Book drive provides local kids in foster care with books, backpacks

10/11 NOW at 10 Sunday
Published: Aug. 9, 2020 at 9:08 PM CDT
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Local foster agencies say right now with COVID-19, kids in foster care need to know the community around them supports and cares about them more than ever.

And one Lincoln mom is teaming up with friends to make sure they help them start the school year right.

It’s called EMpowerME Packs and 10/11 NOW spoke with one of the women behind it who says their goal is to provide each child in Lincoln foster care with a backpack and a set of books and they’ve raised over $28,000 to do this.

“I have two children of my own, and we go through so many books a day. We feel that is something that connects us as a family,” said Kathleen Ousey.

One of her friends who she is teaming up with has two foster kids and says there is always a need for books in the home, especially right now during the pandemic when kids are inside more than ever.

“The children come oftentimes times with a paper sack and a few belongings, I mean they don’t come with a lot, sometimes it’s abrupt and they don’t know,” said Ousey.

That's where the idea for EMpowerME Packs started.

Ousey and two others reached out to Cedars, KVC, and Omni Inventive Care.

Their gofundme raised money and their employer Usborne Books & More matched the donation 50 percent.

But they still need a few hundred more backpacks.

“Any lightly used backpacks that still look new enough for this project we’re still accepting,” said Ousey.

They plan on packing the backpacks this week and will be distributing them soon.

“Including my kids in that and that’s a project we can do together to give back to people who don’t have as much as we do,” said Ousey.

To donate, reach out to Ousey on Facebook, or find the gofundme here:

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