Welcome, Foster Friend!
"To make a difference in someone's life, you don't have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful, or perfect. You just have to care." - Mandy Hale

Truer words have never been spoke. Foster Friend, thank you for choosing to make a difference. Not everyone is able to be or chooses to be a foster parent, but there are so many ways to enrich the lives of children in the foster care community.

By being a Foster Friend, we will reach out to you when specific needs arise in our program. Due to COVID-19, we are less able to offer in-person volunteer opportunities, but hope to return to that kind of opportunity in the near future.

Below, you will find our first Call to Action to assist a graduating high school student prepare for fall in a college dorm. We have also added suggestions of ways you can help! If you have additional ideas, please reach out. We'd love to hear what you have to offer!

Please feel welcome to invite people to join Foster Friends. It can be a group activity, shared among family members, congregations, coworkers, and clubs, or it can be an individual endeavor. Whatever you do, however you help, you are part of a small ripple that is capable of creating waves in this world!
Call to Action:
College Dorm Room
Please help us celebrate and congratulate a very special young lady! K is graduating high school. While this is an achievement for every student, this is an especially important milestone for a youth in foster care. Youth in care only have a graduation rate of approximately 50%, which is well below the Massachusetts state average of 88%. Even fewer youth in care (roughly 4%) will obtain a 4-year degree.

K is changing this statistic. She spent the majority of her life in foster care, moving to several homes and group homes before joining her current home, just over two years ago. She experienced the loss of her parent and serious trauma. Despite these challenges, Miss A has worked hard and was accepted early to the college of her choice. She is bright, funny, an artist, a dreamer, and wears her heart on her sleeve.

We would like to help Miss A make her dorm her home. For youth in care, when they move to college, they lose their foster care placement. While she will always be welcome to visit, the bedroom she currently calls her own will be home to a new child through foster care. She will have to bring all of her belongings with her to college. Her dorm must truly hold all of her possessions, important papers, and supplies. Please take a look at our list of dorm essentials and creature comforts. If you are able to assist in purchasing an item, thank you! If you find a similar item that is more budget friendly, we welcome that contribution, too! And if you think of something that isn't on the list that you know will make a college kid's heart smile, that would be great!

If now is not the right time for you to contribute or this just isn't the right project for you, fear not! Take a look at the list below and see what fits you.

Write Cards

Encouragement is so important! A great way to show your support is to write cards for kids in care, foster parents, or birth parents! You don't need to know someone to say something supportive. Send the cards to us and we will make sure they find their way to someone in need of a boost!
Garden Goodness

Do you have a green thumb? Do you grow kale, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes? Does every neighbor and friend end up with a bag of produce every time they see you?

We can distribute this to our families or birth families with whom we are working.
Growing children eat a lot, so every contribution is appreciated!

Knitters, crocheters, macramers, quilters, this is your time to shine! Every child who enters our program receives a welcome bag, and included in that bag is a blanket.

Some of our most popular donated items are handmade blankets! They are cozy, comforting, and loved.

Are you a Super Couponer? Put your skills to the test! Every child who enters our program receives a Welcome Bag, which includes things like toothpaste, toothbrush, hair brush, deodorant, comb, razor, journals, pens, books, nightlights, coloring books, and crayons.

Clip coupons for a cause and stock up on these supplies on our behalf! We serve children age birth through twenty-one, so there are a wide variety of items that can support our children and families.

Could the gifts you give be featured in magazines? Does the sound of sharp scissors sliding through crisp wrapping paper make your heart leap?

During the winter holiday season, we distribute hundreds of gifts to our children, each gift wrapped beautifully after being inspected. We provide the wrapping paper, tape, and ribbon (unless you choose to bring your own or donate some) and you can wrap to your heart's content!
Special Skills

Are you a yoga instructor? A science teacher who loves doing experiments? A coder? A dancer? Certified in infant massage? An artist? A photographer? A writer? A great budgeter? A cook? A hair stylist?

Offer your skills and teach a small group of kids and/or parents! From fun hobbies to practical life lessons, we always have someone who could benefit from your experience!

Interaction with children requires a full background check.
Gift Cards

Donate gift cards to stores, take-out places, car washes, gas cards, coffee shops, big box stores, online sites, salons/barber shops, nail spas, ice cream shops, bowling alleys, bounce parks, etc.

Foster parents appreciate any support they get that allows them to meet a child's needs, feed their families with greater ease, reward a child, or spend a special day with a child to promote attachment.

For your next birthday, ask friends and family to donate gift cards in your honor!
Gift Baskets

Gift baskets make people smile! Whether it is a dinner in a box, a family night-in box, summer fun box, a snow day box, a game night box, storybook box, a self-care box, or something else, it is sure to brighten a family's night!

You don't need to make one for everyone. Donate one and we'll find a family who needs a little pick-me-up or help celebrating an achievement!

*Please do not give baskets of kittens or other living things. Our hearts could not take the cuteness!
Welcome Basket

When new foster parents open their home, it is lovely to be able to give them a nice welcome gift.

Baskets with items like coffee, tea, a blank photo album to fill with pictures of their journey, nice smelling lotions or other soothing self-care items (fostering is hard!), extra batteries or night lights, fresh towels they can offer the child, a book of positive quotes, and/or a card with words of encouragement can mean so much!

Please do not include alcohol in welcome gift baskets.
Kiddo Welcome Bags

Children typically move into foster homes with their belongings (if they have any) in a trash bag. This is not okay.

Children in our program are given Welcome Bags, which are duffel bags filled with age-appropriate hygiene products, blankets, a stuffed animal, a book or journal, a nightlight, and other comfort items.

Put together a Welcome Bag for an age of your choice and fill it with things you believe would help a child feel cared for, respected, and safe.
Run a Drive

Are you part of a parent organization, a sorority or fraternity, a professional organization, religious group, gym, or wonderful group of family and friends?

Work together and host a drive! Items we often need are hygiene products for all ages, hair types, and skin types, bedding, night lights, child proofing, stuffed animals, socks, underwear, books, art supplies, and school supplies.
Coffee Hour

Host a Coffee Hour or Lecture at a group of which you are a part, and invite a representative from our program to speak! We speak with children's groups like Scouts, as well as adult groups like PTOs.

By helping spread the word about the need for foster care in Massachusetts, you are helping educate the community. This erases harmful stigmas children in care face and boosts community support.

A child could find a home because of YOU!
Don't have time, but want to donate? We accept monetary donations to our program. Donations are used to supply children and youth with things like bicycles and helmets, lessons and activities (plus the necessary equipment to participate), special trips through school, and other supports, like weighted blankets. Your contribution is greatly appreciated and mindfully used.