Two weeks ago, while delivering a giant shipment of essentials to Abbott House in New York City for the migrant children sent there after being separated from their parents at the border, I was approached by one of the employees at the home. After thanking us for the supplies, she broke down into tears, overcome by the emotion of the preceding few days. On one hand, she was tremendously grateful for our help, but on the other hand, her heart broke for all the other children that the organization serves – primarily foster kids – who simply never receive this type of support from the public.
That moment has stuck with me ever since.
Quite frankly, that whole week has stuck with me. How could it not? From the time the public first learned about the family separations taking place at the border, to learning that many of those children would be sent thousands of miles to the New York area, it was a heart-wrenching few days. Here were children, already afraid and traumatized, now separated from their only source of stability and comfort – their parents.
After the initial shock and sadness wore off, I knew I had to spring into action and help out those kids coming to the New York area. With the unbelievable support from so many of you, Bundles of Joy was able to provide needed essentials to the migrant children as they arrived at Abbott House. But rather than feel a sense of accomplishment, that afternoon only further confirmed just how staggering the need is, not just for migrant children, but for millions of kids born in this country as well.
A recent New York Times article sheds light on the plight of foster children in our country, who are often forgotten by America at large. When children are not provided with the adequate love and support that they deserve, the consequences can be devastating both short and long-term. To think that one in five children live in poverty and represent one in five homeless people throughout the country is terrible. It is tragic. It is horrifying. It makes me mad. No child should ever feel unloved or forgotten. Foster families and nonprofit agencies do their best to provide for these children, but the need is so extensive, so great, that they are often overwhelmed.
Inevitably, this is where politics usually enters the conversation. We could talk all day about the need for more funding, cultural and societal changes, and the politicians who may or may not seem to care.
Rather than point fingers and argue, I want this to be instead a call to action. My hope is to shed light on this issue so that each and every one of us, if we can’t help these children immediately in some way, are at least thinking about these kids. They deserve support. They deserve love, even if comes from complete strangers.
The mission of Bundles of Joy is to help these vulnerable children, who are living in the foster care system or in poverty, receive the vital care they need early in life. With the right support, we can give these kids a better start, and hopefully, a better future. The need is year-round. Although we are a small operation, we do what we can to make sure that no family or agency that reaches out to us for essentials is turned away.
But we need your help. We may not be able to help every child in the country, but every bundle, every donation, can be a ray of light for a family or child. If we can lighten the burden of a mother struggling to care for her newborn, or help out a wonderful organization like Abbott House care for the many deserving kids in their system, we can positively affect the futures of countless children. I always say, you don't have to look far to see a need.
For those moved to do so, please consider Buying a Bundle or contributing funds that go towards purchasing new items like toiletries and hygiene products. We also recently started a "Birthday Joy" program where we purchase new toys for children celebrating milestones in shelters. Thank you to the many who've supported our efforts - you've truly made a difference.