Huge thanks to the Rotary club for their support of our annual “Life Essential Items for Emancipating Foster Youth” donation. Here is a write up about our fifth year of charitable outreach. It is a community and family affair!
Upon exiting the Yolo County Foster Youth program and their being recognized at ceremonies held on May 29, each of 20 18-year-olds received a Cabela’s duffel bag filled with “life essentials” to help them transition to independent living, further education, and/or employment. Spearheaded by Don Easton and his family, originally as a form of community outreach through his business, Easton Painting, Inc., this is the fifth year that Woodland Sunrise Rotary, of which Don is a member, has provided funding for this very worthwhile, annual project.
Each duffel bag, which with its contents is valued at $150, includes 60 items falling into four categories: (1) laundry supplies, (2) cook ware, (3) bathroom/personal hygiene products, and (4) classroom supplies, including a backpack for the recipient.
To maximize purchases that could be made with the $3000. donated by Rotarians, Don, his wife Wendy and their children Emma, Jullee and Charlie made very careful selections with the help of the Woodland Dollar Tree and Big Lots! stores,
Amazon.com and Cabela’s.
Easton, who gave a recent presentation to WSR with daughter Emma, acknowledged the work of Jessica Larsen, Program Specialist for Homeless and Foster Youth Services, Yolo County Office of Education, with whom the duffel bag project is
coordinated. He also thanked current WSR President Eric Engstrom and Past Presidents John Smythe, Julia Larson, and John Martin for their ongoing support, and Rotarian Robyn Drivon for sewing Rotary International patches onto each bag.
Easton’s goal is to see the Emancipated Foster Youth support project replicated through the efforts of other Rotary clubs and his professional organization, the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, so that ultimately transitioning foster youth in all parts of the U.S. can be helped as well.