Monday, April 13, 2015

With Love,

Ever thought about becoming a foster parent? Me too—it took me about ten seconds to talk myself out of it. However, there are people who think it over then, put themselves through the rigorous application process wait for the phone to ring. It's usually not long before it does, sometimes in the middle of the night. I'm in awe of these families and grateful that they provide loving care to kids that need it most. Even though becoming a foster parent isn't right for my family, I still want to help. I also want to express my gratitude to those who do. Through With Love, we can all glorify foster care families.

With Love, is a non-profit, volunteer run organization that provides clothes, furniture, supplies, even toys and books for foster care families from birth to age five. Foster care families can come into the store and leave with the supplies they need for the children in their care at no expense all packaged With Love.

With Love, was founded by Allie Roth, a member of a group I attend. She gave our talk that day and laid bare her painful road to the joys of motherhood. All of which left her wondering, Who was I before all this? A feeling most mothers, me included, can identify with. Instead of holding on to her pain she decided to dedicate her loses, With Love, to foster care parents willing to open their homes to kids in need of a safety and stability.

Can you spot the kiddo?
Allie established With Love and started taking donated items. Her home was quickly overrun with clothes, furniture, supplies. At one point she had a room filled with five cribs and no place for her newest little girl. She knew there were other moms out there in a vast untapped talent pool who, like her, felt the call to contribute to something beyond their families and jobs. She put these talented women to work organizing, managing, and otherwise helping her run this new venture. Cars came and went in streams as women picked up clothing to launder and drop off clean items, and dropped into help with bundle and sort items. This left Allie humorously concerned that her neighbors might be wondering what it was she was trafficking.

Today, Allie has reclaimed her house, and With Love has moved into a warehouse location.

Hearing Allie speak, her words resonated. What could I do With Love, to make a positive impact in my community? What talents do I posses with which to help others? For many it will be joining Allie and her growing community of moms (dads and kids are welcome too!) for me it is using my words as a conduit for spreading her infectious energy to all that would feel the call to glorify foster care children and parents.

Freshly bundled items!
If you have little ones, save outgrown clothing items from newborn to size eight. They are always in special need of boys clothes size two-T to eight. If you go shopping for your baby, grab one bag of wipes for you and one for With Love. If your budget allows, a monetary donation goes a long way in a one-hundred percent volunteer run organization. If your schedule is flexible, sign up to help out at the store, creating bundles of clothes or sorting items, while enjoying some social time with other parents. You are encouraged to bring your kids to volunteer, and watch their confidence grow as their little hands do great works.

Check them out online. Like them on Facebook. Give them a helping hand in the name of someone you have loved and lost. Honor their memory by honoring foster care children and parents—With Love.

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