2016 Friends of Foster Kids Alex & Ani Fundraiser

Thank you Alex & Ani at Partridge Creek for hosting a fundraiser on Thursday, April 21st in support of Friends of Foster Kids!Alex & Ani 2016 Event

Supporters we’re able to shop for upcoming birthdays, Mother’s day, communions and just because! This was a wonderful opportunity to purchase that special gift for those special someones and support a worthy cause! Together, we can make a difference, one child at a time! 15% of all proceeds will be donated to support Friends of Foster Kids, excluding Charity By Design and the Bangle of the Month.

We are excited to announce the winner of the bracelet drawing at our Alex and Ani fundraiser. Congratulations to Diane P. of Clinton Township! Thank you again to all that came out to support us!!

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Friends of Foster Kids 2nd Annual Fundraiser

Friends of Foster Kids Board of Directors with Special Guest, Alicia Smith
Friends of Foster Kids Board of Directors with Special Guest, Alicia Smith

A wonderful night was had by all at the Friends of Foster Kids 2nd Annual Fundraiser. Held on October 29, 2015 at Freedom Hill for an evening supporting foster children.

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Speakers

Joe Toia began the night by sharing his thought provoking recreation of the night a child enters the foster system. Master of Ceremonies, Honorable David Viviano,Michigan Supreme Court Justice, offered a warm welcome to guests. Special Guest Speaker, Alicia Smith, Weekday Action News Anchor at WXYZ Channel 7 spoke about her Grant Me Hope Series featuring children in foster care.

 

Honoring Special Guests

Special Guests were honored with awards of appreciation. Event hosts, Darin Chase and Janice Shoemaker were thanked for  “Going Above and Beyond” to help the lives of hundreds of foster children through their generosity and exemplary leadership. Ian McDonald, Interstate Security, was recognized for his overwhelming generosity and support to bring the “Spirit of Christmas” to hundreds of foster children every year. Additional honorees were P. Eugene D’Agostini, Michael Schodowski, Nicole Lipka and our guest speakers, Honorable David Viviano,Michigan Supreme Court Justice, and Alicia Smith, Weekday Action News Anchor at WXYZ Channel 7.

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Fundraising Raffles

Throughout the night multiple raffles were offered to guests as a fun way to fundraise for Friends of Foster Kids!

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Guests Enjoying the Evening

The evening was made special with thanks to the friendly faces of our supporters, local community and business leaders, friends, family, volunteers, and Board of Directors. Between the festive decorations, appetizers, carving station, desserts and coffee bar a lot of networking and connections were made all in the support of the foster kids we are honored to serve.

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Thank You Sponsors

A special thank you to our sponsors: Foam Factory, Shelving Inc., Coppola & Associates P.C., Il Fornaio, Nino Salvaggio Charitable Foundation for Children in Need, Ferrari Contractors, MIAFS Michigan Insurance and Financial Services, ReMax Defined, Homesite Direct Darin Chase and Janice Shoemaker, Italian American Delegates, Java Java Mike Aiello, Back Nine Grafx.

 

Thank You All for a Successful Fundraiser!

Thank you again to everyone that supported Friends of Foster Kids at our 2nd Annual Friends of Foster Kids Fundraiser! We were able to put the funds raised towards making Christmas magical for hundreds of Foster kids.

Thank you and Bless you all!


Stay up to date with Friends of Foster Kids year round on our social media sites: Facebook and Twitter; or contact us at info@friendsoffosterkids.org for more information on upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, or to make a donation.

Optimist Club collects suitcases for foster kids

Optimist Club collects suitcases for foster kids

Originally published by the Macomb Daily News — December 21, 2015

Optimist Club Collects Luggage for Friends of Foster Kids
The Optimist Club of St. Clair Shores recently collected suitcases and duffle bags for foster children. Pictured are, from left to right: Debbie DePape, president of the Optimist Club of St. Clair Shores; Sean Zaborowski, Lakeview athletic director; Lakeview Superintendent Karl Paulson; and Janice Drewek, club member.

Carrying their belongings from home to home is an unfortunate fact of life for foster children, but thanks to the Optimist Club of St. Clair Shores and Friends of Foster Kids, at least they’ll carry them in style.

As the Christmas holidays approached, club members set out to collect new and “gently used” suitcases and duffle bags so children will have a piece of luggage to call their own.

Optimist Club members and central office administrators from Lakeview Public Schools collected 20 duffle bags and 16 suitcases and turned them over to Friends of Foster Kids.

