IKEA Orlando gave nearly $4,000 in products to provide housewarming baskets to more than 50 youth aging out of the foster care system through the Foundation for Foster Care. Recipients will have the choice of essentials for their bed and bath or cooking and cleaning.
Graduating high school and furnishing your own place — be it a dorm room or a first apartment — is usually an exciting time for a family. For those aging out of the foster care system, this milestone comes with mixed emotions.
“IKEA wins over much of our customer base just after high school graduations,” said Kendra Ferguson, local marketing specialist for IKEA Orlando. “Our store is packed every weekend from May to August with parents who are helping their children navigate the store, shopping for things that they’re not used to buying: furniture and housewares. IKEA has the right prices for young people who are headed off to college or out on their own, but we know that the experience is not the same for everyone. IKEA is the ‘Life Improvement Store,’ and when the Foundation for Foster Children reached out, we were happy to help.”
The mission of the Foundation for Foster Children is to enrich the lives of children placed in foster care due to abuse and neglect by providing opportunities that nurture their ability to succeed both as individuals and contributing members of our community. Items donated by IKEA Orlando included things that people often take for granted including bed textiles, pillows, towels, shower curtains, bath mats, toiletry holders, cookware, dinnerware, silverware, hangers, hampers, laundry baskets and more.
Betsey Bell, executive director of the Foundation for Foster Children, added, “With so many local foster youth leaving foster care to navigate into adulthood, the Foundation for Foster Children is so pleased to have the support of IKEA who is committed to helping our youth transition successfully with a solid foundation. The household items provided by IKEA Orlando are the things that your parents would buy you or you could take from your house when you move out on your own for the first time.
“Our young people now not only have the basic things needed for living independently, but they also feel cared for and valued as individuals,” Bell said.