From One Child to Another – Trombly Elementary School Comes Through for Metro Detroit’s Foster Children

…it’s powerful to have one child buy something they love to give to another child.
-Walter Fitzpatrick, Principal, Trombly Elementary

Last month, the students at Grosse Pointe Park’s Trombly Elementary did something very special.

The small school, with only 270 children, collected 332 brand new clothing items to Detroit-area foster children during their annual “Valen-Twin” charity drive!

FTSG Volunteer Ena Moor picking up the Trombly donation

FTSG Volunteer Ena Moor picking up the Trombly donation

The President of Trombly’s Parent-Teacher Organization, Michele Lindsay, said that they selected For The Seventh Generation for this year’s efforts because, “…your mission aligns with one of our PTO’s primary goals of helping our students become better global citizens. At Trombly we have a strong history of peer-to-peer service programs and the Valen-Twin concept fits right in with the ideal of kids helping kids.”

This year’s “Valen-Twin” instructions were simple: the children were asked to purchase something that they would like to wear to donate to a Detroit-area foster child. And they definitely responded! When everything was counted there were seventy tops, fifty-seven “bottoms” (pants/jeans/skirts/etc.), ninety-two pairs of underwear, ten pairs of shoes, and much, much more.

According to Trombly Principal Walter Fitzpatrick,

Our theme for these drives is ‘Just Like Me’ – we try to find the children opportunities to help children like themselves so they can relate. Having them donate to adults just isn’t the same, but it’s powerful to have one child buy something they love to give to another child.

How do Trombly’s students feel about their efforts? Let them tell you in their own words:

It was good, because I was able to give someone an outfit who didn’t have one.

I was happy for the kids. They can have clothes like we have!

I was happy for the kids. They can have clothes like we have!

It felt good to donate clothes to people who had to dress in the same clothes every day.

I was happy for the kids. They can have clothes like we have!

All too often, metro Detroit’s foster children arrive at their new homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs – or, at best, a garbage bag filled with some hastily thrown-together possessions.

To make matters worse, the system only pays a fraction of what it actually costs to send a child to school looking and feeling their best.

But thanks to the children, PTO, and staff of Trombly Elementary, many of “our” kids in foster care will be able to fit in with their friends – and shine.

Metro Detroit’s foster children and teens constantly need clothing, shoes, and other items that most of us are fortunate enough to take for granted. But you can make a huge difference with just one donation! Register your donation of new/nearly-new clothing or other items on our website. Or simply drop by our Help Closet.

Or, make a cash donation and we’ll do the shopping for you as needs arise.

Just do one thing for a single foster child, and you’ll change that child’s life for the better. And that’s why For The Seventh Generation exists — to help you make that difference.

‘It’s Love … It’s Just Love’ at FTSG’s Holiday Bazaar for Foster Children

Sign and TreeOn December 11 more than 140 foster children, foster parents, and foster care workers enjoyed an evening of treats, activities, and presents during For The Seventh Generation’s 2014 Holiday Bazaar.

While the children enjoyed making Christmas cards, snacking on pizza and other treats, and picking out presents for a loved one, their foster parents were able to “shop” for new children’s winter coats courtesy of Operation Warm.

Due to state law we can’t show you photos or videos of the foster children who came, but we can offer you this video to give you a small taste of what the event was all about – both in images and in the words of a few of the foster parents who joined us.

Many, many thanks are due to the Detroit and Grosse Pointe Rotary Clubs for once again including “our” kids in their yearly Operation Warm. We’re also grateful to our event’s sponsors:

S & R Event Rental;
ECS Partnership McDonalds;
Milano Bakery & Cafe;
Happy Belly Bakeries;
Little Caesar Enterprises;
Better Made Snack Foods;
Roy O’Brien Ford;
Costco Wholesale;
Computing Source; and
Dollar Tree

for everything they contributed to make the Bazaar such a roaring success. volunteers helping childrenEdit

In addition, we’d like to thank the Samaritan Center for opening up their space well beyond the boundaries of our Help Closet, which they also host – not to mention the generous volunteers who gave their time so the foster parents and foster care workers could enjoy the event, too!

