Funding Masks, Gloves and Disinfectant Products for Foster Care Homes
At Foster Care Support Group we are raising funds and promoting initiatives to support foster care homes in New York City during the COVID-19 Pandemic. These facilities have been severely impacted and people really need us. We believe in taking action, that’s why we raise donations to provide necessities to them, such as masks, gloves and disinfecting supplies.
While staying socially distanced, we educate New Yorkers on the work and struggles of these institutions. We stress the importance of donating masks and gloves during these unprecedented times.
Foster Care Support Group
Our focus is to fund masks, gloves and disinfecting products for foster care homes in NY Metro area. We all know that sometimes it only takes a little sympathy to change the world. Since Day One of this project, we have been determined to make an impact. We partnered up with Free Arts NYC, a nonprofit organization and offered a new approach to increase donations during the pandemic. We wanted to show New Yorkers that volunteering could be fun. As a result we were able to host charity events/art sessions and raise over 200 boxes of masks that were donated to foster care homes in the NY Metro area.
Meet Our Heroes
Foster care residents and employees
Metro North Group Home
Laura is a nanny at Metro North Group Home. She shared her experience at
the foster care and the hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic. This dedicated
woman has been working at the Metro North Group foster home for over ten
years. She told us she had never seen foster care so restricted to essential
resources in the way of masks and cleaning supplies for the children at this
facility. As she told us in her interview, “I have never been so worried for my
life, or the lives of these kids”. She even mentioned that due to lack of gloves
in the foster home she had chemical burns on her hands. That happened to
her from constantly using Clorox to disinfect common areas and protect kids.
Laura told us in her interview that “when cleaning supplies were back in stock,
my coworkers and I had to buy those with our own money, because donations
simply weren’t coming in.” Laura then talked about the financial struggle at her
work place, telling us that at some point she had to ask her family and friends
for help due to the lack of donations compared to before the pandemic.
Metro North Group Home
Eddy is a counselor at Metro North Group Home. He shared his experience
working at the foster care facility during the global pandemic. While Eddy has
been employed at Metro North for four years, he has been giving emotional
support to orphans at the foster care. As he told us, “Kids have never felt this
lonely and left out. They know about the shortage of donations and feel as if
there is no hope.” Eddy explained how the pandemic has affected children’s
mental health at the foster care because they do feel so left out. He even
himself felt that there was lack of hope due to the limited donations that were
arriving at the foster care. As Eddy told us, “When your group reached out
offering help, we all became inspired. It is really important to not feel alone
during these hard times”. He was very grateful for our generous donation of
masks to his facility and assured us they were needed and would not go to
waste. When interviewing Eddy on the phone, we could almost hear his tears
of joy and greatness through the phone. He told us that we were one of few
who reached out and exceeded expectations with generosity. It warmed all of
our hearts, knowing that we truly made a difference in the COVID-19
pandemic, helping those who were less privileged than ourselves.
Metro North Group Home
Pablo is a resident at Metro North Group Home and shared his experience
being one of the foster children during COVID-19. Pablo was a little shy at
first, but when he realized our purpose in talking to him, he got very excited.
Pablo told us the hardships COVID-19 brought upon him. He felt like
a prisoner, not being able to play with his peers and leave his room. On those
rare occasions when he could go out, he had to reuse the same surgical
mask. As Pablo told it, “I had to wear the same mask for two weeks in a row.
At one point I didn’t even want to wear it anymore because I felt cleaner
without the mask on.” It broke our hearts hearing that from Pablo. When we
told him our mission, Pablo laughed with joy. We could all feel his warmth and
thanks for what we were trying to do for him. As a “thank you” this boy mailed
one of our group membership a card.
Impact of COVID-19 on Foster Carte Homes
NY Metro Area
The year 2020 has been a crazy year for everyone. But it hit the vulnerable ones the
most. Our grandparents have been isolated in fear for their lives. Kids have had to
adjust to online school. Online instruction has been a nightmare for their parents.
Depression and suicide rates are rapidly increasing. Psychiatrists are telling us that
our fellow citizens can’t cope with the new normal. So what can we do? Can’t we at
least be kind to each other? Everyone is going through a lot. Our own study group
couldn't even make up our mind whom to help first, because pretty much everyone in
the NY Metro area and across the globe is suffering. So, we decided to focus on the
most vulnerable - foster care homes.
Children in foster care homes have been facing problems their whole lives, but 2020
was, by far, the most challenging year for them. It has also been an uneasy time for
employees at foster-care facilities. When schools closed in NYC, kids went back to
the safety of their own homes and attended school online. They played video games
in the safety of their own families, but orphans had nowhere to go. They were trapped
within crowded facilities among employees unprepared to help them very much. The
first and most immediate crisis faced by foster-care facilities has been the lack of
face masks and hand sanitizers. The children housed in these facilities have been
living like prisoners. They have not been allowed to go outside or even allowed to
play with their peers and counterparts -- trapped in their rooms, scared and alone.
