Support Washington Youth in Foster Care This Back-to-School Season

SEATTLE, WA – With 4th of July behind us, it’s not too early to start laying the foundation for a great school year for the fall. This summer, Treehouse, Washington state’s leading nonprofit dedicated to supporting the educational and other essential needs of youth in foster care, is launching its annual Back-to-School Campaign, to help make sure we collect enough supplies and items by the end of summer. Treehouse is calling on community members, businesses and organizations to support youth in foster care during back-to-school by hosting donation drives and/or organizing fundraisers now. This initiative aims to ensure that every child in foster care has the necessary resources to succeed academically and beyond.

Why Support Youth in Foster Care?

Youth in foster care often face unique challenges that can impact their educational journey. They frequently move between homes, which can disrupt their learning and create gaps in their education. Treehouse believes in investing in these young people throughout their childhood, education and transition to young adulthood, partnering with them and their communities to transform the systems holding them back.

Treehouse’s programs opened eligibility to all Washington school-aged youth in foster care last year. Referrals to Treehouse programs have jumped as a result. At the Treehouse Store alone, online orders have increased 63% during July-December 2023, compared to the same period in 2022. We anticipate items in the store to go quickly during back-to-school and want to build up a solid range of inventory going into the fall.

What caregivers said about the support they received during the 2023 back-to-school season:

“A caregiver came into the Store who said that she was grateful for Treehouse. School was going to start the next day and the kids she cares for needed new clothing and school supplies. She explained that she cares for 6 youth and some of them are in middle school, an age where the type of clothing someone wears is especially important. She shopped for all 6 youth, and they were able to start school this year with new clothing and school supplies.

“Two groups of teens came to shop with the leaders from the group home they lived in. A total of 12 young men came in to shop throughout the day, and all of them were excited to pick out items they felt great wearing. As they shopped, they would compare outfits and show off to each other when they found something they were excited about. They each left with bags full of clothing, shoes and all the school supplies they need to return to the classroom in September.”

How the public can help:

  • Host a donation drive. Ensure our resource store stays stocked with essential goods! The Treehouse Store, our free resource store that operates year-round, provides high quality clothing, school supplies, books, backpacks and more to youth in foster care. Rally your office, book club, soccer league, friends and family to participate. Check out the Back-to-School Toolkit for more information.
  • Host a peer-to-peer fundraiser. Fundraising efforts help us expand our store’s inventory, ship items to youth statewide and continue providing our vital programs. Sharing your fundraiser with your network can also help introduce people to Treehouse and our services. Visit our website for more information.
  • Order off the wish list. If you are unable to host a donation drive or peer-to-peer fundraiser, you can order off our wish list that contains the Treehouse Store’s most requested items. Visit treehouseforkids.org/wishlist to make your purchase.
  • Make a financial contribution. Treehouse relies on the generous contributions of our community to make our work possible. Visit treehouseforkids.org/donate to make your donation.

About Treehouse:

Treehouse creates opportunities for young people in foster care to thrive. We believe and invest in young people throughout their childhood, education and transition to young adulthood. We partner with them and their communities to transform the systems holding them back.

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