Bailey, the founder of The Hands and Feet, is a former foster mom and now adoptive mom to four beautiful children. After closing her home to fostering after 5 years and taking in 23 children she realized there was a huge gap in resources for foster and kinship families. On a whim one evening she decided she would offer a delivery service of material items to a friend who was taking in 3 children in the middle of the night.
At 12:30 AM, Bailey and her sister Makayla, ran to CVS and gathered anything they could find for the 17 year old girl, her 1 year old son, and her 14 year old sister who had been human trafficked from another country and left abandoned in a parking lot, only to be found and placed in the foster care system. After driving to the foster family’s home at 1:00 AM and delivering essentials that could not be found anywhere else at that time of night she realized she was onto something.
For the next 3 days after that life altering moment she watched as she requested more items for these three children and item upon item continued to show up on this family’s doorstep. From coloring books in the girls’ native language, to clothing and baby gear for the little boy, to even specific food items that helped bring a sense of comfort to a terrifying situation, the community completely surrounded this family and these three children and forever impacted their life.
This is where The Hands and Feet truly began and has only grown from there. While they only started out serving Palm Beach County, Kristin West felt this deep desire to get involved more in the child welfare system. Being a foster parent herself she knew the immense stress that receiving a new child into your home brings. She saw the grassroots efforts that were already impacting Palm Beach County and knew she needed to open this in her area. Within a few weeks she had launched the Treasure Coast branch and already began changing lives in her local community.
After much impact had been made over the course of 6 months to Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast the Broward County branch was launched in January of 2022. Diana Gelfand who is a foster and adoptive mother of 3 and her dear friend, Katy Wood, who has supported the foster care system and families for years joined forces to lead the Broward branch together.
Delivering Help and Hope Right To Your Door
Delivering Essential Items to Children Impacted by the Child Welfare System
Our main program delivers items to foster, kinship, and biological families with an open child welfare case right to their door within 48 hours after a referral is made. Our goal in delivering these items is to ease the burden of the family who is stepping up to care for these vulnerable and hurting children. We strive to provide the highest quality items to children, making sure they are feeling loved and worthy with every single delivery.
Delivering Support to Aged Out Youth and Youth in Group Homes
This program strives to bridge the gap between youth that have aged out as well as youth in group homes and individuals who want to support them. Many times these aged out youth, and youth in group homes, move into new apartments or homes and have nothing. With no family to support them in becoming an adult, we pair these youth with a volunteer who takes them shopping and teaches them life skills such as how to budget and plan accordingly for their needs. The Hands and Feet provides a gift card to give the youth funds in purchasing these items. Through shopping we encourage our volunteers to get to know these youth and form a bond and connection with them that will not just last that one day but a lifetime.
Delivering Thanks to Child Welfare Workers
This program honors child welfare employees by highlighting a different department each month, within each of our geographical areas. Our directors meet with the department of their choosing, introducing Hands and Feet to that department. We give a small token of appreciation to each member of the team in the way of a gift card or sweet treat as our way of saying thank you. We then do a spotlight of that department on all social media, educating the public on all the ways that particular department works within the child welfare system.
Nonprofit, donate, foster care, child welfare system, DCF case, donations, infant, toddler, adolescent, kid, child, teen, teens, clothes, clothing, shoes, stroller, car seat, Door Dash of Foster Care, Place of Hope, help