When children are removed from unsafe homes and placed into foster care, they often have little more than the clothes on their back and a plastic bag with a few of their most prized possessions. Thanks to a generous donation, that will no longer be a problem at Gateway-Longview.
Members of Cradle Beach’s Project SOAR along with volunteers from AmeriCorps and the community collected donations then assembled care packages for children who are entering foster homes. Items such as blankets, toiletries, and pajamas seem like basic necessities for most, but, sadly, children entering foster care often come with next to nothing.
Many of the donations came from members of Project SOAR, a school-based educational and leadership program comprised of 270 students from four different Buffalo Public Schools.
On January 19, more than 30 volunteers gathered at Cradle Beach for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service to assemble the packages, which included:
- 716 articles of clothing
- 100 hats, coats, gloves, and scarves
- 27 homemade blankets
- 53 homemade pillows (made by AmeriCorps members)
- 740 arts and craft supplies (crayons, coloring books, markers, etc.)
- 492 hygiene supplies (toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)
- 224 reading books
- 274 school supplies
- 75 homemade journals (made by AmeriCorps members)
- 215 homemade stress balls (made by AmeriCorps members with sand from the shores of Cradle Beach!)
- 300 bookmarks (made by AmeriCorps members & their students)
- 75 book bags
- 76 miscellaneous items
In total, they collected 3,367 donated items! What made the care packages even more special was that donors included a hand written note in each bag with thoughtful words of encouragement for the recipient. The notes will provide an extra boost of confidence to each child during such a critical time.
We’d like to thank Cradle Beach COO Cheri Alvarez, Project SOAR/Community Outreach Director Nick Schifano, the AmeriCorps, and the volunteers and donors for organizing such a generous project for our children in need.