"You Matter": Sharing the Hope

Have you ever been without basic necessities? Ever felt like you didn't matter to anyone? The fact that there are over 500,000 children in foster care in the U.S. who are faced with heartbreaking issues like these was enough to motivate my good friend Nicole Ojcius to take action. Women like Nicole (and Erin of A Spoonful) are my superheroes, inspiring me to shine a light (even a little tea-candle of a light) in my small corner of the world. I asked Nicole to tell us about how she's lighting up the lives of kids in foster care in our community, and here's what she had to say ...


I did this fundraiser through a company called Together We Rise. They are a non-profit organization that travels all over the US handing out clothes, bikes and duffel bags to kids in foster care. They helped me set up the fundraiser page to raise money for duffel bags full of useful and comforting items. Then they shipped all of the items to me after the fundraiser closed.


Each duffel bag comes with a teddy bear, blanket, coloring book with crayons, and toothbrush kit, all for $25. I was able to raise $2,500 which gave us 100 bags. Members of our church, Trinity Baptist, joined together to decorate and pack the duffel bags. The bags were then delivered to our local DSHS (Department of Social and Health Services) and will be given to foster children here in our community who are being initially placed into care or moving from one home to the next. I am so grateful for the support of my church, my friends and collegues who all helped donate! I couldn't have done it without them!


Two way to shine your light:

  1. Go to Together We Rise (togetherwerise.org) to donate or set up your own fundraiser.

  2. Our Walla Walla DSHS is looking for volunteers who are willing to come hang out with foster kiddos in the office as they wait for a placement. The process of finding a home can take several days, and it is difficult for the staff to watch the kids and try to work. If you are interested in volunteering some of your time, you can call them at 509-524-4959.

Travis and I had the fun of decorating and packing duffel bags with Nicole and a bunch of our church family (that's Nicole with 100 finished duffel bags in the last photo - Shine on, Super Girl!) ...