Foster Love Project’s mission is to show love in action to children impacted by foster and kinship care through the provision of goods, services & support.
Many times, children entering foster care and being placed in a new foster home are not given much time to prepare and are unable to take personal belongings with them. The items that are taken are often placed in trash bags. The same holds true for foster parents, who are often not provided many tangible items or resources to help get them through the transition of a new child being placed into their home.
This scenario played out several times for Foster Love Project’s Founder, Kelly Hughes, and her family, during a year when they fostered seven children. Kelly became passionate about looking for ways to provide more dignity and care in the foster care process for kids being placed as well as support for kinship and foster families who are caring for children in transition. The need to reinforce dignity and compassion at such a crucial and traumatic time for children was the very foundation on which Foster Love Project was formed.
Foster Love Project was initially created in 2014 to encourage donations of bags of new goods to help kids who must change homes with little or no warning. With an initial goal of collecting 300 FLP bags, 1,300 bags were donated by community members, friends and supporters. Since then, more than 17,000 FLP bags have been distributed across fourstates, and Foster Love Project has continued to grow to meet the needs of kids and families in crisis in the Pittsburgh region.
In 2016, Foster Love Project became a formal non-profit organization and in 2017 the first free Shopping Center for children and families impacted by foster care and adoption was opened.
Today, Foster Love Project programs focus on providing connection, dignity, and hope. This is achieved by amplifying foster and adoptee voices and meeting basic needs that come with the unique challenges of foster care and adoption. Programs include a Teen Connections group, a Back 2 School event, an annual Family Support Program, an Angel Tree Gift Collection and the original FLP Bag Drive.
Since its inception, Foster Love Project’s outreach and support efforts have impacted thousands of foster youth in our region, thanks to the continued support and dedication of the community. #LoveIsAnAction
To learn more and to support the oorganization’s essential work: fosterloveproject.org.
Story and Photography by Foster Love Project
Subscribe to TABLE Magazine‘s print edition.