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Backpack to the Future

There’s no going back for the young people graduating high school who now age out of foster care. These  students are looking to the future having overcome challenges most of us can’t even imagine. Oftentimes they were shifted through multiple schools adding more instability to the traumatic situations that disrupted their childhoods and put them in foster care. Oftentimes they have to deal with parents on drugs or who are in and out of incarceration putting them on emotional roller coasters while trying to maintain good grades.

Now they’re graduating and have no one to celebrate their accomplishment with them… EXCEPT US! You and Independent Living for Young Adults (ILYA) will give these amazing youth the recognition and celebration they deserve. For gifts we give them backpacks they can really use as they go off to further education or a job. We fill them with basic things they’ll need to get started. Then we throw them a graduation pizza party where we present them with the backpacks.

The party is actually more than just a great celebration. Many strong connections have been made in the past by students who find they are going to the same school or will be living in the same neighborhood. This creates wonderful support between those with shared experiences – someone who really knows what it’s like.

Won’t you help us give these young people the joy, encouragement and recognition they so deserve? Please donate at the table in the parish hall after the service on Sunday or send a check to the church with “ILYA – Graduation” on the memo line. We only have until the end of May to get all this together so please don’t wait. Thank you so much for your caring and generosity.

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