Volunteers Get Creative to Support Foster Families from Afar

Sue knew her foster parents would be struggling to keep their kids entertained and engaged with no school or activities and strict stay-at-home orders. Normally, she’d take them to the park or on a play date, but in a Covid-19 world she did the next best thing: she dropped off a pair of activity kits at their doorstep. One included all the materials to create a balloon rocket, and the other a pom-pom drop game.

She is one of many Fostering Hope volunteers who have found new ways to support their foster families during the time of coronavirus. Instead of childcare, transportation, or date nights, all of which are not allowed or safe during the height of the pandemic, they’re relying on video and doorsteps.

Volunteers for another family read stories to the kids via video, and others put on a YouTube-style puppet show. It may not seem like much, but an hour of respite for a foster parent in quarantine can go a long way.

Others have left hot meals on doorsteps, complete with a side of toilet paper and other supplies. One volunteer stepped in to do video math tutoring for a child struggling to make the adjustment to e-learning.

“I want you all to know it means so much to have your arms around us as we go through this,” one foster mom shared with her team. “All of you are heaven sent, and I don’t mean that in a Hallmark kind of way … please know you are so, so needed and loved.”

In an interesting turn of events, the “extended family” is serving in new ways. Foster families and volunteers have brought groceries to elderly volunteers who are homebound and unable or at high-risk of going to the store. One foster family who received more food than they can eat as a family, repackaged what was left and distributed to an elderly neighbor.

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