May is national foster care month and in Lincoln a group of volunteers for the ministry group Fostering Grace came together to make backpacks filled with supplies for foster kids and their families.
Fostering Grace was born right out of a garage by a woman with passion for foster children and a heart for giving back.
Three years strong in September, the ministry group through Crossway Church, Fostering Grace, was started after foster parent Jeanna Gill took a child with little notice.
“At 10 O’Clock on a Saturday night I received an infant and she had just her tee shirt that she had on and she was crying wanted pj’s and to go to bed and I didn’t have anything.” said Gill, the founder of Fostering Grace
Named after a foster child who she and her husband adopted, it serves many purposes. One being a closet system where parents can come and get what they need and another is their backpack program.
The group fills backpacks for any age group, from newborns to 18-year-olds, with necessary supplies.
One example includes diapers, toys, shampoo, and one aspect Gill said is the most important … socks, underwear, and clothes.
“That’s the link that most people are missing when they help with the bags is a foster parent says thank you for the bottle thank you for the diapers, I need clothes.” said Gill
A fellow foster parent who volunteers said this program is a life saver.
“Sometimes kids that go into foster care come in with nothing, and this helps that foster parent have something to start with.” said foster parent and volunteer Heather Knight
The bags are delivered to the families by local agencies.
The group humbly acknowledging they are built on the back of a supportive community.
“This whole garage everything in here has been donated to Fostering Grace from our community here which is amazing to me.” said Gill
After struggling with infertility, Gill said being a mother through foster care and creating this group has meant the world.
“God took a really hard thing and he made something beautiful out of it.” said Gill
The group finished packing these summer bags today and the agencies will be delivering them to the foster families on Monday.