[by Rebekah Poling, Development Director North TX]
You may have heard or read that the LSS-Foster In Texas (FIT) program has a waiting list of new children who need to be matched with foster families. Right now, 15 children are in the process of being partnered with foster families in our Fort Worth-area foster care office alone. The children are plenty … the families are few! Many of our current families are even taking in additional children, to be sure that each child can have a safe and loving home.
Our big “back-to-school” supply drive and party was held in August, but many of the new children who are coming into our care right now still have not been to school this year and do not have the necessary supplies to start. All of the supplies we received in August have been distributed, so the need for backpacks and supplies is ongoing. Volunteers from Lamb of God Lutheran Church in Flower Mound have stepped up once again, and continue to donate backpacks with school supplies to help these new foster children start out right in their new schools.
Byron Nelson HS Helps Out
In September, a group of Student Council students at Byron Nelson High School in Trophy Club (Just north of the Southlake area) gathered much-needed items for our north Texas FIT program during their September community service project. My contact person was a wonderful young lady named Angela Fayad. Through the initiative of students and encouragement of teachers, the administration has truly created a culture of compassion and community service at Byron Nelson.
Angela had contacted me this past spring to ask about the needs of our organization, and more specifically, of the children we serve. We care for more than 200 formerly severely abused and neglected children in therapeutic foster care, and we ALWAYS have needs. I shared with her several items we would love to have: backpacks, school supplies, and basic hygiene items for kids coming into our care with nothing. Angela quickly agreed to “rally the troops” to help our kids out.
The students put together “welcome packs” for our children, to have ready when they first come into our care. Most (around 95 percent) of our new children come to us with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and a very small allowance for clothing. Often they arrive in the middle of the night on weekends without so much as a toothbrush.
These welcome packs will ensure that every child has their immediate needs met. Although to the students it may be just a donation drive, to our children, who have nothing, this makes a world of difference!