Italian American Chamber of Commerce of Michigan Supports Friends of Foster Kids

Dec 22, 2021 448

BY: Sandra Tornberg

Members of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce of Michigan (IACCM) recently spent time wrapping Christmas gifts at Friends of Foster Kids (FoFK). Founded in 1919, the IACCM is comprised of 183 Italian Americans who are proud of their Italian heritage. In addition to providing opportunities for business and professional growth, the IACCM provides scholarships to Italian American students each year and supports many local charities such as Friends of Foster Kids. 

Friends of Foster Kids is a non-profit organization founded in 2008 by Theresa Toia to meet the needs of foster children in Macomb County, Michigan. These children have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect and have been placed in temporary housing or shelters. The scope soon expanded to include children in Oakland and Wayne counties as well. 

The original mission was to provide a Christmas for foster children who otherwise may not receive any presents. Caseworkers work with the children to make Christmas lists of their top three wishes. The lists also contain other important information such as age, size, favorite colors, hobbies, favorite characters, etc. The lists are distributed to donors and volunteers who provide as many presents as they can. Volunteers at FoFK then add extra essentials such as pajamas and blankets as well as additional gifts from donated items on the shelves. Finally, the presents are wrapped by volunteers such as the groups from IACCM, and picked up by caseworkers to be distributed to the children in time for Christmas.  This year FoFK has provided a Christmas to approximately 1,000 children. 

Friends of Foster Kids expanded its services to help young people who have graduated from high school and are going on to college. College bound students are provided with the essentials needed for success, from laptops and school supplies to items needed for dormitory living. FoFK also assists youth who have aged out of the foster system at age 20 but are still in need of assistance by meeting some of their basic needs to live independently. In addition, FoFK provides immediate necessities to children removed from their homes, often only with the clothes they are wearing.  

Friends of Foster Kids relies on donations and volunteers to carry out its important mission. For more information about this amazing organization, visit their website https://friendsoffosterkids.org. For more information about the Italian American Chamber of Commerce, please see https://www.iaccm.net

In the photo: Macomb County Circuit Judge Joseph Toia and his wife Theresa Toia, founder of FoFK

 

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