More than 60,000 youngsters, mostly foster children, reside in long-term mental health treatment centers nationwide.
Ever-Green Turf and Landscape of Troy, and Abbott Laboratories, in Tipp City, are partnering with “Project Believe” to make Christmas special for 70 of these youths in two facilities.
Ever-Green owner, Joe Duncan, has donated 70 Christmas stockings, which employees at Abbott will fill with toiletries.
In 2008, Tipp City’s Tammie Rafferty became keenly aware that the majority of these children not only have no family and no home; they often have no belongings, not even a pair of matching socks. She vowed that these disadvantaged children would “never again be forgotten!”
What began as Rafferty and five friends donating and wrapping gifts for 10 foster children in her living room outgrew a school gymnasium in 2013. “Project Believe” has booked double the space to accommodate this year’s Christmas Wrap Party at Broadway Elementary, 223 W. Broadway St., Tipp City.
In addition to sharing Christmas spirit, “Project Believe” reaches out to the children, mostly teens and “tweens”, with Valentines, Easter baskets, and back-to-school backpacks filled with supplies.
In June, Rafferty formed a Board of Trustees and through the Tipp Foundation acquired 501 (c) (3) status, making it simple for donors to make tax-deductible contributions. This expanded network has enabled “Project Believe” to take on a life of its own. Someday the Board hopes to make Rafferty’s dream of reaching all 60,000-plus children a reality.
For more information please go to the “Project Believe” website: www.project-believe.net, or their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/projectbelieve.
IF YOU CAN HELP: These items are needed……slippers, socks, underwear, pajamas, fleece blankets, winter hats, handmade scarves, gloves, small/medium stuffed animals, coloring/activity books, crayons, journals, calendars, playing cards, lego sets, matchbox cars, art supplies, board games, and puzzles