And, finally, we’re grateful to you – each and every person who bought and donated an extra gift, made a monetary donation, or even “just” helped us spread the word on Facebook.

Thanks to you, many Detroit-area foster children will have Christmas this year. So as you watch this video, please take just a moment to give yourself credit for the light in “our” kids’ eyes this holiday.

CuteToys

Help ‘Our’ Kids Stay With Their Families While in Foster Care

By Elyse Heidlebaugh

Imagine going through this as a child or teen: Through no fault of your own, you’re being taken away from your parents – and, quite possibly, separated from your siblings. You’ve got nothing but the clothes on your back and possibly a hastily-packed trash bag with a few of your things. And a strange adult, whom you may or may not even know well, tells you that you’re going into foster care.

But what does that mean? Where are you going, and who will you live with? Just what does “foster care” mean for the Michigan children and teens who are effectively being raised by the state?

Children and teens being placed in foster care aren’t the only ones with questions – a lot of us adults aren’t clear about what’s involved either.

So let’s take a look at the four kinds of foster care placement. And then talk about what we

A bed or crib can be the difference between living with your family or a stranger while in foster care!

A bed or crib can be the difference between living with your family or a stranger while in foster care!

can do to support the best possible option – family placements.

1. “Traditional” Foster Families

For most people, the term “foster care” invokes images of strangers opening up their homes to kids in need, or “non-relative foster family placement.” However, only 32% of Michigan’s foster kids enter into this form of care.

This may seem like a great outcome. After all, the people who sign up to be foster parents must really love children, right? Well, of course – but the fact is, the situation is complicated:

First, imagine being sent to live with strangers and told that you need to follow their rules.

These people, no matter how kind, may not live in the same neighborhood as your birth parent/s – so everything is strange to you.

Your foster parents may or may not be the best “fit” for you. You may be a tomboy and be sent to live with adults who have strict ideas about gender roles, for example. Or maybe they don’t practice the same religion, or hate the foods you’re used to, or any number of other factors that leave you feeling very much like a total outsider.

Finally, your first placement will almost certainly not be your last. In other words, you’re going to have to get used to new adults, new rules, and new everything else over and over again.

Sound depressing? Wait – because, if you go into foster care at age 16 or older, you may well be one of the sixteen percent of Michigan foster teens (Thirty-six percent nationally) who end up being placed in a group home with anywhere from seven-twelve other children.

Group Homes

While the vast majority of adults who own, manage, and operate group homes for foster children and teens are wonderful people, the fact remains that such a placement is about as far from a family upbringing as a child can get.

Try to imagine this setting: You’re a teenager who’s been taken away from your family and sent to live, not with another family, but with an ever-changing group of strange adults and children in an institutional setting. Not only does living this way make you really different from the other kids at school — it also means that when you “age out” you’re even less likely to have any kind of supportive safety net.

“Other” Placements

And what happens if you decide you’re tired of living with different foster families or in an institution? In Michigan, that means you’re likely to end up as one of the seventeen percent of foster children/teens living in what’s called “other” placements.

HomelessTeenSmallOn the scariest end of the scale, you may have run away and are couch-surfing or worse, living on the street. Or, you may be relatively lucky and have an independent living situation; meaning that you’re on your own but receive some financial support from the state.

If you haven’t run away from foster care and aren’t in an independent living situation, chances are you’ve found the best possible world – you’re living with a family that’s eager to adopt you.

In other words, most of the scenarios faced by Michigan’s foster children, and particularly teens in foster care, are challenging to say the least! They involve a revolving-door of strange care-givers and all too often grow up to face the outcomes we’ve all heard about – an inability to complete school or find a decent job, homelessness, and incarceration.

Now, let’s imaging something drastically different:

The Best Foster Care Option – ‘Kinship-Relative’ Foster Care

In this scenario you’re still being taken away from your home by a social worker. But now, the social worker is driving you somewhere that’s already familiar to you.

And when you arrive, a loving family member is there to greet you.

Yes, you’re still in foster care – but your family identity is intact. You feel safe because Black mother with childyou know your new “parent/s” already know and love you. Best yet, while they may live differently than you’re used to, you probably already have an idea of what they expect of you.