Shelving Inc Celebrates #GivingTuesday At Friends Of Foster Kids

Shelving Inc Celebrates #GivingTuesday At Friends Of Foster Kids

Originally Published by The Shelving Guy Blog –December 1, 2015

Theresa FOFK

Since 2007, Friends of Foster Kids has donated over 10,000 presents each holiday season to children who are in foster care, and in need. The charity was founded by Theresa Toia, who’s daughter Jessica is a caseworker for foster children in Macomb County, Michigan. Jessica expressed concern to her mother when her entire caseload of children were not receiving a Christmas for the second year in a row due to the recession, and most had never experienced a Christmas at all. Theresa immediately wanted to find a way to help, and teamed up with her friends to start the charity and begin receiving wishlists from foster kids all over Southeast Michigan.

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Solely through donations and volunteering, Friends of Foster Kids has annually helped an estimated 1,000 foster kids each holiday season. While many are infants and children, FoFK has also reached out to teenagers and young adults who have lived their life in foster care and are still struggling to find a place to live and afford everyday essentials.

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Caseworkers work with the kids to carefully craft wishlists of three or four presents they’d like the most. Through the goodness of their hearts, volunteers pick up a list and seek out as many presents as they can. Then, the presents are brought to FoFK where volunteers carefully wrap each present and add extra essentials to their stockings like blankets, coats, handmade scarves and more.

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Mike Schodowski, our Vice President of Sales, met Theresa earlier this year and was moved after learning about the charity and why she started it. He asked how he could help, and Shelving Inc donated 25 rivet shelving units to store donations and presents at the Friends of Foster Kids headquarters. Theresa was extremely grateful and said keeping everything organized and easy-to-find has been incredibly helpful.

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If you’d like to help a foster child in need, volunteer or donate please contact Friends of Foster Kids. They accept donations year-round and try to help just as often, too. Celebrate #GivingTuesday by giving back, too!

FALCONS VOLUNTEER TO ASSIST “Friends of Foster Kids!”

FALCONS VOLUNTEER TO ASSIST “Friends of Foster Kids!”

Originally Published BY  in the Henry Ford II Athletics News — 

FALCONS VOLUNTEER TO ASSIST "Friends of Foster Kids!"

A NOTE OF THANKS

Mr. Ledbetter and Coach Steinwascher received this note and photos from “Friends of Foster Kids” aboutFALCON athletes and parents stepping up to help where needed!  WELL DONE FALCONS!

Teri & Dave,
We cannot thank you enough for being our Angel Volunteers!

I am forever grateful for the last second help that you supplied for us at “Friends of Foster Kids“. We were extremely impressed at the attitudes, work ethic, and respect of the students that helped us on Sat.

The time, energy and enthusiasm shown to the athletes by you, Henry and the parent volunteers shows a wonderful example of compassion and goodwill.

Teri-I have attached a few of the pictures we took, but I’m sure yours are much better. Please make sure these pictures, and the story behind the pictures, are shared with whoever manages the Falcon websites and newspapers.

Gratefully,
Lisa Larson
Friends of Foster Kids
FALCON Parent

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The Utica-Shelby Township Kiwanis Club’s 25th annual Bids for Kids charity auction is Dec. 4

The Utica-Shelby Township Kiwanis Club’s 25th annual Bids for Kids charity auction is Dec. 4

An excerpt from, The Macomb Daily Article, SERVICE CIRCUIT: Sterling Heights Lions offer vets ‘opportunity to service community’ –November 13, 2015

By Linda May, For The Macomb Daily

The Utica-Shelby Township Kiwanis Club’s 25th annual Bids for Kids charity auction is Dec. 4 at the Palazzo Grande Banquet Hall, 54660 Van Dyke Avenue, Shelby Township. This year the club shares proceeds with Friends of Foster Kids and Play-Place for Autistic Children. Tickets are $65 and include hors d’oeuvres, raw bar, carving and pasta stations, salads and vegetables, dessert table, flavored coffees and premium beverages, silent and live auction, and entertainment. For further information, contact Lester Gilbert at 586-731-7450 or lestergilbert@hotmail.com.

Friends of Foster Kids Fundraiser

Friends of Foster Kids Fundraiser

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY WXYZ CHANNEL 7 – OCTOBER 26, 2015

Sterling Heights, MI (WXYZ) – Michigan has more than 3,000 children in the foster care system hoping and waiting to be adopted.

