On Thursday May 19th, members from the Office Coffee Solutions family joined our new partner, The Children’s Aid Foundation, for their Semi-Annual Backpack Stuffing Event. We worked together as volunteers to pack “Care Kits” for children entering the foster care system. These care kits are age specific, and offer basic hygiene supplies and as well as items that provide comfort. Since many children entering foster care are removed from their home abruptly, and with nothing more than the clothes on their back, these care kits are key in easing the transition in a very shocking and stressful time.
Together, we stuffed 1750 Backpacks and boxed them to be shipped to centers across Canada that facilitate the first response when foster care situations arise. These backpacks were only the first half of the 3500 backpacks which will be given out this year. Our entire team was moved by the deep meaning and impact of this endeavor. While we take great pride in every initiative we participate in, this one was of particular importance to our whole OCS family as members of our team have direct ties to the Children’s Aid Society. Jeffrey Mitchell, our Office Manager, writes about the journey he and his wife went through when they began the adoption process.
Words from Jeffrey Mitchell, Office Manager, Office Coffee Solutions:
In the fall of 2009, my wife Michelle and I began our long journey into adopting our daughter Summer, and our son, Jaden. The process seemed to take a lifetime with mountains of paperwork and hoops to jump through. Plenty of ‘hoops’. After we had finished all of the interviews, questionnaires, and police background checks, we began our classes to prepare us for what was to come as new parents.
The classes were intense and lengthy. They forced us to really look at ourselves; to examine what we have to offer and determine if this is a journey we really wanted to begin. Our resolve was strong and we were passionate about continuing on our path. In the classes we met other potential forever parents, as well as couples interested in becoming foster parents. We were all shown some of the things many children experience before they enter into the care of Children’s Aid. The one consistent thought my wife and I had throughout our classes was that no child should have to go through what these kids experience. Our classes taught us that many of these children have been apprehended and forcibly removed from situations that, even though they can’t understand, are very dangerous for them to be in. These children are placed in foster care with literally just the clothes on their backs. Not all children enter into foster care this way, but more often than not this is sadly the case.
Without going into the private details, our children were apprehended and placed into foster care. In all cases, Children’s Aid is determined to keep the family together. They desperately worked with Summer and Jaden’s birth mom for two years before she gave up and surrendered these beautiful children, leaving them in the care of Children’s Aid. Michelle and I were taught how to help Summer and Jaden deal with such an incredible loss, and in time, Summer and Jaden realized that they could safely create attachments with us. As of September 2015, our adoption was finalized and now we are all embarking on a new journey as a Forever Family.
After this remarkable account, the team at Office Coffee Solutions is that much prouder to be supporting such an incredible cause that impacts the lives of our future generation in such a powerful way.
If you would like to learn more about the Children’s Aid Foundation, and find out how you can get involved, please visit https://www.cafdn.org/take-action/ today.