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Holy Innocents’ senior collecting backpacks for foster kids | Community Spirit

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Holy Innocents’ senior collecting backpacks for foster kids
Holy Innocents’ senior collecting backpacks for foster kids

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- Former foster child Freedom Wright knows what it means to wonder where your next dress or pair of blue jeans will come from. That’s one reason why the 17-year-old senior at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School is trying to help older kids living in the foster care system.

Wright is holding a backpack drive at Holy Innocents’ this fall to help make sure that foster kids in sixth grade and up will have access to backpacks, either new or gently used. The drive benefits the Foster Care Support Foundation.

“I remember bouncing from house to house,” says Freedom, who was in foster care for three years and eight months before being adopted. “You never knew where your next meal or set of clothes were going to come from.”

Freedom began collecting backpacks for older kids this summer and will continue this fall since foster care clients “shop” for free clothing and other items all year long at the Foster Care Support Foundation’s distribution center.

The young woman’s goal is not only to collect backpacks, however, but also to encourage other Atlanta young people to volunteer with foster care at the distribution center, and to raise awareness that many older kids live in the foster care system. “People usually know more about the babies in foster care, but older children are also in need and should have a voice in the community,” she says.

The backpack drive is also Freedom's Girl Scout Gold Award project with Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.

Bins for the backpacks are located in the Upper and Middle Schools at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, or they can be dropped off at the school admissions office, 805 Mt. Vernon Hwy N.W., Atlanta 30327.

Anyone in the community who would like Freedom Wright to speak to their youth groups may email her at freeyourmindbackpack@comcast.net

The Foster Care Support Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, works “to enrich the lives of Georgia’s foster children and help acquire and retain foster parents.” The group distributes free clothing, infant equipment and developmental toys to thousands of children in foster care each year. The group also serves grandparents who are raising grandchildren, and relatives who are caring for related children for a limited time.

For more information on Holy Innocents' Episcopal School, visit www.hies.org.