Fostering Hope

Lauren Golick’s smile never left her face as she talked about the Fostering Hope donation drive, an effort that she describes as meaningful and impactful.

Founded in 2013, Fostering Hope(external) is an organization that raises awareness of the challenges faced by children within the foster care system. They provide three categories of programming: childhood experiences, health and wellness, and community involvement.

Golick, assistant controller, joined the Fostering Hope board in 2019 and volunteers as often as she can, including serving as treasurer and helping with bookkeeping.

 “My favorite part is interacting with the kids,” she says. “I do a lot of behind-the-scenes work with the organization as well, like helping wrap presents and volunteering to pack journey bags for the kids. Journey bags are duffel bags that contain necessary toiletries and comfort items.”

Every holiday season, Fostering Hope hosts a Gift-n-Greet event where foster children have a holiday party (with an appearance from Santa!) and receive presents from a wish list that each child makes. Community members purchase the gifts on the wish lists, drop them off at Fostering Hope to get sorted and wrapped, and then volunteers deliver the personalized gifts to each child at the event.

When it came time to getting the company on board to host the donation drive, it was easier than ever. Lauren worked closely with Bethany Germano, VP, charitable giving and corporate events officer, to pull this idea together.

Employees could participate in three ways:

  • Taking an ornament from the Fostering Hope Giving Tree and fulfilling that child’s wish list.
  • Stuffing a stocking. First Federal Lakewood provided stockings that employees could take and stuff with little items for the children.
  • Donating money to the organization.

“I’ve received emails and messages from colleagues saying how touched they are from this drive,” she says. “They have a heightened appreciation for the cause and know how much it means to the kids. That’s why the holiday drive was so impactful and successful!”

Once the drive ended, 30 wish lists were fulfilled and 32 stockings were stuffed. Golick dropped off the donations and couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

“Giving the kids their gifts and hearing the shrieks of happiness and seeing the smiles on their faces was the best experience,” she says. “They’re so appreciative of everything. Just knowing they’re loved in this world – that’s very meaningful.”