Collection event helps foster children

Staff report

SIDNEY – Specialized Alternatives for Family and Youth (SAFY) will have its first Rally Duffle Bag Drop Off event during Foster Care Awareness Month on May 13.

“Not everyone can become a foster parent, but everyone can help in some way, shape or form,” said Sylvia Roop, foster parent recruiter for the Sidney Division, which serves Champaign County in its designated region. “Stop by to either drop off supplies or help us fill duffle bags for local foster youth.”

SAFY is a non-profit Foster Care Agency which licenses and supports foster parents and youth through this journey. SAFY has been serving Champaign County for more than 35 years.

The event will be held May 13 from 3-6 p.m. at 1065 Fairington Dr., Sidney.

“These duffle bags are more than hygiene items and basic necessities. They are a sense of hope and something to call theirs,” Roop said. “Oftentimes foster youth come with nothing when they are welcomed into a new home. The duffle bags are something that they can call theirs.”

Last Month SAFY has received 65 calls (youth coming into care) and only had enough homes available for six of those calls. “That is a 9.2% success rate of placing a child into a loving home,” Roop said. “We need more foster parents! For Foster Care Awareness Month my goal is to spread the word and talk about the issue that is happening in our community. Community members can call and request a free information session to learn about what it takes to get licensed or even different ways they can help.”

Here is the SAFY “wish list” for duffle bags:


-disposable razors

-journals, colored pencils

-head phones



-tooth brush

-shampoo/ body wash

-wash cloths

-shaving cream

-feminine hygiene products

-hair ties

-diapers, size 5 and size 6

-baby wipes

-sippy cups

SAFY will not accept: Luggage, clothing items, stuffed animals, or anything used.

Staff report