To promote National Foster Care Awareness, we wanted to share some information you can use to get involved. Centered around youth advocacy, the Idaho Youth Ranch works with families and children to ensure they have access to the help, resources, and education they need to positively change the trajectory of their life. With nearly 1,800 children living in the Idaho foster care system, it’s never too late get involved by giving back!
Donate New Clothing
Let’s be honest, when we discuss donations, you probably think about your old, gently-worn, or unused items you have stored throughout the house. We love all donations, but it’s truly a special treat when caring individuals buy and donate brand new clothing that is fashionable and seasonally-transitional. Every child deserves the ability to express their confidence and individuality through the clothes they wear. Whether from your closet or from the store, brand new garments with the tags are often in better overall condition than used items. It’s important to be selective when donating both new and used clothing; someone is depending on them to last. Look for high-quality products with transitional style and multi-season functionality. In fact, sustainable apparel manufacturers like Pact sell their organic cotton clothing at Whole Foods Markets nationwide. Next time you’re there, consider picking up a new piece of clothing that you can donate to a child in need!
Donate Gently-Used Clothing
As mentioned above, when gifting your gently-used textiles, it important that they are in great condition. However, if it does have stains, holes, is missing buttons, or is worn beyond repair, bag it separately; it can still be recycled. Learn more about how to donate used clothing below!
Donate School Supplies
School supplies and backpacks are always being accepted. However, when donating backpacks, be selective when it comes to patterns, style, and quality. Your donation may have to last for a number of years.
Donate Duffel Bags
Children transitioning between foster homes and other organizations often use trash bags to carry and store their clothing. Donating a new duffel bag filled with a blanket, hygiene kit, and motivational card can go a long way to help someone make a difficult transition. To get involved nationally, consider supporting Together We Rise. They have donated over 100,000 duffel bags to foster youth in need.
Where You Can Donate
We collect donated items and gift them, or sell them through our23 retail thrift store locationsthroughout Idaho, Ontario, and Oregon. We use some of the financial proceeds from our retail thrift operations to support the treatment programs and services we provide. Beyond collecting donated items, we provide foster youth with clothing vouchers, which allows them to pick out their own wardrobe, and we also produce brand new goods made using 100% donated- recyclable materials. In addition, our donation centers and storefronts provide community members with service and volunteer opportunities, work experience, and training they can use to advance their lives! For more information on the types of items we collect, check out our list here
You can also take it one step further and give your time and expertise where it really matters. Idaho Youth Ranch offers so many ways to get involved! You could help with office projects or special mailings. You could donate your time to a youth service program. You could go behind the scenes at our thrift stores to help create displays, sort and hang merchandise, and more. Learn more about our volunteer opportunities.