Operation Foster Child needs your support
Imagine being removed from your home with only the clothes on your back or what you can quickly stuff in a bag.
This is often the experience of a foster child. You can help children in foster care in Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens counties by supporting Operation Foster Child.
Operation Foster Child collects and fills backpacks with personal items, which are then given to foster children when they come into care. Volunteers and donations of backpacks, hygiene products, school supplies and toys are needed.
“When children are removed from their home and come into foster care, they often come in without many belongings, if any. Often those belongings are placed in a garbage bag for convenience,” said Kerri Henderson, project director of Operation Foster Child and CASA volunteer supervisor.
“We want to make a difference in the lives of these children by providing them with a backpack filled with love, and we need your help.”
Donations appropriate for all ages are needed, from babies through teens.
Items needed include backpacks, tote bags and hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, brushes, combs, deodorant, soap, travel sized shampoo and conditioner and body wash, diapers, wipes, other baby items, face soap, bath loofah, and wash cloths.
Donations of school supplies are also needed, including pencils, paper, crayons, washable markers, washable paint, colored pencils, glue sticks and stationary.
Toys for all ages are also requested, like balls, yo-yos, dolls, stuffed animals, play dough, jump ropes and toy cars.
Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday at the Appalachian CASA office located on the second floor the Gilmer County Courthouse.
Drop-off hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but please call 706-276-2272 in advance to make arrangements.
Packing party March 28
Volunteers are needed to help pack the backpacks so that they are ready to deliver to children in need. The Operation Foster Child Packing Party will be held Wednesday, March 28, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Gilmer County Courthouse Jury Assembly Room on the second floor.
Volunteers have been putting together necessity kits for foster care children for many years, but Operation Foster Child became a larger, community-wide effort last year as part of International Service Week. Donations from the project serve children in foster care in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit, which includes Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens counties.
If you or your organization would like to participate in Operation Foster Child, contact Kerri Henderson at Appalachian CASA by calling 706-276-2272.
About Appalachian CASA
Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASAs, serve children in the Appalachian Judicial Circuit.
CASAs are trained community volunteers appointed by a judge to speak up for the best interests of an abused or neglected child involved in a juvenile court deprivation proceeding. The goal of a CASA volunteer is to help make sure the child has a safe, permanent home.
To learn more about the CASA program or to become a volunteer, call 706- 276-2272 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.