Step Into a Brighter Future collects diapers, supplies for foster children
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Nonprofit organization Step Into a Brighter Future hosted a diaper drive at HomeBase in Copperas Cove Saturday afternoon to benefit foster families with infants and toddlers.
Step into a Brighter Future was officially founded by Marlene Henry a year ago and is dedicated to serving foster families and children in the foster care system.
Through her organization, Henry hopes to help children in foster care succeed and transition or graduate from the foster care system, according to Denise Jones, one of Henry’s friends and volunteers.
“They will become adults and not have what’s needed to make it in this world, so it’s [Henry’s] desire to make sure they have life skills such as being able to do a resume to get a job, to be on their own so to speak,” Jones said.
Another of the ways the organization tries to help out is by hosting diaper drives to collect donations of diapers and wipes to give to foster families.
“There’s a need. I know there’s a need to help foster kids,” Henry said. “I used to be a foster mom and I know when kids are placed with parents, they don’t usually come with anything.”
The placement is normally on an emergency basis, Henry added.
“I know from a first-hand experience how that can be, trying to make sure that you gather everything for the child once they’re placed in the home,” Henry said.
Henry was unable to be at Saturday’s diaper drive due to being ill, and she at one point planned on canceling the event, but Jones convinced her not to.
Jones and two other volunteers, Lidia Belle and Shantea Lewis, sat at HomeBase from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday to collect the diapers.
Jones shared that Henry was familiar with what foster families need because she had gone through the training to be a foster parent, and added that Henry was a very giving person.
“I always asked myself, ‘Why would Marlene do that?’ Well, why wouldn’t she? That’s Marlene,” Jones said. “She would open her house. That’s just, it’s her heart to do that, so she has hands to help.”
Due to COVID-19, the options for a location to hold the diaper drive were limited, but HomeBase was generous enough to offer a spot, Henry said. HomeBase does not sell diapers, however. The drive resulted in several packages of diapers, including a mega sized box that Henry said was likely equivalent to five packages.
“It wasn’t really as successful as we wanted it to be, but I think we’re getting our name out there,” Henry said.
The plans are to distribute the diapers to local agencies and families.
“We’re reaching out to local agencies and local foster parents and letting them know that we’re here, and we’re here to provide services for them and resources for them,” Henry said.
The organization will be conducting more events throughout the new year, at dates to be announced. It is especially important to serve during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Henry.
“Just because we’re in a pandemic that doesn’t mean that the kids don’t still need help,” Henry said. “They still need help. They’re still there, and in some situations, it’s even worse, and so we want to be there to support them and to support the kids and the families who are taking on the kids to make their lives a little bit easier.”
Step Into a Brighter Future is accepting monetary donations as well through their website: http://stepintoabrighterfuture.org/we-accept-donations/.