Tag Archive

Participating in Global Youth Service Day?

Published on April 24, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) celebrates and mobilizes the millions of young people who improve their communities each day of the year through service. Established in 1988, Global Youth Service Day is the largest service event in the world, and the only day of service dedicated to children and youth.



Pack A Backpack Drive is our annual drive to collect and distribute backpacks, duffel bags, and luggage with personal hygiene items to teen males in foster homes, group homes and homeless shelters each May during National Foster Care Month.  Our Pack a Backpack Drive makes an awesome GYSD project.



Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity to shine a light on the experiences of the more than 400,000 children and youth in the foster care system. The campaign raises awareness about the urgent needs of these young people and encourages citizens from every walk of life to get involved – as foster or adoptive parents, volunteers, mentors, employers or in other ways.

Become An Ambassador: National Volunteer Week 2013

Published on April 21, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

National Volunteer Week begins today.  National Volunteer Week 2013 is celebrated April 21-27.  It is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It’s about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.


National Volunteer Week is sponsored by Points of Light and was established in 1974.

It is about taking action and encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change – discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to foster positive transformation.


You can get involved with National Volunteer Week by becoming a Pack A Backpack Ambassador. An Ambassador organizes and hosts a collection site for our Pack A Backpack Drive.  We would like to collaborate with fraternities, youth groups, churches, sports teams, school clubs, and parent groups. 


Here are 5 easy steps to Pack A Backpack™ Ambassador success:


Disposable Cameras for Teens in Foster Care

Published on April 14, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

Remember the story from a couple months ago of the adoptive mom/photographer’s ‘newborn’ photo shoot with her 13-year-old son that went viral?  Great…keep that in mind and see request below.


Our Pack A Backpack Drive™ to donate backpacks, duffel bags, and luggage launched on April 8th but today I want to add another item to the wish list – disposable cameras.   I wish I could take credit for this great idea but I can’t.  The idea was shared with me by Foster Care Alumni, Kea Theroux, after discussion with a Foster Care Alumni of America group on Facebook.  Kea was a part of our December blog series highlighting a successful women foster care alumni.  As group members were discussing foster care life books, the conversation shifted to the lack of pictures the members had of themselves and the others they were in care with.  A foster alum, that is now a foster parent, told the group that as a foster youth, she bought a camera to take pictures of herself and her foster siblings so they would have them too.  A great idea was born.

Birthdays and Foster Care

Published on April 8, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

Today is my birthday – and it is a BIG one! I’m really excited about it.
“BIG” birthdays for over 20,000 teens annually means an exit from the foster care rolls whether they are sufficiently prepared to make it on their own or not.


On another note, too many other foster children spend too many birthdays in foster care waiting for a permanent family to celebrate these and other special days in their lives. 


While I am celebrating I am also advocating.  Today is also the kick-off of our 2nd Annual Pack A Backpack Drive to collect backpacks, duffel bags, and luggage for teen males in foster homes, group homes, and homeless shelters. Donations will be delivered in May during National Foster Care Awareness Month.


Happy Birthday To Me!!

Donations to Pack A Backpack Drive will make an awesome birthday gift for me!


Related Post: Why Is 21 The Magic Cut-Off Age?

 HBTM Nicki



2nd Annual Pack A Backpack Drive Starts Tomorrow

Published on April 7, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

The The Child Welfare League of America reports that there are over 400,000 kids in foster care in the US.  Children move on average 7 times while in the foster care system.  Very often trash bags are the unofficial luggage of children in foster care.  They regularly move from place to place with only the clothes on their backs or their personal items stuffed into a garbage bag.  What message does it send to a child when everything they love or possess is transported in trash bags?  This is damaging to their self-image and emotional stability.  It strips them of their dignity and worth.  Children in foster care also need something they can be proud of and that belongs only to them.  Trash bags are for trash and not a child’s luggage. 


On April 8, 2013, The Teen Toolbox will sponsor the 2nd Annual Pack A Backpack Drive with Coalition of Adoption Programs to deliver new luggage and care packaged to teen males in foster homes, group homes, and homeless shelters. .   

The Big Day Is Almost Here

Published on March 20, 2013 By Nicki Sanders

Today is the first day of spring and April is on the way.  You’re probably wondering why I am so excited about April.  Well…


My birthday is in April and this year is a VERY special one for ME.  I will be celebrating my birthday by kicking off our Pack A Backpack Drive on April 8, 2013


We begin collecting for our 2nd Annual Pack A Backpack Drive in April.  No one should be forced to carry their personal belongings in garbage bags.  Our 2013 Pack A Backpack goal is to collect and distribute 80 backpacks, duffel bags, and travel luggage filled with personal hygiene items to teen males in foster homes, group homes, and homeless shelters.  We hope to partner with fraternities, church groups, sports teams, barber shops, mentoring groups, school clubs, and men’s stores.   


National Foster Care Month 2012 Updates

Published on June 5, 2012 By Nicki Sanders

We surpassed our National Foster Care Awareness Month First Annual Pack A Backpack Drivegoal by collecting 46 backpacks filled with personal hygiene items to teen males in foster homes, group homes, and homeless shelters during the month of May 2012.  Thanks to our amazing donors, the backpacks were donated to KidsPeace, Prince George’s County Department of Social Services Independent Living Program, Hearts & Homes For Youth, DC Family and Youth Initiative and KOBA Institute, Inc, in the Washington Metropolitan area.  Brooke Boersma hosted a drive on the west coast and delivered 10 backpacks to Creative Alternativesin Turlock, CA.  Please our Pack A Backpackpage for more information.

We are grateful to our generous donors. Thank you:

  • Carolyn and Arthur Harris
  • Laurie Laven Nardinelli
  • Brooke Boersma
  • Crystal Morgan Marable
  • Laila El-Asmar
  • Phyllis Lewis
  • Patricia McBryde
  • Katrina Carter
  • Way of the Cross Church
  • Erica Bigelow
  • Julia Knight
  • Kathy Bumpass
  • Alicia Allen
  • Bukky Kehinde
  • Victory International Church