Local teen collects back-to-school clothes for foster kids

East. Reading time: 4 minutes

If you’re someone who thinks today’s teens don’t want to help others, 16-year-old Dana Passerman of Lower Saucon Township has a mission to prove you wrong.

With the support of her parents, Gina and David, Dana collected new and gently used clothes for boys and girls for a back-to-school pop-up shop for foster teens that she will operate in partnership with The Lehigh Valley Kindness Project.

The Emmaus Benevolence Project is a non-profit organization that provides free support and services to locally placed children and their families.

In a recent Facebook post on the shopthe Kindness Project said tweens and teens “are often overlooked when people think about donating”.

Teenagers who lack the resources to buy new school clothes may also be stigmatized or even bullied by their peers, so providing them with a shopping experience is a “very special way” of giving them the dignity that adoptive children sometimes don’t. have, he explained.

“This is not for hours of service, Girl Scout badges, or any sort of credit,” the post also noted. “Dana just wants to give back!”

Foster Teen Boutique

Dana Passerman, 16, a resident of Lower Saucon Township, was joined by her parents, Gina and David, to raise awareness of the Back to School Shop for foster teens that she runs in partnership with Project Benevolence d ‘Emmaus. The Kindness Project provides free resources and support to local foster families. Above, the Passermans held an information booth at the Rose Garden Farmer’s Market west of Bethlehem on July 16 This Sunday, from 9 a.m. to noon, they’ll be at the Saucon Valley Farmer’s Market in Hellertown.

For the 16-year-old entering her freshman year at Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts in Bethlehem, giving back so far has involved visiting local farmers’ markets to raise awareness about the Kindness Project and the Back- to- School Boutique which, in addition to clothing, will provide adoptive teenagers with jewelry, accessories, new shoes and hygiene products before they start school next month. (In addition to hygiene products and shoes, donated socks, bras, underwear and pajamas must also be new.)

The Passermans recently held information booths at the Bethlehem Farmers’ Market at Lehigh University and the Rose Garden Farmers’ Market in West Bethlehem.

This Sunday, Dana and her family will be at Saucon Valley Farmer’s Market in Hellertown from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.* to receive donations and share information about the store. Cash donations are appreciated and contributions can also be made via PayPal, Venmo (note “TKP Boutique” when submitting a donation) or check.

The market is located next to the Hellertown Area Library at 409 Constitution Avenue in Hellertown, across from Dimmick Park.

If you cannot attend the market but would like more information or to schedule a drop off, Dana can be contacted at [email protected] There is also a Wish List Amazon TKP Shop from which donors can purchase needed items and have them shipped directly to the store.

More information about The Kindness Project is available on their website, at their facebook page and by email at [email protected]

Another way to support The Kindness Project will be a benefit, Tacos with a Side of Kindness, July 27, 4-9 p.m. at Funk Brewing and Triple Sun Spirits, 518 Bank St., Emmaus. A portion of beverage sales will benefit the organization, as well as raffles and a dunk tank. There will also be live music by Kinda Sorta Maybe Band, family-style garden games and a cookie sale to benefit The Kindness Project and its work in the community.

Community fundraisers, like Tacos With A Side of Kindness, allow us to cover the overhead costs of The Kindness Exchange, a local store in Emmaus where resource families can access necessities for young people from birth to 21. who have been placed in foster care,” said Jenae Holtzhafer, Founder and Executive Director of The Kindness Project. “With this support, resource families can focus on the immediate physical and emotional needs of the children in their care.

“We are the only community foster care center in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas, serving over 1,100 children to date,” Holtzhafer added.

Dana Passerman’s Back-to-School Boutique collection will continue through August 5.

* The Saucon Valley Farmers Market is regularly open from 9am-1pm, but on Sunday July 24 it will close an hour earlier due to the expected peak in the upper 90s.

Elizabeth J. Harless