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Stories

How the Youth Resource Bank (YRB) has helped local families...

 
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Chairs Around the Table (Holidays 2012)

Six children are in the care of their grandmother due to their parents’ inability to care for them. The grandmother is, and has been, the primary caregiver of these children for all of their lives. She lives on her Social Security income, which covers her but not the children. She has not received foster care funding to care for the children. They had moved into a new home after the grandfather died. They have minimal furniture in the new place, and have no funds with which to buy furniture.

When the assigned social worker asked the grandmother what the family most needed at holiday time, the grandmother explained that they had received a recent donation of a kitchen table, but they had only one kitchen chair for all seven of them. What she wanted more than anything was for them to all be able to sit together to have dinner on Christmas day.

YRB contributed the funding to buy six chairs, which Sweets in the Nude sold to YRB at a deeply discounted price. The social worker delivered the chairs to the family on the day before Christmas. Fulfilling the grandmother’s wish, the family had dinner together around the table on Christmas day.

 

 

Equipment for Winter Camp

Children and youth in group homes generally have minimal family contact or support. Group homes are paid a relatively small amount of money to provide the youth that they house with anything but essential items.

Two teenage boys who have grown up in the foster care system are currently in group homes. These young men have had very difficult lives, with no dads, and moms who have been through the foster care reunification system with them as well as their siblings. In a recent winter, these boys expressed an interest in participating in a winter camp which provides an Outward Bound-type of experience: tent camping in snow, packing in food, and melting snow for water. The program is designed to build self-confidence and self-esteem by pushing participants’ personal and physical limits.

In order to attend camp, the boys were required to procure good winter boots, coats, and warm sleeping gear. The social workers assigned to the home solicited funding from many sources to allow these young men to go to the camp, but came up short. A YRB board member personally and anonymously donated funds to buy warm boots for each of them. The YRB contributed funding to procure the balance of the necessary equipment. The young men attended the camp, and each has called it a life-changing experience.


Beds for The Children

On her first visit to a home, a social worker realized that a mother and her three children were sleeping on blankets on the floor. They had no beds and no money to buy beds or mattresses. The youngest child is two; the oldest has a medical condition that requires consistent care, and she cannot afford to get sick. The social worker tried to locate second-hand beds for the family, to at least give them something to sleep on besides the hard, cold floor, but she was unsuccessful. YRB purchased a set of bunk beds with mattresses for this family. The mother is now sleeping on a couch, and the kids are all sleeping in beds.

 

 

A Tricycle for a Child Needing Play Therapy

A three year old girl and her six year old brother were placed with their grandmother after the three year old received unexplained injuries to her head. The resulting brain trauma has caused the three year old to be severely handicapped, with extensive needs for care. The grandmother quit her job in another state and moved to California to take over parenting responsibilities for the three year old. She has spent all of her money caring for the children.

After the child began physical therapy, the physical therapist advised that the child could benefit from spending regular time using some play equipment, specifically a tricycle. The grandmother did not have funds with which to buy a tricycle. YRB provided the social worker with funding to purchase the tricycle.