As many of you know our family has been fostering for almost 3 years now. Last Sunday we celebrated the 3rd birthday of our son who has been with us since he was 3 months old. And in about 6 weeks we will be celebrating our little girl’s 1st birthday. She has been a part of our family since I picked her up at the hospital when she was 2 days old.
Due to the long term nature of our foster placements we have only had 4 kiddos placed with us during the 3 years we have been fostering. The one common denominator in each of our experiences is that these little ones have shown up at our door with a plastic bag filled with a few mismatched clothing items. We have been lucky if we were able to put together one outfit from what we received. That is why I am so excited about partnering with this organization, With Love. If a child shows up at your door with nothing, a foster parent can contact With Love and they will deliver, yes I said deliver, clothing and other supplies. What a blessing!
A few months ago we came to a place where we needed to get the next size of carseat for our little girl, a double stroller, a pack and play for nap time at my sister’s house and both of our kiddos were ready to move up a size in clothes. We were struggling with how we were going to pay for all of this stuff on top of our normal expenses that include having 2 other sons in college. Thankfully it was at this time that I was introduced to With Love. I put in a request for clothes for the kids and a pack and play. I received an email back from them right away and they had everything we asked for and more delivered to our door 2 days later. Again I say, What a blessing!
Find out more about With Love – Oregon by watching the video below.
I was so impressed with the heart and the work of this organization that I started to look into ways I could help and get involved. May is National Foster Care Awareness Month and as we seek Kingdom Justice for the least of these I would love to have you all join me. As a church we are stepping in by having a pajama drive. Many of you have already taken tags for pajamas and some of you have already brought them back to church. I have a spare bed covered in pajamas that have been washed and organized by size. It brings a huge smile to my face every time I see all of those jammies.
In our toddler and preschool classes we are also having a sock drive. Anyone is welcome to add more socks to the baskets outside of their classrooms.
I have also had the opportunity to volunteer my time at With Love. They have a great need for help with prepping all of the items that they are able to gift to these foster families. You can sign up to volunteer HERE. They have daytime and evening 2 hour shifts where you will help by sorting and prepping everything that has been donated to With Love.
They also have an at home opportunity to get involved. Everything that gets donated needs to be cleaned. So another option for volunteering is to pick up some bags of laundry and taking them home to clean. I went in with my friend Becki and we had a great time working and visiting. The two hours went by so quickly.
So grab some friends and enjoy an evening together. Grab some dinner together and then go spend a couple of hours helping out. I am very grateful for anything you can do to come alongside those of us that have stepped into this journey of fostering.
Heather Milligan is the Preschool Coordinator at Grace Chapel. She and her husband, Matt, have three boys in addition to their two foster children. She enjoys watching their older children play sports, baking, spending time with extended family and reading (when she can find the time).