05.21.2015

Partnering to Give Kids a Childhood and a Future

By Kathy Pedersen, Treehouse Caregiver

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My husband and I are the guardians of our two wonderful grandchildren, Matt and Jenna. Matt and Jenna came to live with us at a young age, when their parents could no longer care for them, and we’ve raised them as our own children. Over the years, Treehouse has been the sole resource supporting our family.

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Little Wishes Makes the Difference

My husband and I are retired, so the support Treehouse has provided us over the years has been fundamental. Now that Matt and Jenna are in high school, we have been fortunate to have Little Wishes cover sport fees and provide the equipment our kids need. With two teenagers in the house, things can add up quickly. Matt is on the high school basketball and football teams, so when he needed professional clothing for away games, we went to the Wearhouse and found a lot of great outfits (and colorful ties!) for him to wear. Jenna is a passionate equestrian, and Treehouse has paid for her riding lessons and riding boots.

Making Strides in the Classroom

At school, we’ve had the pleasure of working with Shelby in the Graduation Success program. She is a huge resource for us. It’s nice for Jenna to have someone to talk to about school who aren’t her caregivers and Shelby is a really good mentor. Jenna is in her junior year and has recently been thinking about what she might want to do after she graduates. With Jenna’s strong interest in horses, she’s looking into becoming an equine vet tech. Jenna tells me that she and Shelby research college programs and scholarships, and talk about the steps it is going to take for her to get there. Jenna has always maintained a good GPA, but when she needed extra support for one of her math classes, Shelby was able to connect her with a volunteer tutor in our community.

Shelby also checks in with Matt. He is a typical 16-year-old boy, so he doesn’t always give me a lot of information about school when I ask him. Typically, school conversations go something like: “How was school?” “Fine.” And that’s about it. So it’s been great to have Shelby looking out for him and keeping me updated periodically about how he’s doing in his classes. When he missed some school, she went around and talked to his teachers and got his homework for him.

Overall, Treehouse has been instrumental in making sure my children have what they need to fully be involved in school and all of their activities. I am so thankful for Shelby and all of the support that Treehouse have given my kids and my family.

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About the Author

Caregivers like Kathy support kids in foster care by providing love, stability, and hope for the 9,000 youth in foster care across Washington State.


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