Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Service Project: Blankets for Foster Children

When the guild leaders sat down to plan this year's activities, we decided that it would be a good idea to have a guild service project.  We have all so much (and I'm not just talking about fabric!) that we can give back to our community.  We decided that providing blankets for Foster Care Kits would be a great way to put our sewing skills to work to help others.

When a child is in an abusive or neglected home situation, Child Protective Services will take them into custody.  The children are placed with Foster Families until their home is safe to return to.  The children often show up on their foster parents doorsteps with just the clothes on their backs and in a state of emotional turmoil.  Foster Care Kits are meant to help make this painful situation a bit better.

Example of a Foster Care Kit:  Fleece blanket, toothpaste, toothbrush, pjs,
 stuffed animal, car and large drawstring bag


A Foster Care Kit Contains:
  1. Basic Hygiene Items:  toothbrush, toothpaste and brush/comb.  It may also include rubber bands, barrettes, deodorant and lotion.  (Items may be travel sized)
  2. Pajamas  It may also contain clothing, socks, underwear or diapers.
  3. Blanket   (45x45 for 0-2 year old, 45x54 for3-6 year old, 54x66 for 7-11 year old, 54x72 for 12-18 year old)   Sizes are approximate, but the blanket needs to be big enough for the child.  The blankets may be fleece or pieced.  Foster Care Families will have blankets and beds for the children, but this blanket is something soft and special for the child that they can snuggle with and keep forever.
  4. At Least One Comfort Item  Some ideas include:  doll, coloring book/crayons, notebook, journal, pen, pencils, book or stuffed animal.  No one is too old for a stuffed animal, especially when you are going through hard times.
All of these items are collected and placed in a bag.  It is best if the bag can be zipped, buttoned or velcroed so that the contents are not mixed up or lost.  A drawstring bag also works well.  The contents of the bag, age and gender of the child are written on a note card and pinned to the outside of the bag.  The bags are collected and brought to local agencies that place foster children.

We will be teaming with the Ankeny LDS Women's Relief Society to make these kits.  Our guild will be responsible for making blankets for the kits.  The blankets do not have to be anything elaborate.  Fleece blankets are perfectly acceptable.  We will be sharing ideas for quick and easy blankets throughout the year at guild meetings.  If you would like to make totes, large drawstring bags, pajamas or stuffed animals that would be great also.  We will collect the blankets and any other iteams that you would like to donate at our October Guild meeting.  The blankets will then be given to the LDS Relief Society and they will be responsible for providing the additional items and putting the final kits together.

I think it would be great if we could provide at least 100 blankets for this project.  Is that a big goal?  Yes, it is, but we can do it!  :)  Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything that I have left out.  I have started a discussion thread on the Guild's Flickr site where we can post ideas/pics/tutorials for quick and easy quilts.  Please share any ideas you have!

I know that we can make a real difference for children in our community with this project!  Thanks so much!

2 comments: