iamJ3 adoption*foster care*orphan care

How to Help

WHAT DO WE DO AND WHY?

We are a faith based non-profit (501c3) committed to meeting the needs of the fatherless. We believe that when a child is left without a family, temporarily or permanently, it is the role of the church to care for these children and meet their needs. We believe that caring for the abused, neglected, and helpless is the type of true religion and obedience that God desires of His children. It is a response of thankfulness for what God has done for us by adopting us into His family. Loving them well is a mirror of the gospel to the world.

We would love to see more families step up to foster or adopt these precious children but we know that not everyone can do that. We want to let people know that there is ALWAYS another way you can help! We want to be a voice for the needs of these children and to show churches and individuals tangible ways they can help them!

WHY DO WE NEED YOUR HELP?

We have seen enormous needs in our foster care system in Davidson County. Foster families and social workers scrambling to try to find clothes, luggage, diapers, and other needed items for children entering foster care. The church can help by making sure the county has all of the supplies it needs for these children. Davidson County DSS now calls us for 90% of their needs for children entering foster care. Our goal is to provide a comfort bag, clothing bag, gift card and bible to every child entering care in our county.

This packet will give you instructions on how to help, and tell you why each item is important!

• Comfort Bags

• Clothing Bags

• Gift Cards

• Bibles

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you -James 1:27


Comfort Bags

phase 1 of helping

The goal of a comfort bag is to make a child feel a little more comfortable after having just been removed from a harmful situation. Children often enter foster care hungry and in need of a bath. These bags will be given to children by social workers immediately upon entering care. A bag will provide them with hygiene items. The bags also give children a toy to play with or activity to work on as they wait for social workers to find a relative or foster home placement for them. This can sometimes take hours. Comfort bags are split into four age groups: infant, toddler, elementary school age, and middle/high school age.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING COMFORT BAGS:

1. Choose an age group and gender for the bag you want to make. (Suggestion! If your child

wants to help, have them make a bag for another child their same age and gender. Have them fill the bag with items they would pick for themselves.)

2. Buy all items listed in the chart below to complete the bag. All items should be new.

3. Put it together! If you would like to purchase a diaper bag, book bag or overnight bag

(with zipper or drawstring) to use as the comfort bag, that would be an added bonus for us! Otherwise, you can put everything together and send our way!

4. Label your bag with the gender and age group of the child you made it for.

5. Contact us to schedule a time to drop off your bag!

Infant (unisex)

Toddler Elementary

School

Middle/High School

Infant toothbrush Toothbrush/Toothpaste Toothbrush/Toothpaste Toothbrush/Toothpaste

Baby shampoo/body wash

Tear-free shampoo/body wash

Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash

Shampoo, conditioner, body wash and deodorant

Baby lotion

Pull ups and wipes Brush or comb Brush or comb

Diapers size 1, 2 or 3 and wipes

Coloring book with crayons Coloring or mess-free coloring pack

book or activity pad with crayons or colored

Journal and pen

pencils

Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of

the widow. -Isaiah 1:17


Clothing Bags

phase 2 of helping

The goal of a clothing bag is to provide the clothing necessities a child needs immediately when entering foster care. Many times children enter care with only the clothes on their backs. Foster parents may not already have what they need on hand, and in emergency placements they do not have time to run to the store before the child arrives. When given a comfort bag and clothing bag, foster parents should have what they need for the child to make it through the first day and night. This takes something off of their list and helps foster parents to be able to focus on getting to know the child and helping them adjust that first night. If you can't foster, making a clothing bag is a great way to support a family who can. Please make bags for the current season.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING CLOTHING BAGS:

1. Choose a size and gender for the bag you want to make.

2. Buy all items listed in the chart below to complete the bag. All items should be new.

3. Put it together! You can get one of our bags from us beforehand and stuff it, or send us

all of the items in a grocery bag and we will stuff it for you!

4. Label your bag with the gender, size and season, then contact us to schedule a time to

drop off your bag!

