As kids reach 18 and age out of the foster care system, transitioning to adulthood can be problematic.
There’s the matter of housing, a job and transportation to consider, and that’s where the Children’s Homes of Iredell comes into play, helping young people in foster care make that transition more smoothly,
And now, thanks to Williamson’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Mooresville, funds to assist young people in furthering their lives come somewhat easier.
Amy LaCount and Janet Hosler delivered a check for $10,000 to Sandy Jarvis and Turkessia Brown-Evans at the Children’s Homes of Iredell–run thrift store, Special Treasures.
LaCount, missions director for the church, said the money came from a Lenten offering and Children’s Homes of Iredell was one of three recipients.
Hosler recommended Special Treasures as a recipient of the funds because of her own volunteer work there.
Special Treasures is a nonprofit thrift store that provides young people in the foster care system a place to learn business and social skills and provide them with a foundation for their lives outside of the foster care system.
There are currently 24 children ages 14-21 living in Children’s Homes of Iredell facilities.
Jarvis explained that once the children reach the age of 18 they can opt out of foster care, but the agency tries to make that transition smoother by matching whatever the young person can save through a job or individual funds. “If they save $4,000 we can match that $4,000 and they can buy an $8,000 car or pay for a place to live,” she said.
Housing, a job and transportation for that job are keys to young people becoming productive citizens.
Donations, such as the one Williamson’s Chapel made earlier this week, mean these young people are provided with the tools for a more successful adulthood.
The thrift store also relies on donations for products to sell, and that in turn gives the foster children a place to work and to learn basics about the workforce. Jarvis pointed out that the thrift store profits pay salaries of the staff members at the store. That means Williamson’s Chapel donations and others go directly to helping the young people.
LaCount said that, in addition to Hosler’s enthusiastic recommendation, Special Treasures’ role in workforce development was a factor in choosing it as one of the recipients for the offering.
Ultimately, she said, the goal is to provide funding for agencies that help children and provide workforce training – something Special Treasures does on a daily basis.
After handing over the check to Jarvis and Brown-Evans, the workforce development manager at Special Treasures, both Hosler and LaCount said they were thrilled to present the money to the organization.
“I know that it’s going to a good place,” Hosler said.
To learn more about Special Treasures, visit the store at 214 N. Center St., Statesville or visit www.special-treasures.org.