PORT ST. LUCIE – There are no tricks this Halloween season for local kinship caregivers – just a friendly knock on the door and a bag of treats.
This week, CCKids’ kinship navigators distributed 22 bags of food to the families they serve throughout Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast. It was all thanks to an unexpected donation from Hands and Feet of the Treasure Coast, an organization that provides resources to foster parents and relatives caring for family members in CCKids’ child-welfare system.
Hands and Feet had extra food donated to its pantry, so the organization’s coordinator – Kristin West – offered to share the abundance with the CCKids’ Kinship Navigator program.
The program provides support to relatives and others caring for children in the child-welfare community and helps them access local resources to ensure those children don’t move further into the system or into licensed foster care.
“Our kinship families often have urgent needs for financial assistance or other tangible goods,” said program supervisor Rachel Khail. “Because of these donation, caregivers get to experience relief and support as they work tirelessly to keep children in safe homes where they feel bonded.”
She added that strong partnerships with community provides like Hands and Feet allow the entire child-welfare system to better serve families.
Khail’s team spent the week sorting and packing food and other donated goods into family bags. Families who could pick up their bags came to CCKids headquarters in Port St. Lucie Wednesday, while the remaining bags are being delivered by staff throughout the rest of the week.
The Hands and Feet project began serving local families in July of 2022.
“When we get a request, we go to the community first,” West said. If that doesn’t work, the request is posted to a following of Amazon “wish listers,” people who follow the project and purchase needed items
For more information, or to become a supporter, follow the program on Facebook @thehandsandfeet:deliveringhelpandhope, or visit the website at www.handsandfeetfl.com.
Learn more about CCKids, the Kinship Navigator program and the local child-welfare community of care at www.cckids.net.