When you age out, you’re also far more likely to receive ongoing support from your foster family — because, after all, you’re family.

Currently Michigan finds family placements for just thirty-six percent of our children and teens in foster care. We can and must do better.

And that’s where you and I come in.

How?

By donating the items that families need when they get that last-minute call saying that one of their youngest members needs a new place to stay.

Specifically, I’m talking about children’s and teens’ beds, and cribs.

For one thing, a bed or crib can determine whether a foster child or teen ends up with a family or complete strangers. And for another, ask yourself what would make you feel most secure – sleeping on a couch or air mattress, or having a bed of your own?

The challenge is that beds and cribs are expensive. Few families can afford to go out and purchase one or more of them on the last-minute notice that is so frequently the case when a child or teen is taken into foster care.

For The Seventh Generation faces ongoing, urgent requests for beds and cribs from foster care workers who desperately want to place foster children and teens with loving family members. I am among the many people and institutions who have come together to provide our most vulnerable children with a place to sleep, but we need your help to continue to filling this essential need!

Elyse, Shirley Roseman, and the new children's beds that Elyse donated last summer. Thank you, Elyse!

Elyse, Shirley Roseman, and the new children’s beds that Elyse donated last summer. Thank you, Elyse!

Please consider visiting the “current needs” link on For The Seventh Generation’s website. I guarantee you’ll see several requests for beds and/or cribs! Ask yourself if you can provide a bed, crib, mattress, or bedding for a child or teen in foster care today.

And if the entire cost of a bed or crib is too much, please make a financial contribution that FTSG can use to purchase these and other essential items.

After all, home is where the heart is – not where the bed is. With your help, we can make sure metro Detroit’s foster children get to keep all three together. Let’s follow their hearts so that in what every way possible, we can get and keep “our” kids at home.

Source: acef.org “data snapshot on foster care placement” (2011)

Elyse HeidlebaughElyse Heidlebaugh is a long-time FTSG supporter who is definitely walking her talk –among other things, she has personally purchased several brand-new beds and cribs for foster children! We’re very grateful for everything Elyse has done for “our” kids, including her wonderful blog posts.

Do Just One Thing and YOU Can Lower the Poverty Rate, Prevent Homelessness, and Keep People Out of Prison

By Elise Heidlebaugh

(Ed. Note: This is the first in a series of posts by FTSG super-volunteer and donor Elyse Elyse HeidlebaughHeidlebaugh. Elyse is eager to start a conversation, so comments are open on this post but will be moderated to keep the spam level to a dull roar.)

Warning: This blog post may make you feel as though you’ve downed one too many Red Bulls. Other symptoms might include a ‘save the world’ complex and a determination to change our community that’ll beat like a war drum inside your chest.

Your life may never be the same again.

Are you ready? Because I’m about to give you THE secret to drastically reducing homelessness, incarceration and poverty.  Learning this secret transformed my life, and I hope it does the same for you.

Before we get to the secret, though, you need to know the following:

There are approximately 500,000 children and teens in foster care nationwide, and about 13,000 here in Michigan. When they age out of the system:

  • 51% will be unemployed
  • One-third will be on public assistance
  • 25% [will]become homeless …, and
  • 25% will be incarcerated.**
There's a good chance that this woman is a former foster child

There’s a good chance that this woman is a former foster child

This information may well want to make you literally explode. You’re probably as shocked and furious as I was to learn that so many of “our” children, children who have already been neglected or abused to the point of having to go into foster care, aren’t receiving the support they need to become healthy, contributing adults.  Or, as the National Commission on Children put it in 1991:

From Foster Care to Jail Cell -- but there is a solution!

From Foster Care to Jail Cell — but there is a solution!

“If the nation had deliberately designed a system that would  frustrate the professionals who staff it, anger the public who finance it, and abandon the  children who depend on it, it could not have done a better job than the present child-welfare  system.”**

 

 

But no matter how shocked or furious you are, you may also feel overwhelmed. And that’s where the secret comes in:

The only thing each of us needs to do to have an impact on poverty, homelessness, and our overcrowded jail system (and become a real, legit superhero) is to make a difference in the life of one foster child or teen! And if you want to earn a cape to go along with your superhero suit, convince one of your friends, co-workers, or family members to do the same.

