Lawrence children take action to support their peers in foster care – The Lawrence Times | Candle Made Easy

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Some Lawrence children came up with ideas and took action this summer to raise funds and create art kits to support their peers in the foster care system.

Reese Spencer, 9, “had learned how difficult life can be for children in the child care system and wanted to do something to help,” according to a Douglas County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) press release.


About 165 children are in foster care in Douglas County at any given time, and CASA staff and volunteers have assisted 106 Douglas County children so far this year, according to the press release.

Reese, the president of the Lawrence Public Library’s Kids’ Action Club, campaigned for her leadership in the club with the idea of ​​creating art activity kits for CASA children and their volunteer advocates to work on together.

“They keep getting put in different places,” Reese said in the press release. “It’s different than just having a place to live; [one] that is comfortable and used to it.”

The art kits created by Reese and club members include short biographies of famous artists, reproductions of their work, art supplies, paper and other materials to create art inspired by those artists, according to the publication.

“Mirrors to create self-portraits were included in the Frida Kahlo kits and sunflower seeds honoring Vincent van Gogh’s well-known theme were included in the next few kits. The club plans to design and deliver two more sets of art kits for CASA children later this year.”

Kelly Konie, 9, recently opened a lemonade stand. But she said it didn’t feel right to give the money to yourself.

The project quickly became a “Lemon Help Stand”. Kelly raised funds for CASA at the suggestion of her mother, Kate Konie.

Kate Konie / featured photo Clayton Konie, 8, and Kelly Konie, 9

“With the help of her 8-year-old brother Clayton and friends, who held signs to warn cars down the block, she spent an entire afternoon on a 99-degree July day selling lemonade and popsicles, handing out toys and to triple their earnings from their previous sale,” the press release said.

“It was just so much fun donating the money,” Kelly said in the press release.

Sarah Hoadley, CASA development coordinator, said in the press release that what impressed her most was that the children came up with the ideas themselves and figured out how to implement them.

“We were touched to receive their donations out of the blue and to see the time, effort and imagination that went into their projects,” said Hoadley. “Kelly, Reese and their friends care deeply about their peers who live with such instability; They are living proof of the positive impact children can have on the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community.”

CASA is actively recruiting 20 new volunteer advocates to reach more children on the waiting list. Find out more about CASA at this link. Learn more about the Lawrence Public Library Kids’ Action Club at this link and other LPL kids’ clubs at this link.

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