PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Today we're highlighting a duo who goes above and beyond to help foster children in the Bay Area, and it involves a shopping trip.
- Kelly Rossi and Christina Needham are today's Everyday Hero
- Duo working to help foster children get the essentials they need
- More info on Eckerd Connects Raising Hope
Kelly Rossi has almost 25 years experience with foster children. Rossi and her partner Christina Needham created the "Room of Hope" at Eckerd Connects Raising Hope in Largo where kids can get items they need free of charge.
"When kids enter foster care systems they're able to come to our program 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and get new shoes, clothes, hygene items, school supplies, and baby care items. Things they are not given when they enter our foster care system by the state," Rossi said.
Needham, who has a retail background, helped create a boutique like feel to the room.
"I always say our main goal is to be their first smile. They're going through so much and this is a good distraction. And sometimes they've never been shopping in their lives or had things that are nice for their own," Needham explained.
It is very important that this no cost shopping experience, at a time when young people are dealing with personal crisis, not only fills the bill but brings a smile.
"Basic essential that they need to look good, feel good at themselves. Go to school the next day. We don't want our foster kids targeted, picked on. We want them feeling and looking good like their peers. And honestly these items they don't just need but they deserve," Rossi said.
Volunteers as well as clothing and cash donations are always needed.