Newborn-12 months 12-24 months 2T-5T 4(XS)-12(L)

Three outfits Three outfits Three outfits Three outfits

Pajamas or pack of onesies

pajamas pajamas +

1 pack underwear

Pajamas

1 pack socks 1 pack socks 1 pack socks 1 pack socks

Stuffed animal Stuffed animal Stuffed animal Stuffed animal

Snuggly blanket Snuggly blanket Snuggly blanket 1 pack underwear

*bags should be broken *bags should be broken *bags should be broken *bags should be broken down into the following down into the following down into the following down into the following sizes: sizes: sizes: sizes:

NB 6-9 months 12-18 months 2T 4 7 12 0-3 months 9 months 18 months 3T 4/5 7/8 3 months 9-12 months 18-24 months 4T 5 8 3-6 months 12 months 24 months 5T 5/6 8/10 6 months 6 10

6/7 10/12

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy.- Psalm 68:5


Gift Cards

phase 3 of helping

The goal of a gift card is to help provide any additional needed items for a child entering foster care. Our comfort bags and clothing bags can meet the general needs of all children, but each child will have additional needs unique to them as well. We want every child entering care in our county to receive a $100 Visa gift card for this purpose. The gift card can be used by social workers if needed immediately, or used by the foster family in the following days as needs arise. Gift cards could be used for formula, car seats, therapy tools, shoes, etc. Older children over size 12 will get a $100 Visa Card in place of a clothing bag. We have found that the styles vary and this gift card will help them get what style they love. This is one of the most helpful things we can provide to a foster family since it could be weeks before they receive any financial assistance from the government. Also, relatives who take in children receive little if any financial assistance while the child is placed with them.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR HELPING WITH GIFT CARDS:

You can help by becoming a monthly supporter! We are looking for friends who will donate $10 per month to our ministry to help us purchase the gift cards we need each month! You can go to www.iamj3.org/donate to give online! Monthly draft can be set up from your desktop and donations are tax deductible!

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all

who are destitute. -Proverbs 31:8


Bibles

The biggest goal of our ministry is to pour out love and hope in the midst of hardship by sharing the gospel with the children and families we serve. That is why we want to put a Jesus Storybook Bible in every clothing bag that we give out. The Jesus Storybook Bible is an amazing children's Bible written in age appropriate language and filled with truth! Every story from old testament to new testament points towards Jesus Christ! We want to give these kids our best and provide them with the Bibles that we read at home with our own children! We pray that God's word will seep into the hearts of not only the children, but also the relative or foster parent who is reading it with them.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR DONATING BIBLES:

Jesus Storybook Bibles can be found online at Amazon, Christian Book Distributors or most Christian bookstores.

“Orphan care is not this generation's evangelical fad...[it is] a belief that although the work to care for orphans may at times get hard, it is right and worthy and honorable to God and therefore deserves our endurance, perseverance and faithfulness.”

-Jason Johnson


As we display these attributes

the church's responsibility is to

be a champion for the orphan.

We were all orphans once and

He brought us into His family.

Therefore, as we care for the

orphan we are imitating His

passionate love for the

fatherless.


Other Ideas

+contact info

Host an item drive for any of the items mentioned in this packet and collect them with your church, youth group, small group, or business (for example, do a pajama drive or a hygiene item drive, anything helps!).

Pray over the bags you make, for the child that will receive it, for their birth family, and for the foster family or relative who is caring for them.

If you know a foster family, send them a meal or set up a meal schedule with friends when they welcome a new child. Or (by popular vote of foster parents) watch their children one night to give them a night out. Fostering brings lots of joy, but there is also a major emotional weight that comes along with it.

Become a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) volunteer and advocate for children in foster care. GAL volunteers do things like visit with children in their foster homes, observe visitations with birth family, and get to know the child and their wishes, then they write a court report to recommend what they feel is the best plan of action for the child.

If you're interested in becoming a foster parent or adopting internationally or through foster care, please contact us for help figuring out how to get started! It will be much more helpful to hear from people with experience than to Google search “how to adopt”!

CONTACT INFO:

Website: www.iamj3.org

Find us on:

Located at 1 N. Main St. Suite B Lexington, NC 27292

Call or email for pick up and drop off appointments

Samantha Gray sam@iamj3.org Madison Prevatte madison@iamj3.org

Tax receipts will be given out upon request. Thank you again for joining

us to help provide comfort to a child in crisis.