The Foster Pantry was created to meet the necessity of children coming into foster care needing tangible items during placement. These items include; clothing, diapers, toiletries, etc. In many cases, children are placed into a foster home with only the clothes they were wearing when taken into custody by the Department of Social Services. The Foster Pantry will centralize collection and organization of these items. This will also provide a way for people that do not feel called to be a foster parent the ability to support the foster care system. Support can be given to the organization through donations or volunteering, during one of our bi-monthly events, or by contacting one of the ambassadors directly. Bi-monthly donation events, will be held in collaboration with places of worship and community centers. Delegation of the Foster Pantry’s financial and societal obligations, will be deliberated by the board of directors, comprised of founding members, guardian ad lite ems, foster parents, and other notable heads in the community.
– Foster Pantry will have a central locationwhere we can meet, collect, sort, pack, store and distribute. A core group of people (Foster Pantry Ambassadors) will have access to this location to open it up for fellow foster parents and/or social workers (on-call). This location will be open by case-need and routine hours Monday-Saturday.
The central location will be used as:
- a weekly drop off location
- meeting place
- Food, Friends and Fostering
- Fostering Faith
- classroom for foster care training
- community volunteer space to help with the organization of donated items
- primary pick up location for the tangible items
- a space for like-minded charity and community collaboration
- A drop in place for people who are looking for information
– Foster Pantry will have monthly donation drives at local places of worship, community centers, etc. where people can drop off donations or volunteer to help with the organization of donated items. These drives would also help Foster Pantry stay in the forefront of people’s’ minds.
– Foster Pantry will have Foster Pantry Ambassadors, which is a group of lead volunteers handpicked by the Executive Director in collaboration with the governing Board of Directors. This group will have authority to dictate where funds and supplies will go, based on the organization’s guidelines. They will be the on-call group who will physically provide access to the funds and/or tangible items.
– Foster Pantry will hold quarterly Food, Friends & Fosteringmeetings at the central location. This is a non-committal way for people to come and learn more about the foster care system, and what it takes to become a licensed foster parent. Foster parents and DSS representatives will be at the meetings to share information and answer questions.
– Foster Pantry will have a board of directors who will govern the organization’s activities and create the guidelines used for donation and distribution of the funds and tangible items received by Foster Pantry. The initial Board of Directors will include the following:
Stacy Pullen for her years of experience as a Foster Parent, co-leading the moms’ group Fostering Faith, years of experience in management and accounting
Allison Davis for her years of experience in both Child Protective Services and as a DSS Licensing Worker.
– Foster Pantry will have official procedures for tracking funds and tangible items in and out of the pantry via dedicated computer software, and an organized file system. This will include tax receipts and bank statements for all transactions, either donated to the organization for support, or dispersed to fostering families that need tangible support (i.e. clothing, strollers, diapers… etc.).
– Foster Pantry will be an ambassador to create a positive change in the perception of the foster care system and foster parents. We will provide internal support for each other and external promotion of foster care.
The Foster Pantry was developed to create material, and communal support, to prevent fostering families from having to say “no” to a placement because of the stress that comes with a child entering their home lacking tangible materials. This will also provide children taken into custody with a small sense of ownership over the newly received items upon placement in their new foster home. The community support developed from collection of donated goods, will allow the Foster Pantry to be an ambassador in the community for a positive change in the perception of the foster care system and fostering families.
Distribution of any donations made in a dollar amount to The Foster Pantry, will be decided by the Board Committee following these guidelines to the best of their ability, based on the supply and demand of the organization, so that the organization will continue to operate in a manner that allows them to carry out the original mission developed by its’ founder Emily Klinefelter.
All financial obligations regarding the monthly costs of utilities and rental fees for the main operation site will be covered first.
All financial obligations included in the material needs of the organization to carry out the cleaning, organization, and distribution of donated items to the Department of Social Services, Foster Agencies, and Fostering Families, will be covered after the first obligation is met.
All financial obligations required to pay any persons that are hired as an employee of the organization, including salary and benefit compensations for their time contributed to the daily tasks and operations necessary for the success of the original mission set by the organizations founder, will not be lower than $30,000 per year if all other financial obligations have been met prior, and said employees will receive a yearly increase in salary if the Board Committee and the other financial obligations agree with said increase, but no one employee shall ever receive more than 15% of any dollar amount revenue generated by the organization, unless the first and second financial obligations have been met, and the amount of dollar revenue remaining is less than $200,000.
Any extra dollar amount revenue that remains after prior obligations, can be distributed for special case scenarios at the will of the Board Committee.
Objective Goals of our Mission:
Short term goals for the organization will be to provide individual vacuum sealed packages that will contain seven days of clothing (and items when applicable/available), to Foster Care Agencies and the Department of Social Services, so that when a child comes into custody, the agencies will be able to provide these packages to the foster care home that the child is placed with. Each package will be filled and labeled according to the age and sex of the materials inside.
Long term goals would include the outreach and growth appropriate to the size and growth of The Foster Pantry’s ability to meet and exceed the demands of current size, incorporating adjacent counties to current reach and new foster care agencies within said counties. Eventually acquiring the need to hire more employees for the organization and cleaning of donated goods, transportation from donation drop sites to the organization site and from the organization site to the agencies as needed, moving to a new facility with a larger capacity to match the current and future demand of the organization.
Initial Purposed Operating Budget:
- Office/storage rental fees. (currently $700 per month)
- Vacuum sealed bags used for distributing the organized goods. – $9 for 6 (we have used and distributed about 200 to DSS in the year of 2017)
- Proposed Salary for a Full-Time employee – $30,000 as governed by the organization’s by-laws.
- Dedicated Washer and Dryer (very large capacity) – $2500 (for the largest we could find online)
- Fuel for transporting to and from office, and distribution of donations – $40 per week