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Neither screeching fire alarms (smoke in the Starbucks’ kitchen) nor drenching thunderstorms could dampen spirits on Saturday, July 18 when 28 children under the jurisdiction of the courts were accompanied by 40 volunteers to shop for back-to-school clothing at Target. Each child was matched with one or two adult volunteers and given a $200 donated gift card to spend on school clothes, including jackets, shoes, underwear, pajamas and other essentials. Many of the children, ages 4 to 19, started out shy and quiet, but soon warmed up and finally emerged from their shopping expeditions beaming with cloud-chasing smiles and chatter.

One comment overheard involved an eight or nine-year-old boy trying to decide which T-shirt to get. The accompanying adult said, “Why not get both?” The boy replied, “You mean I can buy two shirts?!” Another young boy wished to shop with his teen sister, explaining enthusiastically, “We’re going to get matching Minions pajamas!”

Two boys couldn’t make it to the event because of transportation problems, but we have already been in touch with their DCFS caseworker and will make sure they get to do some back-to-school shopping, too.

It was truly a win-win-win morning. The children loved it, their foster parents were most grateful, as were our caseworkers, and the volunteers had lots of fun being “personal shoppers.” And we at FCP are thrilled that this annual program was a success once again, thanks to the volunteered time and generous donations from All Saints parishioners and community members.

Find out more about the Foster Care Project here.

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