Friends of LCCS ensures that children supported by Lucas County Children Services have the supplies they need to begin each school year. Volunteers pack and distribute more than 750 backpacks with classroom essentials ranging from notebooks and pencils to rulers and erasers.
What We Do
School Backpack Drive
Given that the children being served by LCCS have had to deal with more adversity in their young lives than any child should ever be expected to face, one of the goals of Friends of LCCS is to provide the positive and memorable childhood experiences that many of us take for granted. Some of these activities include, but are not limited to, the LCCS holiday gift drive and party, high school graduation and adoption ceremonies, summer caregiver picnics, movie nights, a school supply/backpack drive, and a safe and family-friendly community wide Trunk or Treat.
Holiday Gift Drive
Lucas County Children Services and Friends of LCCS provide gifts to nearly 2,000 children each winter holiday season. The children are under the care or supervision of LCCS, and the gifts presented are often the only gifts they receive.
Cakes for Kids
We are very pleased to announce the brand new Cakes for Kids program. Friends of LCCS has partnered with Jera’s Heavenly Sweet bakery to provide each child with a specially designed birthday cake to celebrate the big day.
Children entering the care of Lucas County Children Services undergo a medical examination. They pass through a play area loaded with stuffed animals upon arrival at the clinic. Each child selects an animal that provides them comfort during the physical exam. The children get to take their HUGS animals with them when they leave.
With more than 500 children receiving services at the clinic each year, there is a constant need for more HUGS.
Many children remain in the care of Lucas County Children Services until they become adults. Most lack essential items necessary for daily living. Friends of LCCS helps provide those young adults with start-up items by collecting household items and small appliances. Your donations are welcome.
Hygiene Product Collection
When Lucas County Children Services must remove children from their homes, there is rarely enough time to gather personal hygiene items. For that reason, Friends of LCCS collects and distributes products such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, and deodorant.
Duffel Bag Project
Friends of LCCS and Lucas County Court Appointed Special Advocates (“CASA”) have come together to improve the lives of children involved in the child protection system or who are coming in off the streets. Too many of these youth lack even the most basic belongings and have no choice but to carry them in a garbage bag. We have set a goal of providing a new duffel bag for every youth, school aged and above, who is involved in the child welfare system and is changing placement, who may be a victim of human trafficking, or who has run away from dysfunction in their lives.
These bags will be distributed by law enforcement, runaway shelters, LCCS caseworkers, and others, so they are available anytime a youth is moving to avoid using garbage bags for their belongings, which sends a negative implicit message about their worth. As one former foster youth put it, “Moving from home to home with my belongings in a garbage bag made me feel like garbage.”
Each bag will contain a small packet of basic toiletries, a blanket, a journal and colored pencils, and a small stuffed animal. It will also have a luggage tag so the youth can label it as their own to provide a sense of ownership and permanency. The bags will not display any logos or branding, to ensure that the youth are not further stigmatized, and will become the youths’ personal property. The goal is to distribute 500 bags a year. The cost of 500 with a tag and contents, is projected to be approximately $15,000 a year. Friends and LCCS and CASA are currently soliciting donations to pay for this project and make it sustainable on an ongoing basis.
Caregiver and Caseworker Appreciation
LCCS would not be able to do its job of protecting children without the dedication and efforts of relative caregivers, foster parents, and the LCCS caseworkers. Friends of LCCS also makes an effort to thank them for their service and to let them know how much they are appreciated through luncheons and other special gestures throughout the year.