MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Thousands of Minnesota kids will not be at home for the holidays. And now, the foster care system is extra stressed because of COVID-19. Fewer foster parents want to take on new kids because of distance learning.
However, there's something you can do to help, and something you likely have lying in your closet or garage could be life changing for a child in transition.
It's a job many say they could never do, being a foster parent.
"There are tough days, really really tough days, but the tough days pale in comparison to the beautiful days when you see your kids succeed," Melissa Moore, of Alexandria, said.
Moore has had many beautiful days with her three youngest kids; she fostered, then adopted them.
"We have six kids in total, and I can't imagine life without them," she said.
She teared up as she said those words. She had to fight back tears, too, when he kids first moved in.
"The youngest kept asking for a suitcase and we couldn't figure out why he was asking for that, and when I realized why he was asking I was heartbroken," she said.
Turns out her son's request was common.
"One thing we noticed in the foster system is that kids would be bringing their stuff in a garbage bag, a big black garbage bag. And how does that feel? That everything you're allowed to have which is barely anything at all is in a garbage bag," Dr. Michelle Murray, of Nexus Family Healing, said.
Nexus Family Healing, the agency that helped the Moore family, is helping give kids proper gear. They are taking cash donations to get kids duffel bags, and also accepting gently used suitcases. Moore says it's powerful.
"They don't have to think of themselves as garbage when they have their own bag," Moore said.
They are also accepting donations for bedding, room accessories or anything kids can keep in those bags.
"From coats to mittens to toys that belong to them, through the transition make a big difference," Murray said.
Simple ways to give kids a sense of home until they find the right one, like the Moore's kids did.
They are looking for new duffles that can be dropped or shipped to the Buffalo location, or cash donations that can be used for other "little things".
If you'd like to drop off a duffle bag, suitcase, coats, or a cash donation that can be used for other "little things," there is a drop-off in Buffalo.
Drop off or Mail here:
Nexus-Kindred Family Healing
103 Marty Dr. #201
Buffalo, MN 55313
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