5. March 2012 14:51
Mary Muliett, director of Services for Children & Families in Kalamazoo and Benton Harbor, attended a basketball game at Wayland High School Thursday night and came back with a check for $2,000 and load of stuffed animals.
Lutheran Social Services became the beneficiary of the school’s annual fundraiser at the suggestion of student Mercedes Rookus, whose parents have adopted many children from foster care through Lutheran Adoption Service. Mercedes noted that when her younger siblings came into care, they received stuffed animals that they still sleep with.
The school council asked the students to bring stuffed animals to Thursday’s game, when they presented a check for the funds they raised. At halftime, the stuffed animals were tossed onto the court. The students also wore T-shirts that said “It’s our time to be heroes.”
The Southwest Michigan program will use the funds to purchase gift cards for children coming into care and bus tokens to help birth parents get to appointments. Every child who comes into care will be able to select a stuffed animal from the supply donated by the students. “Having great partnerships with our caregivers provides wonderful opportunities to enhance the services we provide,” said Mary (at right in the photo).