Fostering Connections St. Johns, a local nonprofit supporting children in foster care and foster families, hosted a Back to School Bash for foster families Saturday, Aug. 10 at the St. Johns County Ocean Pier Pavilion in St. Augustine Beach. Girl Scout Troop 2099, based in Nocatee, collected and distributed 72 backpacks full of school supplies to children in foster care at the event.
More than 50 children and foster parents were in attendance. The event, sponsored by St. Augustine Behavioral Health LLC and The Consulting Firm LLC, included a variety of activities for both children and families sponsored by churches and nonprofit organizations from around St. Johns County. The event was staffed by more than 20 community volunteers.
Families were treated to lunch provided by The Tide’s Oyster Co. & Grill. Activities included games, cookie decorating sponsored by Journey of Faith Christian Church, crafts sponsored by Fostering Hope at Fruit Cove Baptist Church, face painting by Shiloh Pelchat and a visit from The Swashbucklers pirate group.
Children received new books compliments of Fostering Hope at Fruit Cove Baptist Church and $25 gift cards for back-to-school clothes shopping and backpacks and school supplies provided by the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council Troop 2099. Chicken Salad Chick of St. Augustine donated lunch boxes and school supplies.
“The Back to School Bash was a great time for foster families to celebrate the beginning of the school year,” Aubrie Simpson-Gotham, founder and president of Fostering Connections St. Johns said. “The community from all around St. Johns County, has been so supportive, and our board members greatly appreciate the local churches, nonprofit organizations, businesses and volunteers who contributed and helped make this event a great success. Fostering Connections St. Johns looks forward to hosting this event for many years to come and continuing to expand our reach in the community helping local foster families.”
Fostering Connections St. Johns provides support to children in foster care through fundraising, volunteerism, and advocacy. Current services include providing care packages to children entering foster care, a Backpack Brigade Closet that delivers clothing, shoes, toys and household items to foster families at no cost, and outreach events for foster families.