THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — With the economic uncertainties from the coronavirus, we here at ABC 27 are shining a light on businesses that are doing their part to help out the community while keeping their business open.
Children are experiencing stress, boredom and isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic just like adults. So imagine how difficult it is for children in foster care.
It's why a Thomasville small business owner, with the help of the community, is putting together craft kits to give to local children in temporary homes.
The kits are more than just beads and bracelets.
You're Maker is an art studio, store and learning center usually full of 85 students a day, creating masterpieces out of clay, magnets and power tools. Now it sits empty.
"It's a really isolating time," said Emily McKenna, who owns You're Maker. "It's really sad to come here."
That's why McKenna started offering maker kits with various crafting projects kids can do at home.
"I do really feel passionately about the power of creating things with your hands," McKenna said. "Since I was a child, whenever I felt overwhelmed or like something was too much, I would make something. And I didn't want kids to lose that."
McKenna took it a step further, asking the community to help her donate kits to children in foster care.
She teamed up with Never Lost, a non-profit organization that advocates for children who've experienced abuse and neglect.
"Our children are already under a tremendous amount of stress, just from the trauma they've experienced, and having experienced abuse and neglect, and they're removed from their home," said Wendy Greene, the executive director of Never Lost. "So the same things we see in our own families are really compounded for the children we serve in foster care."
McKenna's goal was to give maker kits to all 250 foster care children in Thomas County. So far, 200 have been donated.
"I'm overwhelmed by that," McKenna said. "I think it's really cool that that many people felt passionately to donate."
"When learned about the kits I was in tears thinking about this," said Greene. "It's an opportunity for them to get a moment of normalcy."
A volunteer at heart, McKenna hopes her children see how important it is to be a bright light during a rather dark time.
"I've always volunteered, so not stopping," said McKenna. "It's still a priority and still needs to happen, so it's a lesson I hope they can see."
The foster children will receive the maker kits within the next week. If you'd like to donate a kit, or make a donation to Never Lost, click here.
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Click on the We're Open, Tallahassee tab at the top of the ABC 27 website. Then, tell us your story by filling out the section to the right.
It's our way of letting people know you are open for business, and how they can support you.