Can you see where I’m going here? Is your mind blown yet? Let me blow it for you just a bit more:

Making a positive impact on the life of one of our area’s foster children or teens is easy.

Detroit Rotarian Ray Opezzo serving up the popcorn.

Detroit Rotarian Ray Opezzo at an FTSG Holiday Bazaar for Foster Children

Here’s just a few examples:

* Donate new/nearly new school clothing or supplies to this year’s School Clothing & Uniform Drive for Foster Children and Teens;
* Provide a teen or child in foster care with a new pair of glasses;
* Sign up to teach guitar (or pretty much any instrument) to a foster child for one year at a reduced rate;
* If you’re an orthodontist or dentist who does orthodontic work, provide one service to one child or teen in foster care for just a single year.

Believe me,  I share your anger at the system that creates such bleak outcomes for “our” kids. I share your passion to right the wrongs. Most importantly though, I share your immense hopefulness. Because if we each focus our powers on making a positive difference in the life of just one foster child or teen, we will give “our” kids the boost they need to avoid  homelessness, incarceration, and poverty.

We can prevent the sort of baggage that creates a lifetime of struggle.

Now that you know how easy it is to serve a foster child or teen, and by doing so make a huge impact on our area’s poverty, homelessness, and incarceration rates, let’s latch on to For The Seventh Generation with both hands and start changing lives, one metro-Detroit foster child at a time.

Till next time, please carry on the conversation…

ThankYouKids

 

** Source: DISRUPTING THE PATHWAY FROM FOSTER CARE TO THE
JUSTICE SYSTEM—A FORMER PROSECUTOR’S
PERSPECTIVES ON REFORM by Miriam Aroni Krinsky

Available as a .PDF here.

Photos of the homeless woman and the jail cell courtesy  Rob Slaven and Fernando Silviera via Flickr

Meet FTSG “Super Donor” & Volunteer Elyse Heidelbaugh

Image

She Gives Her Time, Her Money and Her Passion —  and Starting This Month She’ll be Blogging About “Our” Foster Children

For The Seventh Generation lets me ask what our foster Elyse Heidlebaughchildren want, and by doing that it helps me extend my motherhood.

Elyse Heidelbaugh of Berkley has been an FTSG donor and volunteer for about a year now — and what a donor! She has purchased brand new beds and cribs for metro Detroit children in foster care; donated to last year’s School Uniform Drive; and most recently, Elyse made it possible for a young girl in foster care to join a cheerleading team.

Why does she do it?

I would never look at my daughter and ask, ‘What’s the bare minimum you need to survive?,” and be content with that. I’m always thinking, ‘How can I make you happy, and what do you want?’ For The Seventh Generation lets me ask what our foster children want, and by doing that it helps me extend my motherhood.

Of course, given that she’s a full-time parent and in school, some people might also ask HOW she does it.

Elyse, who found FTSG while doing an Internet search for a charity to be involved in, says that our organization’s flexibility makes it easy for her to be involved, even with a toddler at home and homework to get done.

I didn’t want to just write a check and be done — I wanted to do something more personalized for foster children, and I love going out and buying the things they need. What I really like about For The Seventh Generation is that you get to pick which opportunities you want to help with.

For The Seventh Generation is the only organization with the flexibility to let me be involved the way I want to be involved. With my little girl at home I can’t commit to volunteer specific hours or days, but (Help Closet Coordinator) Shirley asks what I want to do and then works to make that happen.

Elyse, who is originally from Sydney, Australia, has been in the US for seven years. Elyse’s husband, Mike, works as a resident in emergency medicine. Elyse was working as an assistant preschool teacher while studying at Wright State University when both her work and her education were happily interrupted with the birth of their first child, Ella, in February 2013.

But being a stay-at-home mom is just part of the great work Elyse is doing; in addition to supporting For The Seventh Generation she has returned to her Theology studies.

Finally, we asked Elyse why she was drawn to help foster children given that, before finding For The Seventh Generation, she had never met anyone connected with the foster care system either in Australia or here in Michigan.

“The birth of my daughter really busted my heart open,” she told us. Parenthood doesn’t stop at your own child; any one of these children in foster care could be one of ours.”

