Kids Helping Kids In Foster Care
It all started with a small, stuffed toy fish that belonged to thirteen-year-old Alyssa Svalina of Fuquay-Varina, NC. Since the toy was in nearly new condition, she simply wanted to find a new home for it as she felt it might make another child happy. After a conversation with a family friend who is a volunteer fireman, Alyssa learned that there are programs in the community that aim to provide comfort to kids who are impacted by a family crisis and are taken into foster care.
In 2012, Alyssa found out about the Wake County Foster Care Stocking Drive. That year she collected 56 Christmas stockings, 200 in 2013 and over 364 in 2014. Alyssa’s support for the stocking drive has grown each year as others find out about what she is doing and want to support her efforts. Her efforts are organized as a project called “Comfort for Kids”.
This year, Alyssa approached Start A Snowball for funds to fill Christmas stockings for the older teens. At one holiday party where the stockings are distributed Alyssa realized that there were not enough stockings available for the older teens. This year, Alyssa wants to focus on donating Christmas stockings geared toward the older teens in the Wake County Foster Care system. The $100 grant from Start A Snowball helped Alyssa get started on collecting stocking stuffers that would specifically appeal to older teens such as jewelry, makeup, socks, and hats. For the 2105 drive, Alyssa has at least 79 stocking so far. Her efforts also extend to children in foster care outside of Wake County.
Alyssa doesn’t intend to stop at Christmas stockings. Another initiative of Comfort for Kids is underway – collecting “care packages” with hygiene and small items for children who first enter the foster care system as they often arrive with nothing from their previous living arrangement.
By MJ Vieweg
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