FTSG Announces: 1,000 Detroit-Area Foster Children, Teens, & Families Served in 2014

The headline says it all – thanks to you, For The Seventh Generation was able to support more than 1,000 foster children, teens, and families in 2014.

ThankYouKids

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 115 served through our website, which works by matching online requests by foster care workers with the goods and services offered by members of our community
  • 303 foster children and families benefited not just from the 2014 Holiday Bazaar event, but from gifts we collected and distributed both before and afterwardvolunteers helping childrenEdit
  • 203 foster children and teens received winter coats courtesy of the Detroit and Grosse Pointe Rotary Clubs’ Operation Warm
  • 155 teens in foster care were able to go to Prom thanks to your contributions to the 2014 PromPalooza
  • 172 young ones received books to read over the summer through the Busy Bee Book Fair
  • 70 “shoppers” visited our Help Closet to pick up free items ranging from clothing to bedding — much of it brand new
  • 50 permanent wards of the court in Wayne County received orthodontic screening thanks to the University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Dentistry and the Detroit Health Department.
Meritor helped by clothing for foster teens in 2014!

Meritor helped by clothing for foster teens in 2014!

These miracles didn’t happen in a vacuum. In fact, FTSG is really just the conduit – we alert our wider community when foster children and teens are in need. But you are the ones who come forward to meet those needs.

And come forward you did – as businesses, organizations, and individuals. It is with deep gratitude that we send our thanks to:

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    • Every business and individual who sponsored the 2014 In Seventh Heaven. Grants will fund specific programs and items, but In Seventh Heaven keeps the doors open and the lights on (so to speak).
    • Shirley Roseman, who has literally taken For The Seventh Generation to the next level. Not only was she the Superwoman behind our Help Closet, but Shirley also pioneered our Holiday Bazaar, PromPalooza, and Busy Bee Book Fair events.
    • Individual businesses like S+R Event Rental, Kids’ Planet Resale, Costco, McDonald’s, Roy O’Brien Ford, Milano Bakery & Cafe, Better Made Snack Foods, Meritor, Happy Belly Bakery (and so many more), which provided individual requests and/or made one or more of our events possible.
    • Detroit-area nonprofits We’ve already mentioned the Detroit and Grosse Pointe Rotarians. But our area’s foster children have also benefited from the generosity of groups like Main Street League in Northville, the Foster Care Alumni of America/Michigan Chapter, the Detroit Optometric Society, the Joy of Jesus Christian Center, Bethel Lutheran Church, St. James Lutheran Church, the Brightmoor Tabernacle of Novi and Hospitality House of Walled Lake, and so many more.

In addition, we received grants from the Detroit Industrial School, the TJX Foundation, the Young Woman’s Home Association, and the Village Club Foundation – grants which allowed us to purchase desperately-needed beds.

  • …and, of course, we can’t forget the Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care or the Samaritan Center, which hosts our Help Closet without charging a cent.

Finally, though, we can’t say enough about individuals, like you, who have come forward to change the life of a child or teen in foster care. Here are just a few of the many, many people who did extraordinary things for “our” kids last year:

    • When our teens needed summer clothes, Mary Snell, the Minister of Family Life at 5.22.14 St. James Clothing Donation Shirley and Mary SnellSt. James, was one of many who came forward to be sure they were able to step out in style! (And speaking of the Spring/Summer clothing drive, let’s not forget the kickball tournament organized by Sara Richards and Shawn Franklin!)
    • Elyse Heidlebaugh purchased brand new beds and cribs, came through for two high school seniors and made it easier for a college student to move in, and was an all-round angel in so many ways, including contributing two posts to the FTSG blog
    • Jennifer Hichme has been another force of nature for “our” kids in foster care, purchasing beds and contact lenses, donating bedding, and more.

Kathy McComb of Dearborn purchased a brand new crib for a baby entering foster care. Thank you, Kathy!

  • When we posted an urgent need for a crib, Kathy McComb went out and bought a brand new one the very same day – and in doing so, made sure that an abused toddler and her baby sister were able to stay together with a loving relative in foster care.
  • …and we can’t forget Melissa Turner Covell, Christina Delpizzo, Jennifer H., Sharon M., Robert Thomas, Saba B., Debbie M. and her daughters Hannah and Shannon, all of whom stepped forward in a big way with donations of goods, services, or cash to help make miracles happen.

Looking Ahead – Serving Even More Foster Children & Teens in 2015

Now that it’s 2015, look for big changes here at For The Seventh Generation designed to serve even more foster children, teens and families:

Soon we’ll be introducing you to the team that’s come together to manage the Help Closet, facilitate donations, and more. (Why yes, we need a team to fill Shirley’s shoes – and no one who knows her would be surprised!)

We’re gearing up for this year’s In Seventh Heaven and PromPalooza … and we’ve got a special surprise for both that you’ll be hearing about this week!

So hold on to your hats, and get ready for a HUGE 2015!

Spanning the Generations — Senior Moving Company Donates to FTSG’s Help Closet

Over this past winter For The Seventh Generation’s Help Closet Coordinator, Shirley Roseman, put out a call for beds and bedding for several metro Detroit-are foster children and families.

Photo courtesy fmgbain via FlickrOur Help Closet is relatively new, having just opened within the past year, so we’re still building partnerships and putting ourselves on the map of potential places that make these kinds of donations. With that in mind, we were worried about how quickly we’d be able to fill the requests and make sure “our” foster kids had a comfortable place to sleep.

Fortunately for those metro foster children and families, Moving Forward  and the Park West Gallery Foundation  stepped up to the plate to help.

Moving Forward  is a small company in Highland, Michigan that helps elders when it comes time to downsize their living situation. When seniors decide it’s time to move to a smaller home, an apartment, or an assisted living facility, Moving Forward takes care of everything – literally, from packing and unpacking to putting knick-knacks where they belong on the right shelves and setting clocks to the correct time.

IMG_8515In addition, they help seniors by disposing of anything the elders can’t or don’t want to bring to their new home – and that’s where the Park West Gallery Foundation  came in. The Foundation, which focuses on young adults in foster care and transitioning out of foster care, made a pickup at Moving Forward’s  warehouse – and took extra to drop off at the FTSG Help Closet.

“We literally rent a U-Haul three times a week,” to pick up donations for older foster youth, said Park West Gallery Foundation Program Director Saba Gebrai, “so it was no trouble to make a delivery to the Help Closet in addition to our usual round.” In fact, the Park West Gallery has been a long-time supporter of For The Seventh Generation, including sponsoring our yearly In Seventh Heaven fundraising event.

Moving Forward founder and owner LouAnne Audette told us that her clients are thrilled when they hear that their belongings are going directly to young people who need assistance. “They like it so much better than having us donate to the Salvation Army or other charities where people then have to pay for the items,” she explained. “This way they know they’re giving a real gift, and it makes them feel wonderful.”

Young adults in foster care and youth aging out of the foster care system need all sorts of furnishings, home appliances, and all of the little extras that most of us take for granted. While the Department of Human Services does what it can, the fact is that it can’t do very much to give these at-risk youth the kind of transition to adulthood that all young people deserve. If you can follow in the footsteps of Moving Forward, please consider making a donation of goods, services – or funds – to For The Seventh Generation today by clicking here.

Photos Vicky’s new bed and Bed Jumping courtesy of fmgbain and misspixels via Flickr