Elyse has become so passionate about foster children, in fact, that she reads “everything I can get my hands on” and as a result has learned a lot about foster children, families, teens — and the foster care system as a whole. When we heard that, we naturally asked if she would be willing to blog for For The Seventh Generation about the rules, regulations, and challenges “our” kids face — and she said yes!

With that in mind, look for Elyse’s posts on the third week of every month, starting this August 20 when she’ll share how helping foster children can be the most efficient way of helping society. Until then (and always), please join us in thanking Elyse for everything she has done, and continues to do, for “our” kids!

Do you have a foster care story to share?

Are you a former or current (over 18) foster child or teen, a foster parent, or a foster care worker? If so, we welcome your story! Our goal is to educate as many people as we can about about the world of foster care in SE Michigan, our state, our country and beyond. If you’re interested please contact Dawn Wolfe for details by posting a message on our Facebook page. Dawn will be happy to interview you or to help you write your post. And don’t worry, she’s a gentle editor!

474 Detroit-Area Foster Teens, Children, and Families Served in the 1st Half of 2014!

During our 2014 In Seventh Heaven gala, FTSG Executive Director Lorraine Weber vowed that our organization would double last year’s performance and serve 1,000 Detroit-area foster children, families, and teens in and aging out of the foster care system in 2014.

Elyse H. (shown w/Shirley Roseman) bought brand new cribs and beds for foster children!

Thanks to YOU, we’re practically halfway there!

In first half of this year, YOU provided the goods, services, and financial support for 474 of “our” foster kids and families:

Rennee looks fabulous in her new prom dress!

Renee looks fabulous in her new prom dress!

  • 44 served through our website;
  • 6 received late gifts from our 2013 Holiday Bazaar;
  • 34 visits to our Help Closet;
  • 75 young people received new coats thanks to the Rotary clubs of Grosse Pointe and Detroit’s joint effort, Operation Warm;
  • 143 foster teens received dresses, tux rentals, or other services during this year’s Prom Palooza; and
  • At least 172 foster children and teens received books, games, and movies during the Busy Bee Book Fair!

You have donated clothing, home repairs, cribs, beds, new glasses, music lessons, orthodontic care … the list goes on.

Thomas loves his new glasses -- thanks to Optical World of Detroit!

Thomas loves his new glasses — thanks to Optical World of Detroit!

And rest assured, you HAVE made a significant difference in the life of one foster child (or many foster children) … a difference that will be felt through the seventh generation.

Many Thanks to Many People, Companies for Helping “Our” Foster Kids & Families

Many, many individuals and companies deserve our thanks for being so generous to “our” foster children and families. A very partial list includes Kathy M., Elyse H., the Detroit Optometric Society and Optical World of Detroit, Sara Richards, Shawn Franklin, St. James Church of Grosse Pointe Farms, the Detroit and Grosse Pointe Rotary Clubs, the Detroit Rotary Foundation, and, of course, all of the generous sponsors of our April In Seventh Heaven event.

Our Busy Bee Book Fair offered books, games, and movies

Our Busy Bee Book Fair offered books, games, and movies

Looking Ahead — Serving “Our” Foster Children & Families for the Rest of 2014

During the next half of this year, we’ll provide you with chances to serve our area’s foster children, teens, and families with a Christmas in July preparation for – you guessed it – our annual December Holiday Bazaar for Foster Children; the annual school clothing and uniform drive; and the Holiday Bazaar itself, along with passing along the special requests we receive through our Facebook page and new e-newsletter.

But you don’t have to wait to be asked! Making a huge difference in the life of a metro Detroit area foster child, family, or teen is just a click away: register the good or service you want to donate here.

And/or if you want to support our overall efforts – getting out the word so people know what “our” kids need, matching donors to recipients, staffing the Help Closet – make a financial contribution today.

Thanks to you, we served 500 metro Detroit-are foster children, teens, and families in 2013!

Friends,

When Kelly Ramsey and I proposed For The Seventh Generation to the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation in 2005, we dreamed big dreams for this organization.

For The Seventh Generation Executive Director Lorraine Weber

For The Seventh Generation Executive Director Lorraine Weber

In 2013, those dreams started coming true in a big way:

Thanks to you, over 500 metro Detroit-area foster children, foster families, and teens aging out of the foster care system received life-changing goods and services last year!

Here are some details:

  • Seventy-seven foster children, teens, and families picked up essential items like clothing and furniture at our Help Closet.
  • Seventy-five youngsters picked out presents, had presents picked out for them, and enjoyed snacks, games and holiday-themed festivities at our 2013 Holiday Bazaar.
  • With the help of the Rotary Clubs of Detroit and Grosse Point, 150 children and teens in foster care received brand new winter coats through Operation Warm.
  • More than fifty foster children who are permanent wards of the court received preliminary orthodontic care at the University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Dentistry.
  • Four children were served by the Play It Forward music program, which is funded to provide instruments and lessons to a total of twelve foster youth.
  • The remainder of the foster children, teens, and families received a range of items and services including orthodontic care, Prom dresses and related services, and home-improvement services like roof repairs.

What made all of this possible? You did – by donating goods, donating your time and services, contributing financially, or even by “just” spreading the word on Facebook to let your friends know about the needs of our area’s foster children.

There are too many of you to thank in a short blog post, but we do want to single out Charity Motors, The Park West Foundation, and GEM Asset Management for being very generous and ongoing sponsors of our yearly In Seventh Heaven event.

We also want to thank Metro Detroit Etsy, AMP FM Radio 98.7, and our local and national Ronald McDonald House Charities for providing hand-made craft items, more than 150 Prom dresses and grants of over $9,000 to purchase new beds and cribs for more than fifty babies and children in foster care.

While 2013 was a banner year for us, it is also just the beginning. We have ambitious goals for 2014, starting with this year’s In Seventh Heaven on April 12. Follow us on Facebook for details as they happen, and please consider buying tickets, becoming a sponsor, or making a financial contribution to support us in serving even more foster children, families, and young people aging out of the foster care system.

Every foster child and teen you help makes a difference, and not “just” in the life of that child; the effects are felt by that child’s eventual children and grandchildren … down through the seventh generation. On behalf of the DMBAF and all of us here at FTSG, thank you from the depths of our hearts for making things brighter for today’s foster children and for your impact on our community’s future.

Yours In Service,
Lorraine

P.S.: If you’d like to join Hour Detroit and Meijer as sponsors of this year’s In Seventh Heaven, please contact me right away at (313) 961-6120 ext. 206 or by email at lweber@detroitlawyer.org

Prom Palooza 2013 – ‘This Was the Best Experience For Me!”

With the help of For The Seventh Generation, going to Prom become a reality.
– Deline Echols, A Place of Refuge

Most kids in our area don’t really have to worry about being able to go to Prom; sadly, though, that’s not the case for southeast Michigan teens in foster care. For them, Prom is just another expense that isn’t in the budget.  That’s why we held the first of what we hope will be an annual For The Seventh Generation Help Closet event: Prom Palooza. Thankfully, the community joined in — and together we made Prom possible for several southeast Michigan foster kids who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to go.

PromPaloosa was Deline Echols’ first experience with For The Seventh Generation. Deline, who works for A Place of Refuge, a Southfield organization that serves young people who are aging out of the foster care system, didn’t think she’d be able to find appropriate Prom clothing for a young man in her agency’s care. Prom

But thanks to Valente’s Men’s Formal Wear in Grosse Pointe, he wasn’t just able to dress well – he went to his prom in a custom-fitted tux.

Deline says the young man had a great time at Valente’s.

“This was his first time being fitted and wearing a tuxedo,” she tells us. “He felt like a king because this was something he had never experienced before. He really enjoyed the opportunity to have something that was tailored to his style and body. He says the staff were very polite when assisting him. When he received his tuxedo he had the biggest smile and could not wait to get dressed!”

Later, at his prom, “…he felt like he was on top of the world. This was his first big event all dressed up besides going to church. He really enjoyed himself; he danced and ate the night away!”

“Going to prom meant the world to him,” Deline says. “At first we were not sure if he would have the opportunity to even participate in Prom because funds were very limited. With the help of For The Seventh Generation, going to Prom become a reality.”

