There are two full days left to drop off your Welcome Boxes for kids entering foster care! Read our original Welcome Box post for all the details, including multiple drop-off locations in the Portland-metro area.
Please remember that Welcome Boxes are a year-round giving opportunity; you are encouraged to fill and drop off boxes at any time. However, after Thursday the 13 private drop-off addresses will no longer be accepting donations. You need to contact the Welcome Box coordinators, Jillana Goble (jillanagoble [at] aol [dot] com) or Emily Baylis (emilykbaylis [at] gmail [dot] com) to make arrangements.
Here are some staggering foster care numbers to consider:
- At one local DHS office (Multnomah County’s East Branch 122nd & Powell), there will be approximately 350 kids sitting and waiting in a 12-month period.
- In Multnomah County, over 1,500 kids are coming into foster care in one year.
- In the Tri-county area (Washington, Multnomah, and Clackamas), the number is closer to 4,000 kids a year.
- Numbers go up in September, as teachers are mandatory reporters for suspected child abuse.
- The Welcome Box project started in May, and about 300 boxes have been distributed in the last 4 months (in Multnomah County). Boxes will soon be arriving in Washington and Clackamas counties.
Some anecdotes shared by social workers handing out Welcome Boxes:
- An 8 year-old boy jumping for joy that he has his very own flashlight for the first time in his life.
- A toddler holding an apple sauce cup and spoon with a big smile on her face saying it was her favorite thing in her box.
- A foster mom reporting a sibling group of young sisters sleeping with their boxes as if they were cuddly stuffed animals, so comforted by their boxes belonging to them.
- A social worker tearily sharing that these boxes have made her feel like “Santa Claus” in a time when she had very little to offer before. “Their faces just light up! I wish you could see them. And I wish I could tell the people putting together boxes a big thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
Let’s work together to reach out (either now or later) to these kids in need. Thank you, FLNW community!
Leave a comment if you would like to receive more information or a hard copy of the Welcome Box booklet, and we will pass on your information. Also, if you left a comment on the original post, go back and check it as many readers have tried to make local connections.
This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.