Then employees who cared for them started getting sick themselves and they started
bringing the virus from outside. My group and I were heartbroken and shocked from
the stories we heard. Liz Hopfan, a founder of the nonprofit organization Free Arts
NYC, opened our eyes on this issue. She kindly shared with us that her organization
has been providing art supplies to foster care homes for years. During the pandemic
foster care workers have been asking her to help them with masks and cleaning
supplies. But things are so bad that that don’t really care about art any more, they
just want to protect these kids and survive through the crisis. Our government didn't
provide enough supplies, and there has been a shortage of protective gear in the
hospitals since the beginning. That is why foster care homes barely got anything to
protect workers and children. Now that supplies are becoming more available in
stores, employees of foster care facilities are buying those with their own money,
because donations have been so sparse. People are concerned about their own well-
being that everyone has forgotten that foster care institutions need help. When
interviewing one of the children at Metro North Group Home, we found out that he
has to wear the same surgical mask for up to two weeks. It always gets dirty over
such a long period of time and he would get in trouble if he threw it away – as he very
much yearned to do. It’s just terrible what these children have to go through and
our group's goal is to help them. We are focused now on finding new ways to
increase donations and attract people's attention to this issue.
Even one box of face masks can make a difference. No donation is considered too
small. Employees and children alike at these foster care homes are in danger. They
Our Approach To Help Foster Care Homes
A Little Act of Kindness Can Get Very Far
Make a Donation
Show Your Support
Once our group discovered how much foster care homes are struggling, we decided to take
action. We created a new approach to increase the amount of donations. Our partner, the
Free Arts NYC nonprofit, inspired us to organize several socially distanced charity events.
These art sessions in support of Foster Care Homes of NYC were a great success.
Our representatives gathered up in Central Park and began approaching strangers with
information about our support group and inviting them to participate in the sessions. And the
donations began piling in.
What to Expect at Our Art Sessions
Free Candy For All
For those who agreed to make donations and participate in our charity event, we prepared a
station with snacks and art supplies. These were kindly donated by our members and by
Free Arts NYC earlier that day. Each participant could see that we already had a certain
amount of face masks donated, ready to go to foster care homes.
We had a big variety of sharpies, and either colored pencils for beginners or watercolor and
acrylics for the more advanced. During our art sessions strangers were coming by, asking
us questions about this charity event, asking to join us.
We were extremely happy because our event was a great success. We raised enough
funds to purchase approximately 200 masks.
Volunteer Your Time, Make Friends
Help Our Foster Care Homes
During this art session we didn't just raise donations for foster care homes. We gave an
opportunity to our participants to make a painting for foster care children and write an
address with a little message for these kids. This way participants became pen pals with
residents at foster care homes. It gave us all a great opportunity for both sides to
communicate and build friendships, since we all feel lonely in quarantine. This was the start
of something bigger than just one art session. We were hoping that if our participants made
friends at foster care homes, they would make donations more frequently.
Every Act of Kindness Matters
Our group members and generous donors are able to make a difference.
We have been providing much needed masks, gloves and cleaning supplies.
We also managed to make new friends, pen pals and fill each other’s lives
with joy and love. This is more than just a charity event us. We would like to
say thank you to everyone who participated. Stay tuned for our next events.
You can reach out to group leader Vicki at email@example.com if order to receive assistance on the process of donating either funds or safely supplies.
"Our group always appreciates the generosity and involvement of people, with every contribution going towards Foster Care Homes of NYC. Join us for more good deeds."
"Making art for a good cause is always a great way to express yourself and help others. I am proud of our accomplishments, but there is much more work to be done."
Director of Communications
Showed an initiative and reached out to Free Arts NYC non profit organization in order to partner up and raise more donations for a good cause.
Lorgenix De Oleo Marquez
Lorgenix has been managing our events, making list of supplies needed, coordinating participants and reaching out directly to foster care homes in order to find out what helpo was needed most.
Gilbert was responsible for organizing a photoshoot at our Central Park art session event. He was making sure that we have quality content to share with the world.
Erika was responsible for art supplies at our art session. She was coordinating participants during our session and made sure that we had beautiful drawings and paintings to send to foster care homes along with our donations.
Viktoriia is responsible for building this website and outreach to potential participants. She coordinates art sessions and manages upcoming zoom art sessions.
Contact Support ART NYC
9 E 71st ST, New York, NY 10021 USA