Foster Love Project has been changing the lives of children in foster care throughout Western Philadelphia since 2014. For their efforts to provide children with clothing, toys, shoes, and other necessities, and for continuing to meet that demand while making critical pivots throughout the COVID pandemic, they were nominated for Excellence in Collective Impact at the 2021 GPNP Annual Meeting.
The Foster Love Project Donation Center is a place-based opportunity for foster children to choose their own belongings as a form of taking control over an element of their lives since they lose so much when they enter foster care. During the Covid 19 shutdowns restrictions presented a challenge for FLP; they faced the challenge head-on, pivoted, and began packing bags of goods for kids with a drive-by hand-off distribution system. This allowed the children to continue to pick out their own items, and volunteers filled each child’s bag full of their selections and coordinated delivery. To date, Foster Love Project has distributed more than 14,000 transition bags to foster children in over 4 states.
In addition, the nonprofit created ways despite COVID to provide additional services, including a Back 2 School event which delivered designer shoes, a sweatshirt, and a backpack to 180 kids for the start of the new school year. They hosted their family retreat virtually and even expanded the Excellent Hair Care Program, designed to provide products and education to BIPOC children to ensure they receive excellent hair care.
They also created a new program – Teen Connections – as a support and mentoring group for teens who have experienced adoption or foster care. Creating an environment to just hang out with one another and not feel isolated, especially during and between lockdowns. They also have art therapy and other fun activities. They have recently moved into a new location that is double the previous space, so they can continue to grow and support more children.
Foster Love Project galvanizes communities and donors to cultivate that support – get more information about how you can support current needs and partner with Foster Love Project at fosterloveproject.org.