Councilmember Bagshaw left office on December 31, 2019. This website is for archival purposes only and is no longer updated.

Preserving a childhood & a future for foster kids

I had the distinct pleasure of attending an actual tea party last Sunday – the kind with cups and saucers and dainty things to eat. The afternoon event was a fundraiser for Treehouse, giving foster kids a childhood and a future; stylish hats were de rigueur and made available to all guests.

With Audrey Seale, Make-A-Wish volunteer extraordinaire, at the Treehouse Tea Party.

With the help of hundreds of its volunteers in our area, Treehouse helps to give children in foster care some stability and support in ways that many of us can only begin to imagine. Imagine yourself as a little kid, having to move frequently, sometimes violently, with little or no notice.  Many of these kids arrive at a foster parent’s house with only a garbage bag with all their belongings stuffed inside.   Little children are taken from parents who can no longer care for them, and are handed over to foster parents in a strange house, sometimes without their siblings or even their favorite stuffed animal for comfort.  Simultaneously they leave neighbors and friends they made at the last place.  They move from school to school, picking up whatever the classroom teacher is offering in that strange new environment.

For middle school and high school students the change can be very cruel.  We know what kids can be like at that age to the new kid on the block, and without an anchor or feeling of security they may do everything they can  to avoid facing “the crowd” at school or to avoid school entirely. 

There’s no perfect solution to all of this trauma, but Treehouse fills some of the gaps with tutoring, opportunities for summer camp, and the “Wearhouse,” where stylish clothes (even a prom dress!) are available.  Treehouse will offer lessons or support that the foster parents may not be able to afford, like soccer supplies, ballet lessons, swim team fees and the like.  There’s also one-on-one tutoring and college and career counseling for the older students.  

Treehouse also has opportunities to give holiday gifts to foster children.  Suggestions will be specific and could include items such as a splashy winter outfit, piano lessons, or a letterman’s jacket for starters.   Would you like to join me in providing something special for a foster child this Christmas? 

More information about the holiday drive can be here.

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