The first day of school brings lots of excitement and nerves. It helps to have a couple of cool new supplies to boost a kid’s confidence on the first day.
But not all kids get the chance to go shopping and pick out things they like.
According to Abby Werth, Citizens Caring for Children director of development and communications, some foster kids are starting from scratch when they enter the system.
Their Back2School program focuses on providing school supplies.
“Many foster children enter into the system with only the clothing that is on their back,” Werth said.
Citizens Caring for Children provides basic resources to help defray the costs of supplies for foster families.
Brandon Rickey and his partner haven’t had to get kids ready for school before. They said this is a big help.
“These children have been in school before, but I feel like in the past they haven’t had everything that they have needed to be prepared for the first day of school...yes, they’re super excited,” Rickey said.
Citizens Caring for Children handles back-to-school shopping for foster families, but let’s the kids pick out the items they like.
“They’re looking forward to having all the school supplies they need and having cute outfits to go on the first day,” he said.
This helps families focus on everything else that these kids need -- something Werth said is a financial burden for families.
“We’re talking about purchasing multiple outfits and multiple pairs of shoes so that these children feel normal, and they have their needs met,” she said.
About 600 foster kids stopped by for supplies in the past couple of weeks.
“Our families need that additional support to make sure their children have crayons and backpacks and a new pair of shoes, so they don’t have to think about those small simple, basic items,” Werth said. “They can just worry about making sure that their child is ready to start the school year successfully.”
Werth said Citizens Caring for Children has more than enough school supplies but are always accepting other types of donations. To support them, check out their website.