In March 2021, members of the Women of Impact (WoI) philanthropic giving group brought their passion to support local nonprofits together and voted Wishing Wings as the 2021 first quarter grantee.
Wishing Wings, founded by Ginger Summers, works to provide the essentials for youth that are in foster care and kinship placement within Boone County. Children within the foster care system face challenges every day and often go without hope or proper resources. Teenage foster youth often have the hardest time adjusting, especially if they have been in the system for multiple years and are forced to relocate and enroll in new schools with little resources. Many times, teens are forgotten when it comes to donations, relocation needs, and other support. Stress can be reduced if the youth are dressed and prepared to fit in.
It is the goal of Wishing Wings to prepare these youth to succeed while in the system and be prepared when/if they can be reunified with their families.
Wishing Wings offers several programs for Boone County foster youth:
Grant A Wish – Foster families/kinship placement aren’t always able to provide “extras” for the youth in their care, due to financial constraints. Through granting a wish, youth have a chance to make important connections, experience new things, find their passion, and develop self-esteem. In 2020, Wishing Wings granted two wishes – new bicycles! Wishes can grant everything from a school yearbook to a prom ticket and attire, from a senior class ring to registration for camp or participating in sports or music.
Wishing Wings Boutique – The biggest program offered by Wishing Wings, the boutique provides youth with a positive shopping experience in a consignment-like atmosphere. All items are free for the youth, in a setting where youth are encouraged and empowered to make selections of their choice. Youth in the foster system do not have much control and the goal of the boutique is to give them some of that control back with shopping. The boutique offers everything from clothing (in sizes child 5-adult 3XL), shoes, bedroom decor, makeup, toys, books, sports equipment, and more, with an emphasis on teens. From May-December 2020, 166 youth shopped at the boutique. So far in 2021, they have helped over 30 youth. Wishing Wings also partners with Central Teen Challenge and the Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home to provide clothing and other items for youth. The greatest need for the Wishing Wings Boutique is to continue offering new underwear, socks, sports bras, and bras to the youth that come to shop. They are also looking for a bigger space that can be used for the boutique and storage. Wishing Wings Boutique is currently located in a rented space within Central Christian Church, 311 E. Main St, 2nd Floor, in Lebanon, and is open the second Saturday of each month or by appointment if another day is needed.
Packing Hope – Packing Hope offers backpacks for youth who have been removed by DCS, meal trains to help foster families, and birthday bags to youth in Boone County. The backpacks contain an outfit, pajamas, toiletry items, and a McDonald’s gift card. DCS Caseworkers obtain these bags when needed from the White House located on Lebanon Christian Church’s property. The birthday bags consist of a cake mix, party decorations, and a new gift, and are given to the Boone County CASA Director to hand out.
This Women of Impact grant will allow Wishing Wings to grant more wishes and continue stocking the shop with much needed items. “Thank you so much Women of Impact members”, said Ginger Summers, founder of Wishing Wings. “I haven’t stopped smiling at what this will mean for the Boone County youth who are in foster care or kinship placement!”
To become a member of Women of Impact Boone County and collaboratively support Boone County-serving nonprofits, click here or contact us today!
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF BOONE COUNTY
Since 1991, the Community Foundation of Boone County has granted over $26 million from its various funds to nonprofit organizations and programs working to solve critical challenges in Boone County. Through the generosity of donors, the Foundation currently holds over $27 million in net assets and awards an average of $1 million back into the local community each year. In the past 30 years, we have worked with donors to create permanent funds for charitable giving. The establishment and growth of permanent endowment funds will strengthen Boone County for generations to come.