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:

Print

    • 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!

‘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

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.