This weekend will be a flurry of activity at Atlanta-based Assured Comfort Heating, Air and Plumbing as staff members and other volunteers stuff hundreds of backpacks with goodies for kids in foster care.
More than 1,600 backpacks – packed with toiletry items and school supplies, along with fun items likes coloring books, crayons, yo-yos, word searches, Rubik’s Cubes, jump ropes and chalk – will be filled and donated to children in foster care across five Georgia counties. The company estimates donating more than 8,000 backpacks to kids in foster care since starting the program in 2006.
“We started this effort seven years ago with the idea to make our local foster children smile and feel loved, and our employees, friends and families donated more than 300 backpacks to the cause,” said owner Jerry Hall, in a press release.
Hall started supporting kids in foster care in 2006 after his wife Sharon died.
The late Mrs. Hall had always “had a very loving affection for kids in foster care,” said Brandee Menick, secretary at Assured Comfort. The couple had been foster parents at one point and always wanted to help children. In 2016, Hall’s efforts expanded when he established nonprofit Fostering Faith to help expand the reach of helping kids in care.
Today the organization works in the five counties surrounding Atlanta and is hoping to branch out more. Each year, Fostering Faith and Assured Comfort participate in a diaper drive, collect and distribute backpacks to kids in care, and fundraiser to support foster care agencies, foster families and the kids in the child welfare system.
“A lot of people here just want to help out,” Menick said. “They just want to help and give back and this is a good way to do it.”