News Release: The Post Review – Safe Haven Foster Shoppe having bag drive for foster children

 

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Safe Haven Foster Shoppe having bag drive for foster children

Published August 23, 2017 at 9:24 am

http://ecmpostreview.com/2017/08/23/safe-haven-foster-shoppe-having-bag-drive-for-foster-children/

There are approximately 428,000 children in foster care in the United States and around 11,000 children in Minnesota.

Sisters Terra Bastolich and Anita Olson wanted to help foster children during the difficult transition of entering foster care in Minnesota. They co-founded a nonprofit organization in January called Safe Haven Foster Shoppe.

“The inspiration for it came from myself doing foster care in Isanti County,” Olson said. “We kept seeing this repetitive pattern of these kids coming into foster care with only the clothes on their back.”

The Safe Haven Foster Shoppe is 100 percent volunteer based and creates bags for children when they go into foster care. The sisters collaborated on what specific items these kids really need, and each bag provides specific items for the child’s age and gender.

Safe Haven is having a “Back to School Bag Drive” until the end of August, which allows businesses and individuals to donate a bag for a child in foster care. First, they choose what age and gender for the bag, and then they build the bag with new items (tags must be on the items). After the bag is full, Safe Haven Foster Shoppe is contacted for a drop off location.

“Everything we put in the bags is 100 percent brand new. We want to give the kids a sense of worth and let them know that they mean something,” Olson said. “It’s never the kids’ fault for being put into foster care.”

The bags include a new outfit, pajamas, socks, underwear, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, a blanket, a type of toy and a stuffed animal. Baby bags have diapers, wipes, bottles formula and a pacifier.

“The goal of Safe Haven is to get these bags to the foster home as soon as possible so the family doesn’t have to run out and get items right away,” Olson said. “The bags are delivered to the county social worker or directly to the foster home.”

Safe Haven Foster Shoppe currently services Isanti, Chisago, Pine, Washington, Sherbourne, and Anoka Counties. They also service St. Croix County in Wisconsin.

“We service these counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but we will service any foster home that reaches out to us,” Olson said.

Olson is the executive director of Safe Haven and works directly with the counties and their staff. Bastolich is the board president and does the marketing and social media for the organization.

“We work with some local businesses that supply us with staple items,” Olson said. “We obviously need financial donations as well, and we will take individual items like cloth diapers, blankets and toys. Safe Haven is growing fast because there is such a need for these kids going into foster care, and our mission is we do not want any child going into foster care empty handed.”

For more information about Safe Haven Foster Shoppe, go to https://safehavenfostershoppe.org.

Safe Haven Foster Shoppe Mission

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Thank you everyone who has already supported us in starting this mission.  We need to keep spreading the word, and growing our support!  We can all make a difference in the lives of foster children!  Just a quick update to remind everyone of our mission!

We developed a program like no other,  our bags are unique and personalized for each age and gender.   We work with individual counties family services departments as well as private organizations to hand deliver each and every bag donated.  With new laws being placed to protect children and grants approved for counties to increase staffing that means there are more kids in need than ever before.

We want no child to enter foster care empty-handed.  Please LIKE, SHARE, FOLLOW and SUPPORT our Mission!

Welcome Message from our Co-Founder and Executive Director – Anita Olson

Welcome and thank you for taking time out of your day to be a part of something much bigger than any of us can imagine.  Safe Haven Foster Shoppe was created to support a fb95img951484880783109rising gap in the foster care system.  Everyday children are being pulled out of the only home they know and brought to a stranger’s home (a foster home).  Most of those children come with NOTHING, putting the children and foster homes in a tough spot.  We at Safe Haven Foster Shoppe along with all of you can change that. You can choose to shop for bag items and assemble a bag yourself to donate, you can purchase a bag from our website or you can donate funds to help up purchase items for more bags.  You personally can supply a child with a sense of comfort they can call their own.  

Regards, Anita Olson

Welcome Message from our Co-Founder and Board Chair – Terra Bastolich

terra_bastolich_3Welcome again to our vision to help foster children in MN and Western WI.  Anita and I are so excited about this foundation, and look forward to working closely with our supporters, fellow organizations, community members and sponsors.

If we can ask for your help in spreading the word, please share, post, invite, tweet, etc…  We have some great initiatives coming up and want to spread the word quickly!  THANK YOU!

Terra

Welcome to Safe Haven Foster Shoppe

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As  many of you know, Safe Haven Foster Shoppe has been a project in the works for some time.  Well, today is the day we officially go live.  Although our process is not fully complete, we want to share our journey with you.  Safe Haven Foster Shoppe is a non-profit organization providing placement essentials to children in Foster care.  Please join us on our journey to bring these essentials directly into the hands of the children who need them.  As we roll out this organization, we ask for donation support to fund the start up costs associated with the formation of a new non-profit.  As well, you can expect some great opportunities to donate bags, host bag drives, volunteer your time or join our board of Directors.

Please share our story, follow us on Social Media and keep in touch.  We are truly blessed by the support so far and look forward to expanding our network of supporters.