Last month, The Twig had the opportunity to partner with Safe Children Coalition to surprise one of their amazing foster parents with a "Foster Parent Ambush"! We showed up at Sarasota High School where she teaches and surprised her in her classroom with cheers, balloons, and a gift basket. Her students were able to hear about the wonderful work she does outside the classroom, and how she is making a difference in the lives of children in foster care.
Each month, SCC will be identifying an outstanding foster family to honor in this way. They will be coordinating with the family's place of work or worship to make the suprise happen. When they came to us and asked if The Twig would like to be part of the ambush by providing a gift basket for the family, we enthusiastically said "YES!" We look forward to encouraging our local foster families in this way each month.
Our area has a foster care capacity crisis which means that there are not enough homes to house all of the children who are going into care. Foster parenting can be a difficult calling and we want to do everything we can to help foster families keep saying "yes!" to children who need a home. Little surprises like this can help give encouragement, reminding them that what they do is important and that their work matters to all of us.
If you would like to sponsor a gift basket for a future Foster Parent Ambush, please email CallieC@TheTwigCares.com. Together we can encourage and inspire the foster care community!
Every month, almost 2000 teenagers will "age out" of the foster care system in the United States. The outcomes for this particular population are dismal at best. Far too often, these young adults will end up in prison, homeless, trafficked, or dead within a few years.
After reaching the age of 18, 20% of children who were in foster care will be instantly homeless. Only 50% of former foster youth will be gainfully employed by the age of 24. Less than 3% of young adults who age out of foster care will earn a college degree and 25% won't finish high school or earn their GED. As many as 7 out of 10 young women who have aged out will be pregnant before the age of 21 and approximately half of the young adults who have aged out of foster care will develop a substance dependence.
We believe that these are our kids and that we must do something to help encourage and inspire them to rise above their circumstances by offering practical help and support.
Our TwigBox program is designed to do just that. Former foster youth are able to request a free monthly care package through our website. They simply fill out the form once a month with their current address and specific needs. Our team packs a box of hygiene products and personal care items specifically for that individual and includes some special treats, a gift card, and a personal note. That box is then shipped directly to the former foster youth completely free of charge.
Know a former foster youth who would benefit from receiving a TwigBox? Encourage them to register online at www.thetwigcares.com/twigbox. Want to support the TwigBox program and help us meet the growing demand for these boxes? Give online at www.thetwigcares.com and annotate your gift toward TwigBox.