Young men weren’t the only area foster kids we were able to help get to Prom. One young woman, Danielle, says that going to our Help Closet and picking out her prom dress “…made me feel special … we could look at all the stuff and pick whatever we liked; they even let me get clothing to use for job interviews.”

Another young lady, Seaince, says, “I was stressed out about my prom dress and how I was going to pay for it.  This was the best experience for me! — I [had] a dress and it look[ed] great on me!!”

We couldn’t have done it without you – many, many thanks to our PromPalooza donors!

The Grosse Pointe Valente’s wasn’t alone in helping us make Prom come true for our area’s foster children. One donor alone, WBHK 98.7 KISS FM, provided 150 prom dresses! Sam Michael’s Menswear in Farmington Hills came through for a young man in need of a tux, and Cafana Cleaners in Detroit has donated sturdy plastic storage bags for our leftover prom dresses so they will be fresh for next year. Melissa Covell of Foster Care Navigators and Countrywood Florist in Romulus also stepped up to help our young people get to Prom.

And we can’t forget P.I.N.K. Detroit and Pretty Faces, which provided volunteers to help “our” young ladies get their hair and makeup Prom-ready!

Can You Help a Young Person in Foster Care? For The Seventh Generation Needs You!

Prom Palooza is over for this year, but our area’s foster children, foster families, and young people aging out of foster care still have needs: everything from orthodontic care to tickets to sporting events, and music lessons to mentors. In other words, all of the “extras” that help children and teenagers thrive.

If you have gently-used/new items to donate or are a professional with expertise you’d like to volunteer, please click here to register with us so we can match you/your donation with a foster child in need.

If you’d like to make a monetary donation, please click here.

All it takes is one gift, one child, one year – and you will have affected our community down through the Seventh Generation.

DMBAF and FTSG launch a busy holiday season for foster children

It’s a time of good cheer, a time to be busy (and busier, and busier), and a time to get used to the fact that yes, summer is really over in Michigan.

But the winter holidays are also a time to support our favorite charities – and what better way to share the bounty of the holidays than to bring the joy of Christmas to foster children, in December and throughout the year?

Here are three ways to support For The Seventh Generation and our programs:

On December 1st, the Barnes & Noble at 19221 Mack Ave. will play host to a special kickoff event for our first Play It Forward! Bookfair from Noon – 6 pm. Featuring the musical talents of Ellen Keyt and Deb Fedon, this event is a chance to enjoy your holiday shopping while supporting Play It Foward!, FTSG’s new program providing music lessons and instruments to the metro area’s foster children. Stop by, enjoy some lovely music, and even have your presents gift-wrapped; a portion of all bookstore proceeds and the proceeds from our gift-wrapping station will all go to Play It Forward!.

Can’t make it to Grosse Pointe? No problem! Just go to any B&N location and use the special Bookfair ID: #10938850.

Can’t get to a physical store, or can’t go shopping on the 1st? Again, no problem! You can shop online at the special Barnes & Noble bookfair site and use the same ID, #10938850, to donate a portion of the proceeds from your purchase to Play It Forward! and help foster children discover the joy of making music.

On December 4th, the DMBA Foundation will be honoring Judge Victoria Roberts with its annual Dennis W. Archer Public Service Award at its annual gala reception. Tickets are just $125 and the proceeds support all of the Foundation’s programs – including For The Seventh Generation. Get your tickets here for this special, early-evening event.

On December 15, our Help Closet will be holding a Holiday Bazaar for Foster Children and Foster Care workers from Noon – 4:30 pm – donations needed by December 7th! Our Help Closet is a program in partnership with the Samaritan Center that allows foster care workers to come to a central location to pick up donated goods for their wards. On December 15, we plan to deck the Closet’s halls just like a retail boutique and invite foster children and workers to come “shopping” for gifts for their foster parents, siblings, or (in the case of the workers), a special foster child.

We need donations of money and new or nearly-new books, clothing, electronics, toys – anything and everything that will make a child’s eyes light up on Christmas Day. We are also offering sponsorship opportunities to local merchants for the easy-to-afford rate of only $200. For more information or to make a donation contact Help Closet Coordinator Shirely Roseman at sroses789@yahoo.com.

.