FCCLA, Birthday Boxes for Foster Care Children

Mia Beacom, Reporter

Family Career Community Leaders of American is an organization that advocates for an issue in the US or locally, and the on-campus chapter has chosen the foster care system. They have also decided to make birthday boxes for these children.

“The way we are advocating for the foster care system is by going on the VRTV news and we are doing the activity birthday boxes which is like a party in a box. We put in cake mix, decorations, presents for the child. It ranges from ages like seven years old to teenagers. We make the boxes and there is an organization called Sharing Happy Birthdays, and they distribute it to different kids and group homes,” said seniors Amy Perez and Her.

Sharing Happy Birthdays has given over 3,000 birthday boxes to more than 3,000 children. On their website, someone can find the upcoming birthdays in the Austin area and help provide the materials they need to let the child have a great birthday. They can also find out how to donate, make a box and volunteer. 

 “We also would like them to know the laws that go into the foster care system like the Family First law. Essentially, they provide families with services such as mental health [support], abuse services and parenting classes. They help families stay together rather than to be split apart, so less money has to be put into the foster care system,” said Perez and Her.

“I did not have any real ties to the foster care system but I did have friends that were in the foster care system, so I wanted to look into it,” said Perez.

The pair were also trying to find a problem in the US that could tie all the small problems together, and they decided to choose the foster care system. It ties the problems together because some of the small problems are from children ageing out of the system. 

“Some of the issues we are looking at are ageing out, why the funding that goes to it and how most of the homes are either funded by individuals or other organizations. The state does not give funding to those organizations and also the state does not give a requirement list that the homes should have. So most homes do not know how to do what they need to do for the children. Bigger states like Texas, it is hard to spread the funding to each child, with the amount of kids in the foster care system; so they are not getting the resources they need and that happens to be an issue among the US, but in Texas alone it is a big issue,” said Perez and Her.

Ageing out is how kids are going to be in adult life. They will have to pay for taxes and other adult things. The government only provides some services for these children. The children go into the adult world with some little support and small family. They do not get help through their full transition into adulthood. Some homes can provide programs like the Central Texas Children’s Home, which take in children and take care of them until they age out, but the real question is what do these children do once they age out. 

“We are trying to show teens that there are ways to get involved, even if you are not old enough. Because the problem with foster care there is a lot of privacy issues and stuff if you are not 18 you can not do much. To the teens that are voting soon and when it comes to things like foster care we need to be informed voters and actually know what is going on, because a lot of people do not know a bunch or a lot of exposure,” said Perez and Her.


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