July 2017 Winner: Jamie Korn (Family & Children’s Center)

An update from Jamie…

Imagine through no fault of your own, you live in a household where you love your parents but there is abuse, neglect, or drug use and you are no longer able to be cared for by your family.  You are removed from your home without any warning.  How does that feel?  Scary?!?! Intimidating?!?   Your entire world has been turned upside down. This is a reality for a number of youth that enter Foster Care in our community that didn’t ask for the life that has just been handed to them.

Once in Foster Care, it is a long road for both the foster parents and the youth to establish trust, build a positive relationship and work towards an uncertain future. Unfortunately,  youth are only guaranteed to stay in Foster Care until the age of 18 or until they graduate High School.

With that in mind, now imagine that you are six months away from graduation, and you are living in foster care. The realization kicks in that you will be an adult, no longer eligible to remain in your current home. Where are you going to live? Where are you going to work? How will you get to work? Will you be able to go to college? Navigating all of these challenges and more, is the reality for nearly all youth aging out of the foster care system. Rather than being a time of exciting opportunities, this can be an overwhelming time of challenges.

That’s where La Crosse SOUP comes in! You have made this time in their lives a bit less challenging by

providing youth aging out of the foster care system a transition tote full of essential basic supplies to set up a new household. The availability of items required to set up a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom will allow these young adults to focus on building the foundation for a better life.

With basic living needs in place, youth transitioning out of foster care will have one less barrier facing them as they enter into this new role of being on their own.  For kids growing up in the system, who haven’t had control over numerous aspects of their lives there is a tremendous pride that comes with having items of their very own.  Now they can begin to focus on accessing community resources, finding job,  applying for college, and building a life for themselves .  Family & Children’s Center is able to provide the services to wrap them in the support they need and teach them the skills that lead to self sufficiency through our Independent Living Program, but until now we have not had the resources to provide them with a tote.  This serves as a significant enhancement to the services we provide.  When individuals succeed and reach their potential communities succeed.  

Family & Children’s Center is so grateful to La Crosse SOUP dollars to build transition totes full of basic household supplies for these youth. Each tote will include a blanket and pillow, set of dishes and utensils, cookware, kitchen and bath towels, shower liner and hooks.  Each tote costs approximately $123.  

This past year, Family & Children’s Center served 95 young adults aging out of the foster care system. In La Crosse we serve  approximately 10 to 15 youth a year.   We are now able provide a year’s worth of transition totes to La Crosse youth.

Family & Children’s Center is so grateful for the opportunity to share with you our vision for setting up these young adults with the essential items to start a home.  Your gift allows us to take it to the next level and provide this vulnerable population, with the support and tools to carry them forward on their journey.   Therefore strengthening our community.

So far we have only distributed one tote to a youth. She was very appreciative of the things in the tote. There were things in the tote that she had not even thought about purchasing as she made the transition of being on her own. For example specifically she was appreciative of the silverware and toilet paper! It’s the simple things that can be forgot about!! We have two more youth that will be receiving shortly.  After the pitch we had two individuals reach out to sponsor totes!  From this event it provided a lot of positive awareness for our program.

Thank you for your time and investment!

Here is a breakdown of items La Crosse Soup provided to our community:

  • Breakdown cost of a tote totaling: $123
  • Here is the breakdown that I came up with and everything is from Walmart
  • Rubbermaid tote: $14—(this will depend on the size we are thinking)
  • Dishes (set of 4): $10
  • Glasses (set of 4): $4
  • Utensil set (21 piece set): $10
  • Silverware (set of 4): $6
  • Cookware (7 piece set): $15
  • Blanket: $10
  • Pillow & Pillow Case: $10
  • Bathroom Towels (set): $10
  • Kitchen towels with oven mitts & pot holders: $5
  • Dish cloth: $3
  • Cookie Sheet: $6
  • Shower curtain liner: $7
  • Shower curtain rings: $6
  • Toilet paper: $6
  • Dish Soap: $2

Thank you to La Crosse Soup for this incredible gift!