A Journey For Foster Care [AUDIO]
Trenton-based charity, One Simple Wish, has stepped up its effort raise awareness and action for foster children by embarking on a journey across the country for their cause.
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One Simple Wish was started in 2008 by Danielle Gletow, who launched the organization after she became a foster parent herself. Gletow realized that foster children are often a forgotten group, with many simple needs unmet.
"So our goal is really to make sure that every foster child out there knows that there's support for them," she explained, "And that people know that there is a place where you can donate."
The concept is very easy for both the donors and recipients. Foster children and vulnerable families register their wishes on the charity's website, where they can be connected with donors who wish to fulfill the wishes. While they may be called "wishes," really these requests are items or services most children would consider the norm, such as a new outfit for school, movie tickets, sneakers, or a dinner gift certificate.
The wishes generally run from $5-$100. Gletow estimates that over 2500 wishes have been granted since the charity's inception in December 2008.
"It's nice to see that, I think, people are really embracing the concept of giving back in a very direct and personal way."
In honor of May being Foster Care Awareness Month, One Simple Wish is in the midst of traveling to 30 cities in 30 days, while granting 30 wishes. The goal of the journey is to help even more children, and also getting a better idea of the foster care landscape across the country. Gletow feels that this cause does not get enough attention because of a negative perception of the foster care process.
"We're going to go out there and we're going to show the public that there's a lot of positive things happening, and we want to highlight them. We want this to be about positivity," she says.
The charity has made a big impact in a very short time, presenting a very easy way online to offer simple help to these children in need. More than 400,000 children in the US are currently in the foster care system, with nearly 8,000 of them from New Jersey.
One Simple Wish says that foster children are often an invisible population who need a voice.
"We're saying, while you're spending some time online, spend some finding out what the needs are in your own community," Gletow says, "And help somebody out."
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