We know their needs weigh heavy on foster families. They cross the threshold of homes, sometimes on a regular basis, and rarely have the essentials for what they need. Foster families may or may not have a small amount of supplies handy. You want to help. You aren't ready for any big commitments, financially it can be hard, we get it. So, we put together a handful of ways you can help a teenager in foster care have the essentials.
Yes, your local Dollar Tree carries socks. As a matter of fact, you can get 3 pair of socks for $1. They come in many styles, colors, and sizes. While you're at it, grab one of those reusable bags you can see at the bottom of the picture. Those also come in many different prints.
2. Hairbrushes, Combs, and Accessories
Check out the selection of hairbrushes available. Even young men need one. You'll find wide tooth comes, curling brushes, separating combs for braids and mirrors. Don't forget mirrors. Sometimes having a personal mirror can be helpful as well. Especially if bathroom time is limited when getting ready for school. Don't forget to browse the accessories for little girls and young ladies. Scrunchies, headbands, and ties are appreciated.
3. Travel Make-Up Bags
If you've run out of your Ipsy bags and you need more to stock full of personal items, the Dollar Tree has some pretty cute bags. Travel items and personal hygiene items fit nicely down in these and they are perfect for traveling, for school, and for keeping feminine products secret. Also, check out options for the guys who may need a safe place for their things as well.
As you can see, the variety is amazing and you can just grab a handful to donate. You can't go wrong here. They even have them for toddlers who need smaller brushes.
Don't forget toothpaste. Because hygiene is so important, teenagers in care would rather not share toothpaste with a family they may have just met. Having their own toothpaste is just ideal. Again, you can't go wrong here. Check out kids toothpaste options for little ones and even ones that might need Fluoride free at a young age.
6. Shaving Razors
Starting in middle school, teens usually have a pretty hefty need too these. The disposable options are handy and can travel well. If you think back to when you started shaving you might think of some other items that would go well with these like shaving cream or after shave lotion.
ESSENTIAL! There are usually a handful of options available at the Dollar Tree, grab a few full size sticks, sprays, or roller ball varieties. These are not only appreciated by teens, but by families and teachers too.
For $1 you can get 2-3 bars of soap in a variety of brands.
9. Shampoo & Conditioner
VO5, Salon Selectives, Suave, etc are all available at Dollar Tree. These along with soap, need not explanation.
10. Baby Items
One of the things I needed most were little wash clothes. These might not be for teens, but they are essentials to keep on hand. Plus, states try to keep teen mothers with their babies in care. So, there's always a chance a foster family has taken in a teen mom and her baby.
11. Feminine Hygiene Products
The Dollar Tree has these in small quantities. You can always buy these and make emergency kits with the travel make up bags. A few pads, feminine wipes, and maybe even tampons can be added. It's a bit of a security blanket for schools and foster families to have on hand.
12. Shower Caddies
After investing in some of the personal hygiene items, you might want to think about giving teens a place to put them for a sense of ownership. They can keep all those important things together in one place
13. Gift Baskets for Girls
Each of these items can be found at the Dollar Tree. Maybe you know a teen in foster care who just needs a bit of lifting up, Visit the Dollar Tree website for more gifting ideas.
14. Personal Hygiene Gift Baskets
For $1 per item you can get together with friends and create really great gift baskets to have on hand. Here are a few ideas from Dollar Tree.
15. Food & Goodies (Last, But Not Least)
Sometimes part of surviving in this world, means having a treat. You can put together a healthy gift basked for teens and we can not stress enough how important these can be. Teens who have experienced hunger in their childhood appreciate having food at their fingertips. I can aid in preventing hoarding and bring them comfort before dinner time if hunger pains strike. Hunger pains do not usually bring back good memories and can be a trigger.
These items can be dropped off with Flourish Foster Care Closet & Support. We take calls for emergency placements multiple times a month and serve families who just need clothing and items for current placements. If you know a family personally, please deliver to them, it would mean so much.
This is also a good project for local businesses, organizations, and church groups.