IN U.S. FOSTER CARE
Over 400,000 children are in the U.S. foster care system at any given time and range in age from days old to teens.
Many enter care with little to no belongings and have suffered the effects of abuse, poverty, neglect or even the death of their loved ones. With a nationwide shortage of foster parents and stipends that don’t cover the essentials of a growing child, many children have never owned a new pair of shoes. They might not have the school supplies they need to succeed or the comfort of a special toy, let alone the ability to find their special talent or passion by participating in sports or arts. Youth who are aging out of foster care are expected to succeed without the life skills, job training or education to keep a roof over their head.
Now with the Ticket to Dream Foundation, people across the country are standing up to support foster children and families. We can provide support to ease the burden of instantly providing everything a child needs for a foster family’s fifth or even twentieth foster child, to ensure these children have the essentials they need to build up their self-worth, fit in with their peers, feel cared for and have the little extras that make childhood fun. In foster care, they may be safe from harm but still have huge hurdles to overcome, and the statistics are grim.
HOW YOUR DONATION IS USED
Whether you made an in-kind donation at your local Mattress Firm store through our Foster Kids program partnership or directly donated to Ticket to Dream, all in-kind donations are distributed as quickly as possible to our carefully vetted non-profit foster care partners in the state you donated or specified. Each drive collects thousands of essential items and makes a real difference in the life of a foster child.
Online donations made to the Mattress Firm Foster Kids program or Ticket to Dream are used to fund life-shaping and vital support programs that improve the lives of foster children.
Monetary donations made in a Mattress Firm store are donated to our non-profit partners in that area to help purchase essential items needed or give a foster child the rare opportunity to shop for themselves.
Funds donated to a specific Ticket to Dream program, including GoPlay!, Take Flight, essential items, or just doing what’s best for the kids, are used as efficiently as possible to make the biggest impact for children within the program you chose to support. Some of our favorite efforts include sibling re-unification trips or experiences, camp programs, fulfilling little wishes, emergency placement services, providing laptops to high school youth, and extracurricular activities.
“Bringing hope to hurting children drives us. Seeing their eyes light up with new clothes for school is such an encouragement. Fear of lack is pervasive with foster children, but when they see the new back–to-school supplies, that fear is diminished!”
Foster Care Partner, Arrow Child & Family Ministries
“Foster youth who are moved from one home to another often struggle with feeling a real sense of belonging. Being a part of a sports team or youth club can give them a sense of stability and support during times of crisis, a shelter from the storms.”
Foster Care Partner, Alternative Family Services