The 113th Diocesan Annual Council is going to be at the Cathedral on November 10-11. This year, our youth-led service project will impact a very vulnerable group of people: kids in foster care.
Children are removed from their families every day because of abuse or neglect. Too often, these children have to carry trash bags filled with their belongings to their new foster home. For a vulnerable child or teen in crisis, having a backpack that belongs to them and is full of some basic practical and comfort items can show them that they matter and are loved by God and others, even in the midst of chaos.
- By replacing the trash bag with a backpack, we can help increase feelings of self-worth and remove the homeless stigma from the process.
- By providing the comfort of a blanket or a cuddly teddy bear, we can help reduce stress and trauma and make children feel safe and cared for.
- By providing the urgent essentials children need upon entering care, we allow the foster family to focus on mental well-being during a scary and uncertain time. Reducing stress and trauma upon entering foster care can allow the children to have a less stressful introduction to a family, allowing them to form bonds and reduce multiple placements.
See below for details.
For 153 million orphaned children in the world today;
Lord, hear our prayer.
For the 443,00 children without a family in the United States;
Lord, hear our prayer.
For our 11,500+ children in Georgia’s foster care system; Lord, hear our prayer.
For siblings experiencing the trauma of being placed in separate homes; Lord, hear our prayer.
For young people trying to heal from the effects of abuse or neglect; Lord, hear our prayer.
For caseworkers, judges, attorneys, and all other advocates for vulnerable children; Lord, hear our prayer.
For all teachers, caregivers, and ministry workers serving children in foster care; Lord, hear our prayer.
For biological parents or caregivers who are trapped in addiction, abuse, or poverty; Lord, hear our prayer.
For those who open their hearts and their homes to the joy and pain of fostering; Lord, hear our prayer.
For all parents who are missing a foster child; Lord, hear our prayer.
For the Church, that we may be responsive to the needs of children in our communities; Lord, hear our prayer.
For each child, each family, and until no one is without a loving home; Lord, hear our prayer.
- All donated items must be new or unused.
- Amazon Wishlists for each age group are available at eycdioatl.org/firstnight.
- Items do not have to be purchased from the Amazon Wishlists, although we encourage you to use those as a guide.
- Already-assembled bags are welcome, but our plan is to pack all donated items into the donated bags, assembly-line style, after Diocesan Annual Council at the Cathedral of St. Philip (November 10-11).
- We cannot donate bibles or prayer books (but encourage you to pray over the donated items if you would like).
- Gender neutral items are preferred.
- Backpacks are preferred, but diaper bags (for infants), large totes or duffle bags also work.
Items can be delivered to the Cathedral of St. Philip by Friday, November 10. Bags will be sorted and packed on Saturday, November 11 after Council business concludes.
Donations of money can be made by scanning the QR code below or visiting eycdioatl.org/firstnight. Checks can be mailed to the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta with “First Night” in the memo line. Cash donations will be used to stock unfinished bags for distribution to Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) offices across Middle and North Georgia.
We need help assembling these bags! We’ll work together to do this on Saturday, November 11 right after business concludes at Annual Council. Many hands make light work, so we hope you’ll take a few minutes to join us on the second floor of the Cathedral!
Cash donations will be used to stock unfinished bags for distribution to DFCS offices across Middle and North Georgia. You can donate online or mail a check to EYCDIOATL with “First Night” in the memo.
2744 Peachtree Road Northwest
Atlanta, Georgia 30305