Two Kenosha County Girl Scouts working toward their Silver Award are conducting a donation drive for teen girls in foster care.
Elsa Witkiewicz of Troop 9338 and Scarlette Fallscher of Troop 32432 are collecting health and beauty items, in a project they’re calling “Bags of Bravery and Beauty.”
Nine businesses and one school in the western Kenosha County area are hosting donation drop boxes featuring brochures informing donors about how they can become foster parents.
Their aim is to collect enough items to fill at least 100 canvas shopping bags with supplies, including body lotions, body and face washes, hair products, cosmetics and deodorants – any personal care items appealing to 12- to 17-year-old girls. These bags will then be distributed to the Kenosha County foster care program, Kenosha Human Development Services, Shelter Care and the Sharing Center.
Elsa, 12, a seventh-grader at Trevor-Wilmot School, said she was inspired to help foster children, as her grandparents were foster parents for teen girls. She said she, too, hopes to be a foster parent when she grows up.
“I just have always been passionate about trying to do something better for the world,” Elsa said. “So, as soon as I got this idea, I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, that’s perfect!’”
Through a social media post, Elsa teamed up with Scarlette, a sixth-grader at Lakewood School. The two had not previously met, but they both shared a passion for the project.
Scarlette, 11, was inspired by the experiences of a friend of hers who has been in the foster care system.
“It makes me feel good because I’m doing something to help people,” Scarlette said. “Just knowing that I could put a smile on their faces makes me happy, and I love that feeling.”
Elsa – a self-professed “girly girl” – said she wants foster kids to enjoy the same treats that she appreciates.
“They obviously don’t get makeup and lip glosses and stuff like that, so I thought I had to do something for these girls,” she said.
Starr Burke, social work supervisor for children with special needs in the Kenosha County Division of Children and Family Services, said local foster parents and the children in foster care are appreciative of how the community acknowledges the good work of fostering.
“People can’t always foster, but there are many other ways to contribute to this already-generous community of people who open up their home to children in need,” Burke said. “It is brave of Scarlette and Elsa to open up their minds and hearts, and take their people passion to give back to the foster community and children in out-of-home care. We are very thankful to have such thoughtful and generous people like them in Kenosha County.”
Donations will be collected March 1 to May 1 in drop boxes at the following locations:
Specific items sought include:
For more information about the Bags of Beauty and Bravery project, please contact Stephanie Witkiewicz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More details about the Kenosha County Division of Children and Family Services’ foster care program are available online at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/257/Foster-Care, or by calling 262-654-1004.