In February, the Social Justice & Responsibility Team is spotlighting “Mission: Support Kids,” the brainchild of Alex Todak-Schwartz, a long-time UUFD member. Alex is the adopted daughter of UUFD friends Betty and Norbert Schwartz.
Mission: Support Kids has been a long-time dream of Alex’s since she grew up in foster care before being adopted as a teenager. She remembers the fear and anxiety around being removed from her “home,” with little to no notice, and given a trash bag for all her belongings. She wondered how she could help ease this trauma among other foster kids by provi
ding them with something that was soothing and comforting. Thus, Mission: Support Kids was born.
Since 2020, Mission: Support Kids has been providing foster kids with their own personal backpacks filled with items meant to help their often-abrupt transitions from home to home. Alex worked with child psychologists to determine age-appropriate items for the backpacks, and the Department of Human Services to set up a program for distributing the backpacks.
In 2021, members of UUFD helped Alex apply for and receive a UUA grant which launched her program. She and her partner, Hannah Letzler from the River Church in Durango, began buying supplies and collecting donations for the backpacks. Hannah is a foster parent and had been running a small donation program for foster kids through her own church.
To date, Mission Support Kids has distributed 124 backpacks to transitioning foster kids. Alex and Hannah are confident that these backpacks serve as emotional support for the kids, and remind them that people care about them enough to give them new and special items that are uniquely theirs.
Please support Alex and Hannah’s endeavour with your donations and your loving encouragement.