Resource Center is Team Effort that Encourages Families to Say "Yes" again!
Fostering Faithfully's subtitle is often "working together to serve foster children in our community." There is nowhere this is more apparent then at the Fostering Faithfully resource center. The center is centrally located in Oconee county at Bountyland Baptist Church/LifePoint Church in Seneca, who so generously lends us their space and also allows the Oconee Foster Parent Association to meet on campus monthly so that our families can also have a monthly time to pick up things they need!
Donations from kind community members are dropped off at Upstate Children's Center in Walhalla or Oakway. We take clothing/shoes/equipment for kids ages newborn-12/14, and we keep a few things for teenage placements. Fostering Faithfully also spends funds being sure there are cribs, car seats, lice treatments, care bags with toothbrushes, etc., stocked at the center for DSS or foster parents.
We have had many student organizations, community and church groups, and businesses do diaper/wipe drives, pajama/underwear/sock and/or shoe/coat drives to keep our center stocked with what families need when they say yes to another placement. Not only, does the community donate to stock the center, but then other volunteers and groups arrive monthly to sort and organize donations by gender, season, and size.
The team effort produces a one stop shop for families who have very little notice to get ready to accept a child into their family. Thanks to the center foster parents can often have everything they need on the first night in care! This way foster mothers can spend more of their time welcoming children into their home and taking care of paperwork, doctor's appointments, counseling, registering for school, and or talking to caseworkers/guardians and biological families about how best to care for this new addition.
The center served 98 foster children (some in kinship care) in the first six months it formally existed!
Here is what two foster parents had to say--
“This resource center had helped me so much. They let me stock up on emergency supplies, so when I get a call late at night I can say "yes" and I have the basics already, so I'm not doing a midnight Walmart run. They also supply pretty much all the clothing foster kids need so that we can use our $100.00 quarterly allowance for more fun things like dance class, going out special places, and making sure kids have some fun experiences!”
“ I wanted to say thanks to everyone who donates to the resource center. I agreed to take a little boy recently at 4pm and while I got my home and his room ready and talked to caseworkers and my kids, a volunteer from Fostering Faithfully packed both winter and summer clothes (since our weather is so crazy this spring) and sent them to our home with his caseworker. By 9pm when he arrived, we had everything he needed on night one: toothbrush/toothpaste, pull ups, brand new socks, undies, batman pajamas he loved, a new coat, tennis shoes, jeans and shirts for our first week together. I am so thankful I could just enjoy our new addition and not be running around town after work this week getting all that he needs. He felt so loved having his new wardrobe ready for him, and now he can just play outside after school instead of heading to stores!"