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Foundation supports foster children

When the Foster Children's Foundation incorporated in 2003 to begin serving foster children in need, there were 348 children in care in Gwinnett County. In 2006, there were more than 750 children in Gwinnett County Foster care.

This shows a staggering 100 percent increase in the number of children who have come in to foster care in just the last three years. Among the reasons for the drastic increase are the use of methamphetamines, physical abuse, abandonment, neglect and worse. One thing is certain, these children need our help.

As the number of children in care grows, the needs of the youth increase. Whether it's a material or emotional need, the FCF works year round to help provide for youths who are facing difficult situations. Through programs and projects designed to meet the needs of youth in foster care, the Foster Children's Foundation and our wonderful family of volunteers have been able to help improve the quality of life for many children.

One of the many ways FCF supports youth in foster care is through our Resource Center. To raise the self-confidence of youth who have been removed from their homes, the Foster Children's Foundation maintains a center where foster families can bring their children to shop for needed items such as clothing, personal care items, school supplies, baby products and much more at no charge. We hold an open house one Saturday a month and meet families on an as-needed basis. When foster families arrive, they are greeted by caring volunteers who are ready to help and a hair stylist who is on hand to provide haircuts for

children.

The FCF has recently moved its Resource Center to a new location where we will continue to provide for the material and emotional needs of youth in foster care. Our new location near Gwinnett Place Mall also allows us the flexibility to host meetings and programs such as the Tomorrow Matters mentoring program.

There are a few items that we are in need of for our new location and for the children we serve. For the Resource Center, we are in need of room dividers to section off different areas of the building. For the children, we are in need of hygiene products of all types. If you can help with either of these items, please contact us.

With help from caring individuals in the community and numerous volunteer efforts, the new Foster Children's Foundation Resource Center is open to serve children in need. This temporary facility will help raise self-esteem and provide children with the materials needed to face each day with confidence.

If you would like to visit our new Resource Center and learn about ways you can help to improve the quality of life for children in foster care, call the Foster Children's Foundation at 770-623-6135, e-mail info@fosterchildrensfoundation.org or visit our Web site at www.fosterchildrensfoundation.org.

"People Helping People" is a weekly column written by the executive directors of nonprofit organizations in Gwinnett County. Today's article was written by Suzanne Geske of the Foster Children's Foundation.

Need help or know someone who does? The Gwinnett Helpline directs callers to the appropriate nonprofit agency. Call 770-995-3339.