go directly to the nonprofit.
My favorite foster care nonprofits
Together We Rise (OC, CA) :https://www.togetherwerise.org/
- I love together we rise they are based in the OC but have programs all across America. There are so many ways to support foster children through this non profit.
SantaCan (LA, CA) :http://santacan.org/
- If you have heard of an Angel tree this is that but for foster children and online. Every year I normally do angel trees and you can still do it this year! These are specifically angel tree tags for foster youth in the Los Angeles Area!
Chicago- Child Link: http://childlnk.org/campaigns/holiday-gifts-drive/
- If you want to do a local angle tree but you don’t live in socal no worries child link also does it!
SOS Village: https://www.sosillinois.org/
- SOS village is an interesting organization because its a living community for foster families, so foster parents move into homes and the children live there with them and have continual access to to resources because they are physically in the community. They have villages across Chicagoland area!
Louisiana: Foster the Love: https://fosterthelovela.org/
- foster the love is another organization I love and that I look for in setting up my own ways to support foster youths! they have a variety of ways to support local foster youth in Louisiana
Michigan: Friends of Foster Kids: https://friendsoffosterkids.org/about-2/