Nebraska organizations fill 40 backpacks for foster kids

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — For children in the foster care system, change happens at the snap of a finger.

Many have to leave their homes in the middle of the night to seek safety.

And in that rush, many personal items are left behind or shoved into a garbage sack.

To help ease both foster children and parents into new living situations, Thrivent, a financial service network, teamed up with Nebraska foster organizations to create care packages.

The organization teamed up with Christian Heritage to help support foster kids in the Lincoln area.

Each care package is meant to act as a starting connection between child and foster parent.

“Not only are the children nervous but also our foster parents,” said Tawnya Hansen, foster care director at Heritage.

Hansen said Heritage had worked with Thrivent before, so their relationship isn’t a new one.

Stacia Vawter of Thrivent said her organization spent the past month supporting its clients’ work to gather donations.

Its Lincoln location accepted donations of items like blankets, books, garments and hygiene products.

“We have seven communities across the state that are taking part in this,” Vawter said. “Each one highlights a local nonprofit foster care center.”

Members of both organizations gathered at Robber’s Cave to put donations into backpacks.

The goal is for the backpacks to be the first thing children receive, to help give them a sense of normalcy.

“This is something as simple as guiding a child to their room and having a backpack and talking through with them what they have to get them through the night or for the next days,” Hansen said.

By the end of the event, Christian Heritage filled 40 backpacks and stored away dozens of blankets to be distributed.

To donate to Christian Heritage’s foster program, click here.

For more information or to get involved with Thrivent, click here.

Categories: Nebraska News, News