JULY: SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE. Foster children already experience enough challenges that differentiate them from their peers – having adequate school supplies shouldn’t be one of them. Though kids may not say so, knowing they can depend on a backpack full of supplies is comforting for them. Arriving equipped for the school day also helps them feel confident in their ability to function in the classroom. This month, we partnered with The Forgotten Initiative of Columbia, SC, a ministry dedicated to supporting the foster care community, to distribute the following school supplies to local foster youth: 1008 pencils, 180 pens, 28 markers, 164 erasers, 54 highlighters, 70 crayons, 36 pencils, 85 paper, 344 notebook, 212 folders, 240 hand sanitizers, 36 post-its, 58 glue/glue sticks, 74 index cards, 124 ear buds.
MAY: BBQ For The Brave. Along with Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids-Lexington, we hosted our third annual Memorial Day BBQ to honor the brave men and women who’ve fought for our many freedoms. Selling plates of pulled pork, beans, slaw and bbq hash, we raised $7,000 for Central Midlands Transitional Retreat. And we had enough “plate it forward” donations to provide the homeless veterans dinner that night and lunch the next day. We plan on hosting this event every year until there is not a single homeless veteran in our community.
MARCH: FILLED WITH LOVE. The world has changed dramatically in the last year. Even though we now have many causes for hope in the battle against the Covid virus, we continue to suffer tremendous loss. Babci’s Blessings was created to actively honor the memory of Barbara Esbensen, who passed away in August due to Covid. As her family struggles through this season of loss, they chose to channel their unspent love into delivering baskets full of goodies to the medical staff and patients battling Covid at local Critical Care Units. We collected the following items: 900 snacks, 490 sweets, 480 snack bars, 245 activity books, 75 games, 175 supplies, 50 baskets, 100 colored pages/blessings.
FEBRUARY: UNDIES FOR EVERYONE. Children who enter the foster care system often leave their homes with very little – if any – personal belongings. Many only have the clothes they were wearing at the time of the removal. These displaced children are often required to transport the few belongings they do have in trash bags from place to place. We collected the following for children in local foster care: 2,238 Diapers, 759 Socks, 347 Boys Underwear, 479 Girl’s Underwear, 108 Backpacks/Bags, 35 Suitcases.