By Leia Bohne
As a newly certified resource mom, I’ve recently become familiar with the scramble that ensues when receiving an emergency placement kiddo—
Where did those extra toothbrushes go? Do we have anything they can wear to bed tonight? What about church tomorrow?
As a resource family we’d like our kiddos to feel welcome, wanted, expected and loved in our home immediately. And that’s simply difficult to do when we’re running out to Target for new underwear just as soon as they’ve arrived!
So with a problem to be solved I volunteered to plan the service project for my church Christmas party. After talking with Shantal at ALDEA and coordinating with a non-profit out of Texas called Carrying Hope, we began collecting “Hope Packs” to give to Emergency Placement children and teens coming into care. Each Hope Pack is intended to contain essential toiletries and clothing, plus comfort items for a child in their first 48 hours in a foster home. The packs are put together by volunteers who donate their money and time as they purchase items from an age and gender specific list and assemble each Hope Pack.
I worried that we’d be asking too much of people (each Hope Pack costs approximately $100 to prepare) but I was quickly proven wrong and was absolutely blown away by the response from my church and community. No sooner than I offered the service project (posted to my personal social network first), I had dozens of individuals signing up to create a pack. At church that Sunday dozens more signed up and before I knew it the PTA at my daughter’s elementary school learned about the effort and adopted it as their school-wide “Season of Giving” project! What a fabulous show of love and support that I’ve been privileged to witness first-hand! My community was thrilled to have a way to support our foster kids.
Thanks to the generosity of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Benicia, Matthew Turner Elementary’s PTA, and other community members we have collected 110 Hope Packs within one month.
If you’d like to learn more about creating a Hope Pack or collecting them within your community, please feel free to contact me by email at
Thank you Leia!