School Supplies Donated To GA Adoptive Services

Seventh Day Adventist Church donates Eight "Bags of Love" to GA Adoptive services of Jamestown. Pictured in the back are Family Resource Coordinator Kara Kloss and Susan Caster. In front, from left, are Jemima Stutzman, Stacy Rugg, and Assitant Director Ericka Garcia P-J photo by William Mohan

Gustavus Adolphus Adoption Services recognized three local churches Monday for their charitable contributions to foster children and families.

GA Family resource coordinator Kara Kloss said their efforts have gone unnoticed for “far too long.” For almost five years, the Gerry Free Methodist and the Seventh Day Adventist Church have donated their time and efforts to prepare adopted/foster children and their families for school and home life.

The congregation of each church and their pastors have helped to make sure each one gets a fresh start in their efforts.

“If people want to volunteer or they want to help in any these are ways besides being a foster parent,” Kloss said.

“It seems like something that might make a big difference,” said Assistant Director Ericka Garcia. “but when you add it up it is a lot of supplies, it is a lot of support and it just takes that one more thing off of their plate.”

In its first-year joint partnership, the Gerry Free and Jamestown Free Methodist Churches, under the leadership of Paster Dodi McIntyre, have combined to donate 60 back to school backpacks for foster and adoptive children. The backpacks come for both middle and high school students, and are based on the required listing of students in local districts.

“We get the school lists from all the area schools that our kids go to and we kind of get a conglomeration of basic things these kids need” Kloss said. In addition “there different items in different backpacks,” all based on age and needs. The donations are made possible by volunteers like church secretary Shannon Lockwood and her daughter Megan.

The Seventh Day Adventist Church created eight “Bags of Love” for adoptive families. Every two months the congregation fills them with basic supplies needed for adopting families, including blankets, soap, shampoos, towels, stuffed animals and other basic necessities based on the age and needs of the child. Kloss said this goes a long way in helping families who are fostering and adopting.

“The foster families get a small stipend but it really doesn’t cover everything,” she said. “So this just a way we can help them a little bit but its such a big gift.”

Under the guidance of Stacy Rugg and volunteers like Jemima Stutzman, about eight bags are made every two months.

The celebration for these groups’ efforts took place at GA Family’s West Fifth Street office.

To learn more about adoption and foster parenting, contact Ericka Garcia or Kara Kloss at 708-6161. Additional information regarding church donations can be made calling Dodi McIntyre at 985-74304 or Seventh Day Adventist Church at 484-2065. Donations are now be accepeted for the Holiday season.