Alright. This is the next project.

I’m so excited!

You will be too. Hang with me here.

We’re staying local this month and attempting to notice and touch and respond to vulnerable and abused and neglected children in our own town.

And what I’m going to ask you to do right now is watch this.

With your eyes open.

Don’t turn away.

It’s a video put out by an extraordinary organization in South Florida called 4KIDS. I observed their ministry back at a conference in May. They are on the front lines and leading edge of foster care ministries.

This is their video. The stats apply to South Florida. But I can guarantee you, the same things are happening in our community. In your community.

Watch.

Now. (I’m getting bossy, but this is important)


You know how I feel about foster care parents. I have consulted and dreamed with some precious friends of mine who are involved in foster care. We contacted DHS and have partnered with them for this project.

So here’s the deal. Most often in an emergency removal situation, children are picked up briskly from their homes and in a scurry their belongings are put into whatever plastic or garbage sac is available. A social worker attempts to find someone to take them in. Then drops them off with their garbage sac to their foster care homes.

Foster parents rush around to find bedding and clothing as children arrive on their doorsteps.

Parents have told me stories of clothes being dropped off, perhaps by well meaning people, that have cockroaches crawling all over them.

All the while, messages are being sent to these children.

Your life needs to gathered and put in this trash bag.

What is no longer good enough for us, we give to you.

You are worth our trash.

So here’s the plan, people.

New bags. Cute bags. Duffle bags or back packs.

New pajamas. Cute pajamas with the tags still on them. Pink ones. Blue ones. Polka Dot ones.

We’re buying as many as we can.

We are stocking the closet of the local DHS. Social workers will go there as they head to remove children from a home. The kids will be given a new bag to place their stuff in. They will have brand new pajamas of their very own to wear to bed for their first night in a strange place. They will a bear to cuddle as they attempt to sleep. They will have new toothbrushes.

And they will get a message.

You matter.

You are precious. And loved. And important.

And worthy.

At the same time, it’s a message to our social workers and foster care parents. Thank you. Thank you for what you do. It is of infinite value.

And this is simply an opportunity again. To be involved IF you want. To keep your eyes open. And to do something.

Local people: Here’s What To Do–

Talk about it. Tell your friends. Think about these kids when you are shopping for your own kids.

Buy backpacks (they are on sale everywhere right now)

Buy pajamas (any kind, any size). (our team will organize once all donations are in)

Call me. Or email me. I’ll arrange for pick-up or delivery.

Or if you just want to donate funds, I’ll put the donate button back up. I’ll do the shopping for you.

All money this month in the paypal account linked to the left will be used to buy backpacks and pajamas.

(we are working on getting the toothbrushes and stuffed animals donated by local businesses)

Out of towners:

You can do something similar in your own cities and towns if you feel so led. And let me know how it’s going!

Or you can donate to ours. It’s up to you.

Based on the success, we will stock our local DHS first and if we have an abundance we will move to surrounding areas and towns.

Here we go. Again.

I cannot tell you how much energy you gave me with the last project.

And I think we are just beginning to make waves….

…waves that I pray are felt by vulnerable and hungry and lonely children here and around the world.

What a privilege to be a part.

Now go. (It’s that bossy thing again).

Pajamas and bags.

Go.

18 Responses to A Message.

  1. Tammy says:

    What another wonderful way we can reach out and be a voice that speaks volume to the kids. To let them know that they ARE special, that there are people who DO care about them. I will enjoy picking out those special jammies for the boy or girl who will be placed in them. A new pair of jammies for them….a new start also….I definately want to help.

    Jody, I hope you keep coming up with projects where we can show our love and support for the kids.

  2. Amy Taylor says:

    Thanks again Jody for opening my eyes to see what I have not looked for.

  3. Tricia says:

    An organization called Helping Hands Healing Hearts was started by one woman for foster care children here in St. Louis. She makes sure that each child receives five outfits, PJs and an age appropriate toy when they arrive in their temporary home. She also has a Christmas party each year for these children because the money given to foster families is not very much. Just thought you may want to check out her website for ideas.
    It is a wonderful thing you are doing for children that are sometimes forgotten. Thanks for reminding us!

  4. Betsy says:

    Jody- what an important message you are sending to kids about mattering! My husband and I just started working at Boys Town and the stories we’re hearing about kids not thinking they matter is heart breaking! thank you for doing this important work!

  5. Amber says:

    From one of the weary ones….on the front line….thank you. It means more than some could ever know…thank you!

  6. JKS says:

    Is there a size that might be needed more than others? Infant, toddler, school age, teen ager……

  7. jody says:

    at this point we need any and all sizes. from birth to 12 years old.

    thanks much!

  8. amy j. says:

    As a teacher who has seen so many of our students removed from their homes… thank you.

  9. Chandra says:

    Jody, thank you! thank you! This is such a wonderful idea. You have so many ideas running through my head right now. And thanks to Tricia I may just contact Helping Hands Helping Hearts since I’m in MO and see if I can branch out to my area. Yeah! You have no idea how much this means to me right now.

    I love, love your blog and keeping up with your family.

    Blessings,
    Chandra

  10. Chelsey says:

    Would you be comfortable sending me your address so I could have my contributions from Target shipped to you directly!?

  11. HollyAnn says:

    Jody, you are absolutly amazing! What an awesome idea….especially tugging at my hear this morning as John and I pray about sending in our foster to adopt application! 🙂 I am going to get organized to do this in our area! But I have some pj’s that still have tags that I am going to send to you…my kids have plenty!

  12. Sandi Street says:

    Thanks for the answer to my prayer! You see I had a dear friend pass away earlier in the year and I have been praying for something that I could do in her name. She was a single foster mom and was passionate about the cause of those kids! Count me in!!!! Sandi

  13. Mashel Hall says:

    Jody,
    That is such a great post. I also posted a similar video on my blog, here is the link to that one. http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=010e0f47bb49fdab1051 We are foster parents and have a set of boy/girl twins that we are praying we get to adopt. Thank you for making a difference to foster children. You have an awesome heart.
    Mashel

  14. Jen Unrau says:

    Amazing Jody…truly incredible. I’d love to get one going here….hmmmm, I’ll have to see what I can do. Thanks for giving so many people inspiration to help make a difference!

  15. Marcie says:

    You’ve inspired us once again! Keep it up, girl!

  16. neely says:

    great idea…a few ladies from my church are planning to take your idea and do a little something like this in our area. thanks for inspiring women around the states.

  17. Holly says:

    ok…now THIS hits close close close to home…as usual here on your blog…
    so, if I wanted to do this locally where I live, who exactly, or about, would I contact? I want to be familiar with the foster system but I am not so, starting at point A…what do I do?

  18. Kirk says:

    If you require to get involved with troubled kids in the foster care system, study Invisible Kids first. (www.InvisibleKidsTheBook.com) The heartrending reports and the interventions Holly Schlaack recounts will give private citizens the impulse they need to volunteer as a CASA or to go for further training. Professionals who are involved with children will realize many of their own experiences in the positions Holly depicts. Her creative, positive, hopeful 12 recommendations will give professionals and private citizens practical encouragement to heighten their own work and join in to help these little children who have seen firsthand the worst of the adults they had a right to rely upon.

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