The club donated recipes, food and sustainability tips to foster children in the area.
It might not have been an Easter bunny doling out baskets of goodies to local foster care guardians ad litem, but the members of the Longboat Key Rotary Club still hopped to it with gusto to donate on April 12. Several members came to the Children's Guardian Fund facility in Sarasota to donate groceries and goodies to the guardians ad litem.
Although the guardians aren't the ones watching the kids, they're the volunteers who sign up to look after the best interests of the children in the Sarasota-Manatee foster care system. Sometimes, that means picking up some candy and other treats. In total, the Rotary members helped out 50 families with 85 children. Guardians drove up, told volunteers which families they were picking up for and were sent on their way.
For this donation, Rotary and Children's Guardian Fund focused on the kids who are in relative or non-relative care rather than in licensed foster care, because those families receive less financial assistance from the state, said Children's Guardian Fund Executive Director Svetlana Ivashchenko.
"We try to target those families because they have more stress and more to deal with," Ivashchenko said. "The less stress there is for caregivers makes it easier to keep kids in these placements."
Each family got four bags: two with perishable groceries including cucumbers, beef, celery, carrots, apples and more; one with shelf-stable foods; and another with recipes for the food they got, an Earth Day scavenger hunt, a $10 Goodwill gift card and Crocs in each kid's size. The club did another donation like this at Thanksgiving in 2020 with food and goodies suited to the holiday as well as books for each kid, because literacy is a focus with Longboat Key's club.
"This (donation) is more environmentally focused because Rotary's very environmentally conscious," Ivashchenko said. "They want to help teach kids sustainability."
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