Imagine turning 18 and suddenly being on your own, with no family to support you. That’s the reality that many teens face when they emancipate, or ‘age out’ of foster care. Fortunately, in central Ohio, there is now additional support from each county’s Independent Living Specialist, as well as funds from the state of Ohio to help them get on their feet. Fostering Further is working to support these youth in other ways. Here’s how you can help:
Items we can accept
- Kitchen Items
- Storage Containers
- Very small tables/chairs/shelves
- Photo frames
- Decorations/Anything that a youth could paint or ‘fix up’ to fit their personal tastes
Items we can NOT accept
- Anything broken or ruined
- Used linens
- Old tv’s
- Large furniture items such as couches, beds, or dressers
- Donate non-perishable foods and personal care items (shampoo, soap, razors, toothbrushes, etc.). While a foster youth may qualify for SNAP benefits or food assistance, they typically do not start right away. These donations will give them something to eat and take care of themselves until their first paycheck or SNAP benefits kick in.
- Donate gift cards to local grocery stores. Unfortunately, many foster youth have never learned how to shop for groceries. Gift cards enable the Independent Living Specialist to take them to the store and teach them how to look for sales, lower-priced options, and healthy alternatives to Mt. Dew and Twinkies.
- Donate funds for small shelving units. Many of these youth live a very transient lifestyle in the beginning. We at Fostering Further are trying to provide small shelves with fabric bins for each teen, so if they do need to leave a place, they can pack, load, and unload their belongings with minimal effort in a small vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How do youth who have emancipated from foster care get to use these services? We work closely with the county’s Independent Living Specialist to provide these services, so all of the youth have been referred to us through a caseworker.
- Is there a busy season for youth who are emancipating? Yes. Typically, most youth will emancipate from May through July. We are able to accept more items during this time, as things will be moving through quickly.
- Where can I drop off my donations? We do not have much storage space, unfortunately, so we can’t take large loads of items at one time. You can contact us to pick up small amounts or to take a portion of larger loads.