Do you know how much I love all of you? Your generosity is amazing and I cannot believe I get to be a witness to your giving.
Your continued response to our Ten for Teens giving project has been overwhelming. The $10 gift cards keep rolling in and I know that these gifts will have a tremendous impact on our local teens in foster care, their foster families, and the DHS workers working with these kids. Thank you (and keep on giving — we’re getting close to our goal!)
I know that many of you love to respond to specific gift requests and I have another big one for you today. I was contacted this weekend by Embrace Oregon with a special opportunity to serve and bless one foster family living in the Portland Metro area this Christmas. Here’s their story:
This foster family jumped in to become a foster parents for a youth on my caseload who has been in foster care for majority of this youth’s life. The youth is 16 years old, soon to be 17 years old in January. The foster parents’ biological daughter is a friend of this youth at school and when the agency ran out of placements options I gave them a call and they said yes.
The foster father and foster mother both worked, but due to this youth significant needs the foster mother decided to start working part time. Even this became impossible so then the family made a difficult decision that the foster father will be the only one providing income for this family. Foster mother was attending school to complete her degree and she has decided this Fall 2015 to give it up as well as the youth and youth’ needs was more important to her than her educational goals.
The youth attended a psychological evaluation last week as she was diagnosed with many difficult diagnoses which threw the foster family’s life upside down. About a month ago foster parents sat down with me and told me they can’t do it anymore. Foster mother cried when she told me she just doesn’t think she can do it. After yesterday’s appointment this foster family said to me that given what they have just learned they cannot and will not give up on this youth. They are all she has and they will keep her.
During my recent conversation with the foster mother she told me they have paid so much out of their pocket for this youth they just don’t have money. She cried telling me she has no presents or money to buy them, she has no money to purchase food, but they will survive somehow. Foster mother also told me that her two biological children are having hard time due all of it and feeling they are losing their parents who pay more attention to this youth than them.
Friends, this is a real look at life in foster care. It’s hard work and oftentimes costs a foster family more than they have — their finances, emotions, and relationships suffer to the point when sometimes they have to walk away.
Yes, the State of Oregon gives families monthly reimbursement for expenses related to having a foster child in our home and the child is on OHP, but there are some kids who need more services than the state pays for and some kids need more supervision and support than what the state reimbursement allows.
This family has decided to stay in the game and they need our help. Would you like to be a part of it?
We would like to bless the socks off this family by providing each person in their family with Christmas gifts, food, household items, and meet some of their immediate financial needs. I know where this family is located and they live close to all of these stores.
CHRISTMAS GIFTS: This is a family of 5 (mom, dad, 3 teenagers). Gift cards will allow for Mom & Dad to go shopping for their kids or put them in stockings.
$25 Gift cards to one ore more of the following: Best Buy, Target, Fred Meyer, Kohl’s, gas card
CHRISTMAS DINNER: $25 gift card to WinCo, Safeway, Grocery Outlet, Walmart, or Fred Meyer
Toilet paper, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, shampoo, conditioner, cleaning supplies
Large non-stick skillet
BILLS & VEHICLE MAINTENANCE:
Their car needs coolant change and car lights needs to be changed
They have a $156 water bill that needs to be paid at the end of December
We’re on a short time line with this one. I’d like the family to have everything by Tuesday, December 29.
My only request is that you live in the immediate Portland Metro area (preferably the Eastside or can drive over here) if you’d like to donate physical items (like food, household supplies, etc). Everything else can be mailed directly to my post office box.
If you would like to give this wonderful family a gift, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Foster Family” in the subject line and what you’d like to give in the email. I will send you specific directions on where to mail the gift cards or how we will arrange to pick up physical items.
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