February 14, 2019—During the months of February and March, SCAN of Northern Virginia is accepting donations of toiletry items for local teens and older youth in the foster care system. Gift cards and donations are also welcome in support of the drive. (Download a Wish List for the drive here.)
“For older youth and teens in the system, even the simplest of items—things like deodorant, tampons, even a coffee—can be difficult to come by,” notes Amy Wilker, SCAN’s CASA Program Manager. “Especially when it’s a choice between a meal or personal care.”
The items collected during the drive will be distributed at the Arlington Youth in Transition Conference on April 26, 2019. In partnership with the Arlington County Department of Human Services, SCAN’s Alexandria/Arlington CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Program is co-hosting the event for youth in care ages 14-21. Participants will enjoy workshops, panel discussions, voter registration, and more. They’ll also be able to “shop” for the personal care items they need most, choosing from items donated to the Toiletry Drive.
As children in the foster care system get older (and eventually “age-out”) they face new challenges. They need to prepare to function as independent adults without the same supports and connections many other children have in place.
“If we want them to be successful and independent, older youth need consistent, supportive adults in their lives,” adds Wilker. “That’s a role our CASA volunteers can fill when they are assigned to cases with older youth.” Last year, the Alexandria/Arlington CASA Program provided volunteer advocates (or “CASAs”) to more than 164 children in Alexandria and Arlington, and more than 20% were age 14 or older.
“But we also need to connect them with the resources needed to transition into adulthood,” notes Wilker. “That’s why this conference is so important.” Information will be available on a variety of topics, including employment services, educational options, financial management, health, and housing.
District Taco will be providing lunch for youth and adults at the conference. Osiris Hoil, District Taco CEO and SCAN Board Member, said the choice to support this new event was simple.
“When I first came to America I struggled to support myself, so being able to provide a meal to others means a lot to me,” shares Hoil. “It is important to us that we get involved in the community in any way we can. If we can make it so that someone doesn’t have to choose between a meal and basic necessities even for one day, we’ll do whatever it takes.”
Toiletry Drive Donations must be new and full-sized toiletry items and are limited to items on this list:
- Shampoo & Conditioner
- Toothpaste & Toothbrushes
- Feminine Hygiene Products
- Body Lotion
- Brushes & Combs
- Face Wash & Acne Cleansers
- (No Razors Please)
Additional donations can include Gift Cards for:
- Chain restaurants
- Local restaurants
All donations must be coordinated with SCAN’s main office. We recommend coordinating a drive at your workplace, faith group, or community organization!
To plan your donations, please contact Amy Wilker: [email protected]. For more information about the drive, please visit scanfamilies.org/casa.
About SCAN of Northern Virginia
We believe child abuse and neglect can be prevented. For three decades, SCAN of Northern Virginia has been working throughout the region to develop effective prevention programming for all children and families, no matter what their circumstances. Our vision is a community where every child has the opportunity to grow up in a safe, stable, nurturing family, with the supports the child needs to thrive today and contribute to stronger communities tomorrow.
Thanks to our donors, partners, and volunteers, we are living our mission and promoting the well-being of children, improving parent-child relations and preventing child abuse and neglect through three core strengths:
- Parent Education Program, to provide direct parent education;
- Public Education Program, to educate the community about the scope, nature, and consequences of child abuse and neglect and the importance of positive, nurturing parenting; and
- Alexandria/Arlington CASA Program, to advocate for children in the community, the legislature and the courts.
Learn more at www.scanfamilies.org