23. September 2011 11:11
SWELL – Sharing With Everyone Lutheran Love – is a swell group of volunteers from Lutheran churches in the Kalamazoo area who come together to support the children in Lutheran Social Services’ foster care program. Over the summer, they put together 70 backpacks for the children in Lutheran Social Services’ care in southwest Michigan, stuffing them with everything a child needs to begin the school year right. The backpacks (which seemed almost bigger than the children who received them) contained toiletries such as soap, toothbrush and toothpaste as well as school supplies like notebooks, glue, scissors, crayons, pens, pencils, markers and more. Foster parents receive a daily stipend to provide for all the children’s needs, but at the beginning of the school year, when children need so much all at once, paying for everything can be a struggle. “Our children’s faces lit up when they saw their backpacks,” reported Mary Muliett, director of Services for Children & Families in Southwest Michigan. The Kalamazoo-area foster care program has been growing quickly. As a result of the Children’s Rights settlement, many foster care cases are being transferred from the Department of Human Services to private providers like Lutheran Social Services.