Making a Difference in the Lives of Foster Kids: School Supply Drive 2016
Fall is in the air! There’s so much to love about this time of the year. Halloween is right around the corner, the weather is cooling down and the school year has started. As you see school buses throughout our neighborhoods and the hustle and bustle in stores for back to school shopping, it’s easy to start reminiscing about the nervous excitement that this time can bring.
For Some Students, Back-to-School is a Challenge
For foster children, those back-to-school jitters can be even tougher than most. Children in foster care, like all children, want to fit in with their peers. It can be difficult to start at a new school where there aren’t any familiar faces and, for some children who have had multiple placements, this could be their third new school in just one year.
This difficult transition can be made even harder if the child doesn’t have the same school supplies as their fellow students. Foster parents do receive a stipend to cover basic needs, but it is often not enough to cover all necessities. Additionally, foster parents can be grandparents or extended family members who also may need a little extra support.
Can you imagine not even having a back pack or school supplies as you bravely walk into a new classroom? Instead, you have a trash bag filled with just a few items while every other student has brought in everything from the provided list.
Mattress Firm Foster Kids’ Huge Impact
To help set foster children up for success at school, Mattress Firm Foster Kids held a school supply drive in all of our retail locations this past July and August. We collected all of the necessities a child needs — backpacks, binders, paper, calculators, pens, etc. An incredible 257,000 donations were collected then distributed to foster care agencies nationwide.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, many of which are companies and groups who hosted their own drive, thousands of foster children eagerly started their first day of school without feeling singled out for not having the correct supplies. They were able to join in the learning and fun with their peers with confidence.
Statistics show foster children repeat a school grade twice as often as other students and have lower statewide test scores. The year-round support Mattress Firm Foster Kids gives to local nonprofits can help change those negative results by providing much needed resources.
There are many easy ways to join us in helping these families, from donating in-store to one of our 6 year-round drives to raising funds online. To learn more about how you can make a difference in the lives of foster children through Mattress Firm Foster Kids, please visit www.mattressfirmfosterkids.org.