Eckerd Receives $10K Grant from White Family Foundation to Provide Emergency Clothes for Foster Children

Eckerd is pleased to announce that for the second year in a row the White Family Foundation has granted $10K to Eckerd’s Raising Hope program, which fills the very real need of our community’s most vulnerable children by providing clothing and other items to bridge the gap between the time of removal and going to a foster home. Although Eckerd Raising Hope is a program of Eckerd, it is managed and supported solely through private support from individuals, corporations and foundations.

“Children entering foster care often have only the clothes on their backs, seldom have a toothbrush, and carry the few belongings they have in a garbage bag,” Jody Grutza, Eckerd’s Chief of External Relations said. “With the generosity of the White Family Foundation, Eckerd Raising Hope is able to do more than just meet the emergency needs of foster children; it helps them retain their dignity and gives them hope during a very traumatic time in their lives.”

The goal of the Eckerd Raising Hope Room is to provide resource assistance to children and families 24 hours a day 7 days a week to promote their well-being and to ensure that each child entering the child welfare system in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, approximately 5,500 on any given day, has appropriate clothing, shoes, school supplies, and other resources needed to ease this traumatic time in their lives and maintain their pride and dignity.

Each child selects items to fill a “Bag of Hope” consisting of a week’s worth of clothing:

  • 5 shirts
  • 5 pairs of pants, shorts, skirts
  • 1 set of PJ’s
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 5 pairs of undergarments
  • 1 pair of shoes
  • 1 blanket
  • Age-appropriate toiletry items that may include toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner, feminine hygiene products, razors & shaving cream, and lice treatment
  • School supplies such as a backpack, notebook paper, folders, crayons, pencils and pens
  • 1 new duffel bag in which they can carry their belongings

The mission of the White Family Foundation is to make a positive difference in Florida by supporting qualified education, health care and religious needs of families and individuals.