Better Together, a voluntary, community-driven alternative to foster care, is seeking donations for HopePacks to provide basic hygiene, toiletry and other necessities for children participating in the Better Families program. Since March and the onset of COVID-19, the nonprofit organization has seen a 155% increase in the number of requests for help due to the widespread isolation, unemployment and stress that are putting families at additional risk.
“When parents fall into crisis, fully screened and trained volunteers host children in their homes while mentoring parents toward stability including help with finding a job, securing housing, childcare and more,” said Megan Rose, CEO, Better Together. “Many times, children arrive at a host home with little to no personal belongings and the host families may not have all the essentials upon their arrival. HopePacks filled with a stuffed animal, bedtime books and essentials like socks and bubble bath can help ease the transition during the first 48 hours.”
HopePacks generally cost $25 on average. In addition to tote bags or small backpacks, the wish list of items for children includes basic toiletries, a hairbrush, books, socks, stuffed animals, pacifiers, diapers, lotion and gift cards.
Donations can be mailed to 15275 Collier Blvd., Suite 201-284, Naples, FL 34119 or dropped off at one of the following locations:
- Century 21 Realty: 4040 Del Prado Blvd S, Cape Coral, FL 33904
- Tax Savers: 1300 Enterprise Dr, Suite A, Port Charlotte, FL 33953
- Relevance Church: 13241 Griffin Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33913
For those who wish to donate online, Better Together has created an Amazon wish list and items purchased will ship directly to the organization.
Better Together has served over 2,500 children in Southwest Florida and kept 96% of families together. The nonprofit was founded on the belief that loving parents should not lose children because they are having money problems, or had the courage to seek treatment, or got hospitalized without childcare. These challenges can be overcome with the right support system in place.
With the help of hundreds of volunteers and church communities, Better Together builds lasting support systems that help families cope with hardships – job loss, substance abuse, homelessness and even jail time – and ensures that children are cared for in a safe home until the family can be reunited. Additionally, Better Together’s “Better Jobs” program has helped nearly 29,000 job seekers connect with employment opportunities through church-based job fairs across 20 states.
ABOUT BETTER TOGETHER
Better Together is a nonprofit organization that helps parents going through a hard time keep their kids out of foster care, find work and address the root causes of their struggle so that they can reunite as a family with the tools and support system to thrive. A privately funded and professionally supported organization, Better Together is made up of volunteers who believe helping people help themselves is the best way to restore dignity and bring families together. Through the Better Families program, families are offered a preventive alternative to foster care while they get the help they need. To date, the program has kept 96% of children served out of foster care. The Better Jobs program was created to address the 76% of families that come to Better Together because of economic hardship tied to unemployment. In addition to community job fairs, the program offers job seekers coaching, guidance, support and encouragement through local church partners. For more information, visit BetterTogetherUS.org.