The Macomb County based “Friends of Foster Kids” is trying to support them.

You can help their cause this weekend.

The organization is holding its annual fundraiser Thursday October 29th at the Freedom Hill Banquet Center.

Tickets are $100 and can be purchased by calling (586) 307-GIFT.

More information can be found online: www.FriendsofFosterKids.com

Theresa Toia Columbus Day Humanitarian of the Year

Theresa Toia Columbus Day Humanitarian of the Year

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE ITALIAN AMERICAN MONTHLY NEWSPAPER— OCTOBER 2015

By: The Italian American Cultural Society

Theresa Toia

Theresa Toia will be honored as Columbus Day Humanitarian of the Year. The owner/operator of Franklin Interiors, Inc., specializing in Interior Design and Decoration for residential and commercial properties, she previously served as the 2008 President of the Columbus Day Celebration Committee. She has been, as she says, “enhancing living and work environments” for over 27 years.

Being very active in the community, she is also president of various sports organizations. Toia is a member of the Americans of Italian Origin Society, Ladies of Harley-Wolverine Chapter, the Father Solanus Guild and the Gorgeous Smorgeous Girls Ladies Charity Club. Having served as a Director on the Shelby Community Foundation for severalyears, Toia has also been the vice chair of this 501c (3) foundation and served as chair of the Development Committee, building relationships in the community.

In 2006, after hearing heart-breaking stories from her daughter, a case worker working in the social services system, Theresa Toia and friends, Karen Szczotka and Michele Little of Shelby Township started “Friends of Foster Kids.” Thousands of Metro Detroit foster children go without Christmas gifts each year. When most local kids are opening their X-boxes and iPods, many children in the foster care system receive nothing at all. Solely through donations and volunteers, the non-profit group has worked to provide a Christmas for Macomb County foster children, and let them know that they are not forgotten, for the past five holiday seasons.

Toia is happily married to her husband Joseph Toia, an attorney, who was recently named to the Macomb County Circuit Court. They have two daughters, Jessica (Toia) Rossow and Marissa Toia. Theresa Toia enjoys a wonderful relationship with all three of her grandchildren Joseph, Michael and Abigayle. In 2008, Michael was Young Columbus. Toia is very proud of her Italian heritage and the opportunity to promote and celebrate its traditions.

Bringing Christmas to those who need it

Bringing Christmas to those who need it

Group makes sure kids in foster care receive presents

Originally published in C & G Newspapers – November 3, 2014

BY: Sarah Wojcik

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The nonprofit group Friends of Foster Kids is looking for volunteers to “adopt” a foster child or two this Christmas by sponsoring their wish lists, wrapping presents, donating or just lending a helping hand where needed.

With about 769 foster children in the Macomb County system and 181 licensed foster homes, Friends of Foster Kids Director Theresa Toia said many children shuffle through temporary foster homes, shelters and group homes, and receive little to nothing for Christmas.

“They’re placed all over, as far out as Saginaw and Kalamazoo, so all of the local foster children are not only removed from their families and everything they know in this world, but now they’re removed from their friends from school, and that’s the sadness of it,” Toia said.

She said many foster kids have few material possessions and that some have never experienced a “proper” Christmas before, so they don’t know what to ask for. She said foster care workers work with their caseloads to identify three or four items they would like and also include the kids’ interests and passions.

“They are victims of abuse and neglect,” Toia said. “They did nothing wrong to be in this situation, and most people forget that.”

Since beginning Friends of Foster Kids in 2007 as a grassroots operation out of her Shelby Township basement after being inspired by her daughter’s caseload of foster kids receiving nothing for Christmas, Toia said the organization has grown exponentially.

She estimated that hundreds of volunteers help about 1,000 foster children each Christmas.

Kristine Powers, the volunteer coordinator with Friends of Foster Kids, said she has been on board since the operation established its roots and that most of the expansion spread through word-of-mouth.

“It’s a really great feeling (to help these kids),” she said. “So many of us have kids of our own. I can’t imagine what these kids have been through.”

Powers said that from Dec. 3-17, Friends of Foster Kids is looking for volunteers to wrap presents at the Foam Factory, located at 23 Mile and Romeo Plank roads in Macomb Township, in two-hour shifts from noon-8 p.m. weekdays and from noon-6 p.m. Saturdays.

To find out more information about Friends of Foster Kids or upcoming fundraisers, visitwww.friendsoffosterkids.org. To get involved with volunteering or assisting financially, email fofkvolunteer@gmail.com.