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Supporting Resource Families in the Lehigh Valley and Surrounding Area
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The Kindness Project is an all-volunteer, donation-based, nonprofit organization created to provide support to foster families in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas. We supply clothing, shoes, furniture and other essential items free of charge as children in the foster care system are placed in their homes. Our physical shop, "The Kindness Exchange," is located in Emmaus, PA.

Our mission is to create a kind and caring community for
resource families and children in foster care throughout the Lehigh Valley.

By providing children with new or gently used clothing and other supplies, we hope to raise their self-esteem and confidence in any circumstances. Children can visit and have a choice in what they want to wear and play with.

We hope to defray any financial burden, especially in emergency placement situations, where buying items like cribs, strollers, car seats, and diapers can add up very quickly.

Our long-term goal is to provide other services such as free tutoring, lessons in music, horseback riding, and sports, as well as educational family events, which would allow these children to have the same opportunities as their peers who are not in foster care.

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KIND WORDS

I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to come and get some things for our foster kids.  We are incredibly grateful to have been able to pick out clothing for them, as we had nothing left in our home for them to wear.  What an incredible blessing this was to our family, and is to so many other foster families. Thank you for the support you give to families like ours—it makes a huge difference and helps us feel like we’re not completely alone as we do our best to love and serve these precious children.  Thank you!

- April, Foster Mom

When children show up on my doorstep, I have a hundred things running through my mind. The Kindness Project takes the thought of finding clothes and personal items off my list. I can focus on loving those children and making them feel comfortable, instead of running errands for clothes. TKP gives me the blessing of time and these children the security of a new wardrobe.

-Mindy, Foster Mom

There are so many things that foster parents need to think about when accepting a placement- in addition to meeting the needs of the children, clothes, shoes, winter wear, etc. for each child are essential items. The Kindness Project has helped us immensely after receiving placements calls; I consider Jenae and the team of volunteers to be an invaluable resource to the community. I'm so happy that an organization like this exists!

- Jacqueline, Foster Mom

I love this place also, the people that work there are very friendly. I have two little foster kids that came to our home with only what they were wearing and they helped me get a lot of stuff for them. I am very pleased with them.

- Beatriz, Foster Mom

The Kindnesses Project is a lifesaver for the families who assist us at OCYS especially in those emergent placements. I have seen first hand families benefit from their kindness... it makes our job easier knowing there is a team of support for our families... and us! ❤️

- Maryann, Lehigh CYS Employee

I have been fostering for over 10 years and I’ve never come across a group like this before. I can’t believe the overwhelming amount of help they provide. I’m hoping more people take on a roll as a foster parent with the understanding that there are organizations like TKP that are willing to help with resources like clothing, diapers, furniture, toiletries etc. I wish they were around years ago. I can’t thank Jenae and her volunteers enough!!

- Keryn, Foster Mom

We have came to the store having nothing for new placements and have left with all we need. They make you feel loved and the kids love to go there, knowing they may find something special. When the kids are placed, many have little to nothing. As a foster parent you get very minimal to supply them with clothes, so this place is a great help to us foster parents. My family and I personally thank you.

- Melanie, Foster Mom

The Kindness Project allows us to confidently take in new foster care placements knowing we have a strong community resource supporting us. As foster parents, we have taken in children of varying ages, genders, and ethnicities and The Kindness Project has been available to support them all. In our house, phone calls change lives. I always answer my phone knowing that sad and frightened children may show up on my doorstep in a few hours with little or no belongings. The Kindness Project is always there to provide necessities and give the children the normalcy of toys and clothes to call their own.

- Mindy Berky

FOSTER CARE FACTS

Over 443,000 U.S. children were in foster care as of 2018. The majority of children entering foster care are less than one year old.

In 2016, Pennsylvania had 44,359 total referrals for child abuse and neglect, up 66% from 2012, the highest number of reports recorded to date. 

The number of Lehigh County foster care referrals doubled between 2016 to 2017.

In 2016, approximately 81,884 grandparents in Pennsylvania had the primary responsibility of caring for their grandchildren.

47% of children entering foster care are white, 21% are black/African American, and 20% are Hispanic. Over 75% of youth in foster are separated from their siblings.

Neglect/abuse is the number one reason for children entering foster care (62%).
118,000 children in the U.S. are awaiting adoption.

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