Brightening Life for Children in Foster Care
Children without permanent homes have few personal items, if they have any at all. Yet, having something to call their own can be vitally important to them.
Working with Commonwealth Medicine’s employee activity committee, called REACH (Recognizing Employee Achievements and Commonwealth Medicine Happenings), our Office of Foster Care and Adoption holds an annual drive during May’s National Foster Care Month to supply children and youth living in foster care with personal items such as these:
- Clothing and personal care supplies
- Bottles and teething toys
- School supplies, including backpacks and lunch bags
- Games and stuffed animals
- Coloring books and crayons
Our business affiliate Public Sector Partners also joined the effort.
In 2010, the first year of the campaign, employees donated more than 2,000 new items, valued at approximately $10,000. All of the goods were given to the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, which created “my stuff” bags for the children and youth in its care.
“I think when people learn that there are more than 10,000 children and youth in Massachusetts living in out-of-home care, it really hits home that these are kids in their communities,” Martha Henry, Ph.D., Director of Commonwealth Medicine’s Office of Foster Care and Adoption. “It engages them to act.”