Long-Term, Wrap-Around Support For Foster Families
Be A Box Of Hope Giver
Provide love & support to a foster family in your community for a year.
Receive Boxes Of Hope
For foster families who need love & support from people in the community.
Monthly Form Submissions
Boxes of Hope givers! Make sure you bookmark this page so you can send your forms easily in the future.
Why Be A Box Of Hope Giver?
In Fresno County, there are currently close to 3,000 children in the foster care system. These children are removed due to neglect, abandonment, or because they are victims of emotional, sexual, or physical abuse. They are scared and feel alone, having been removed from the only environment they’ve ever known. Once placed in foster care they are often bounced around from placement to placement, many times to no fault of their own. They have no foundation and struggle to adjust to different environments with each move.
The job of a foster parent is difficult at times. They rarely feel supported and are always overwhelmed. Many don’t have anyone in their lives cheering them on in the incredible work they are doing with these traumatized children.
Boxes of Hope is a program designed to be a wrap around support for foster families. Through simple monthly connections, our Box of Hope givers will become a steady and monumental presence of love and support. Each month, you will fill your Box of Hope with anything you’d like to give to the entire family (Parent, Foster Kids, Bio Kids…). You will hand deliver the Box of Hope and stick around a little while to foster deep and lasting connections with each member of the family.
Think of yourself as the “Fun Auntie” or “Fun Uncle” . To be sure we are providing consistent and reliable support this program requires a minimum of a one year commitment, of course, we hope it will last for much longer than that.
Boxes of Hope Program Basics
- Minimum of one year commitment of support for the specified foster family. The financial commitment will depend on the needs and size of the family. A good estimate is $20 per person in the family per month.
- You will work with you Box of Hope family to determine a schedule that works for everyone. We ask that you commit to being there at least once a month at a consistent time. You will commit to initiate contact with the familky each month to schedule and confirm.
- Your Box of Hope hangout will typically take place at the foster family home, but can take place anywhere: a park, a ball game, a restaurant… anywhere you agree to meet.
- Show the entire family that you are there for them in love and support by consistently showing up and developing deep connections with each
family member. Your job is to build relationships with the children as well and become a mentor in their lives while also showing love and support to
- We are completely volunteer based! Thank you for the commitment to invest in the lives of the foster youth and families in our community.
Box of Hope Contents
- “REQUIRED” a handwritten note to each member of the family to show encouragement
- Family Game Night
- Family Movie Night with snacks and movies
- A special gift for each member of the family (parents and bio kids included!)
- Suggested gifts for children:
favorite snacks, books, puzzles, interest-based items, clothes, toys…
- Suggested gifts for parents:
meals, household suplies, gift cards, gas cards…
Hope Outside The Box
- Many families have needs that don’t fit in a “box”. We encourage you to “think outside the box!”
- Pay for an activity or sponsor a sport or extra curricular activity
- Babysit or plan play dates to allow the caregiver to have a break*
- Transportation to and from school or appointments*
*Respite background checks required
Why Good Dirt Collective Exists
Half of all foster homes close within the first year.
Thousands of youth age-out of California's foster care system per year, with no place to call home.
A third of aged-out youth have been in three or more foster care placements.
Less than half of the children in California's foster care system will be adopted.
Just over half of the youth in foster care graduate high school - many with an equivalency diploma.
Box of Hope Giver Checklist
Volunteer As A Group, Or Individual
We encourage you to sign up as a small group or with a group of friends! Of course, you can always become a Box of Hope giver as an individual as well. If you do decide to sign up as a group, we do ask that one person be the primary contact between the family and the group and the rest of the group help with supplying the box contents.
We will match you with a foster family based on proximity, compatibility and needs. Finding a good fit is important to build a lasting and deep connection.
Meet The Family (With A Case Manager)
The initial meeting will be with you, the family and case manager. At this meeting you will get to know each other and complete a Formal Needs Assessment to see what specific needs the family has.
