(Photos courtesy Kellen’s family)
Meet Kellen Gearon. He’s a West Seattle High School senior who’s asking for your help in the clothing drive he is launching tomorrow, to help local foster kids through Treehouse – which points out that foster children “get used to parting with familiar clothing and favorite toys, saying goodbye to family and friends, changing schools time and again.” While researching, he found out that the clothing allowance foster parents get maxes out at $300/year, and that state funding only covers 60 percent of the cost of basic care for foster kids. Donations collected by Kellen’s drive will go to the Treehouse Wearhouse, where foster kids “shop” – free – for must-have items including clothes, shoes, school supplies, books, and toys. (In 2009, he says, the Wearhouse distributed more than $1 million worth of such items to almost 3,000 foster children.) From Kellen’s open letter asking you to donate to his drive:
Here’s how you can help.
Donate new or gently worn clothing, shoes, and coats.
Pick up one or more gifts for a foster child.
Make a donation.
Purchase gifts for Treehouse kids from March 11, 2011 until March 25, 2011.
Please bring your donations to the drop-off sites listed below and I will make sure they get to Treehouse.
Menashe and Sons Jewelers: 4532 California Ave SW
West Seattle High School: 3000 California Ave SW
Can’t get to the store? You can still help by shopping the Treehouse donation catalog at http://www.treehouseforkids.org/make-gift. Don’t forget to put Kellen Gearon on the “Drive Host” line at check-out. You can also mail your [monetary] donation to Treehouse, or drop it off at one of the drop-off sites, Menashe and Sons Jewelers or West Seattle High School in the office.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and thank you for supporting kids in foster care.
At the dropoff spots, just look for bins like this: