06 November, 2013

Engaging with The Hanger

Our heart is helping those in foster care is one of care and prevention. Sometimes kids enter the foster care system from either domestic violence or sexual abuse situations. They are without their families and often split up from their siblings. As kids mature, there are less and less homes available for them, so they end up in facilities that were created for teen offenders, not kids without a home. We institutionalize our children and leave them in homes where further abuse and neglect can happen. But there are bright spots in the foster care system – organizations like CASA advocate on behalf of the child and provide the stability and care most of the children don’t get otherwise. Our hope is that if we can affect kids in foster care we can not only stop generational domestic violence, but create safe places so kids don’t runaway and become susceptible to traffickers and other predators. So much in the cycle of violence, abuse and neglect could be ended if we had better foster care with more loving homes ready to take in one or two children and stick it out with them. Currently only 3% of those in foster care go to college. If we had mentors in the foster care system, people to engage and stay with a teen, to be there for them and provide the stability of an adult in their life, we could increase that number!

How does that relate to clothes and cowboy boots? One of the biggest ways to fight the stigma for kids in foster care is to help them experience normal activities other kids don’t have to think about. Teens in foster care are given a $90 stipend for clothes when they are 13 or 14. That’s it! After that the teen better hope someone in the house left behind clothes or they go through high school with one outfit or don’t go at all. By providing clothing to The Hanger we are giving high schoolers a way to build their wardrobe and hopefully stay in school.

It’s the little things that we can do. If being able to get a prom dress means a girl will get to experience that night and feel a bit more like her friends (who never have a consideration for new clothes, shoes, etc. because of their home situation) that is incredible. It is a step – a small but vital step.

Join us in coming alongside those in foster care. Donate here.