Prior to your first one on one meeting with the family you are required to complete an Initial Training with your case manager. This can be done in person or virtually.
Schedule First Meeting
Reach out to your family and schedule your first meeting! At this first meeting you will create a consistent schedule for the months to come. (Example: Most people prefer to meet the same day each month. So try the 3rd Saturday of each month…)
Consistency is key! The family will look forward to your arrival so we ask that you do not cancel on them or reschedule once the meetings are arranged (unless of course in the case of an emergency).
Complete Monthly Tracking Forms
This is important to help us track outcomes and impact you are providing.
Where Do I Get The Boxes?
During you initial meeting with your case manager, they will supply you with 12 boxes for the year.
Do I Have To Fill A Box For Each Child In The Home, Or Does The Whole Family Get One?
The idea is to fill one box for the whole family. Within each box may be one item for each member of the family.
How Do I Find Out What The Foster Family’s Needs Are?
Through building relationships and asking questions. Don’t wait for them to tell you what they need. You initiate the conversation and the connection. If you’re becoming a Box of Hope giver as a group, we recommend one or two people in your group being the contact person for the family. This makes it less overwhelming for the family. But all are encouraged to donate to fill the box each month.
Am I Allowed To Be Left Alone With The Children?
Each foster agency and county has different requirements for those who wish to become respite providers for their families. At least, a background check and fingerprinting will need to be completed. Let us know if you would like
to go through this process and we will connect you with the agency/county to make this happen.
Is There A Financial Limit I Can Spend On The Family?
No, but focus on consistent support, meaningful connections and experiences. We want to focus more on the relationships than the care packages.
Am I Allowed To Ask Personal Questions?
Try to refrain from asking personal questions about the children, as far are why they are in foster care. The true focus should be on building relationships. If those things come up in conversations that’s okay but we want to stay away from appearing “nosy” or invasive.
Am I Allowed To Hug A Child?
Not at first. Don’t rush it. Allow the relationship to happen organically and naturally.
Am I Allowed To Take Pictures Of The Children?
Only when given permission and you are never allowed to post online. State law states that children in foster care may not have their pictures posted on any social media platform.
What If I Have A Concern?
Reach out to your case manager to address any and all concerns. As a person who interacts with foster children you will fall under the requirements of a mandated reporter.
Do I Have To Provide A Box Each Month?
Some months your “boxes” will be things that don’t fit in a box and that’s okay! Maybe one month you’ll plan an outing to the zoo or will take the kids back to school shopping or other activities.
Make It Extra Special!
We do birthday parties BIG here at Good Dirt Collective! Oftentimes birthdays can be a source of sadness or grief as the child is experiencing their birthday away from their families and the only environments they’ve ever known. Box of Hope givers can help to create an extra special and unforgettable birthday while the child is in care.
• Plan A Free Party At Good Dirt!
Good Dirt Pottery Studio will provide a pottery party for up to 10 children at no cost for the foster children in your matched family. You, as a Box of Hope giver, supply the cake and refreshments.
• Bring a “Birthday in a Box” that month.
Provide the decorations, games and snacks for the party at the families home.
• Plan a special outing for the birthday child.
Ideas could include: the zoo, a park, Build a Bear Workshop, No Surrender or other fun activities.
Children Received Free Pottery Classes
Victims Of Sex Trafficking Received Weekly Art Therapy Classes
At-Risk Youth Gained Work Experience Through Internships At Good Dirt Pottery Studio
Children Have Been Adopted/Fostered By Good Dirt Co. Leadership
People Have Been Invited To Engage In Foster Care And Adoption
Foster Family Was Given A Free Studio Membership
New Foster Parents Were Created And Have Opened Their Home
Dollars Invested To Date To Provide Experiences Of Hope For Foster Kids
Get in Touch. Get Involved.
We gladly welcome you to visit, call, or email us to learn more about Good Dirt Collective and the work which helps at-risk children find hope and meaning through the art of clay