As a child I grew up with my parents being Foster Carers, and now ive followed in their footsteps becoming a Foster Carer myself. Fostering is one of the most challenging yet rewarding things you will ever do. And my goodness have I had my exhausted overwhelmed Mumma days, but along side these days are days of pure joy. Seeing a glisten of hope in a little scared childs eyes, recieving a huge cuddle from a child that would otherwise not be affectionate at all, and just knowing you are providing them with the safety and sense of security they may never have known before.
One thing that has stood out to me over the 19years of seeing children come in and out of foster care, is the familiar 'plastic bags' and 'stripe bags' these kids are known to carrying their belongings around in. A child will often enter foster care with only a plastic bag of belongings or less, or they will have their room packed up into the stripe storage bags we all know. These bags are then dragged around with them to each placement, sadly for many kids they will move multiple times.
After thinking about this continuously, I thought to myself surely something can be done. These children matter, these children are loved, and these children are just as worthy as any of us. And 100% themselves, their belongings, and lives are worth more than a plastic bag. These kids should be able to pack their lives into their very own suitcase with pride and a sense of hope. Hence the creation of 'hope in a suitcase'.
My vision is to have a suitcase for all kids in the Hunter living in Foster Care.
Lets break the so called typical image of a foster child. Lets make them feel worthy, loved, and hopeful. Lets move from a plastic bag of embarrasment, hurt, shame, fear, and insecurity, To a suitcase of HOPE.
Funded by Lake Mac (November 2019)