Smile Politely

Cold ones for kids: Donate to charity at Triptych

There are over 16,000 children in foster care throughout Illinois. That’s, obviously, a very large number and when coupled with the fact that there’s reportedly a lack of willing foster parents, it highlights a very large problem in our society.

But the issue isn’t just that there aren’t enough places for foster children to go. The issues go beyond the initial, “Where should we put this kid?” questions. According to Together We Rise, a non-profit organization that helps foster children and families, most children that have to move to a new foster home are given two garbage bags to carry their belongings.

The thing that you put your uneaten leftovers into and dumped in a giant can for pickup on Fridays should not be the same thing that children use to carry their personal items.

Most teenaged foster kids, when they emancipate, don’t have cars or modes of transportation to help them in their day-to-day lives.

These are just a few of the issues that Together We Rise is aiming to combat. When they started in 2008, it was a group of college students trying to help out a classmate’s cousin. Today, they’ve gone nationwide and have two projects right now that are aimed at tackling the issues of transportation for foster children.

They’ve created the Sweet Case, to give foster children a place to carry their belongings. It’s a duffle bag with a hygiene kit, blanket, some art activities, and a really adorable pillow pet. It beats the hell out of a trash bag. The cool thing is that you can help local foster youth by building Sweet Cases through their initiative.

A more ambitious project that Together We Rise is working on a Build-A-Bike program. It’s basically building bikes and donating them to foster children. Again, it’s something that you can do through them to aid in a more local way.

But the bottom line is that this stuff does cost money. Together We Rise needs to have funds to put together these great projects in an effort to make foster children’s lives easier.

You can donate to them online, but locally, there’s an even more fun way of getting your money to help foster children in Illinois. Triptych Brewing‘s featured charity this month is Together We Rise. Every Wednesday this month, you can head to the brewery and on each pint you purchase, $1 will go towards Together We Rise.

Triptych’s charitable outreach in this community is really cool, and deserves all of the support it can get. There’s really no better way to donate to a charity than by drinking locally brewed (and delicious) craft beers. It’s Tuesday today, plan tomorrow and the next few Wednesdays accordingly.

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