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Help fill ‘hope chest’ for foster teens

Local insurance agent Tina Pasto has started a project she’s calling “The Hope Chest” to collect new household goods for teens who are leaving foster care. For the next few months, she’s asking community members to fill a Hope Chest in her office.

Pasto is partnering with The Next Door, a local nonprofit that works with teens who are “aging out” of foster care.

Livia Colbert, who helps foster teens plan for independence said, “When a teenager in foster care turns 18 or graduates from high school, they have to become independent very quickly, and it doesn’t always go well. They face a high risk of drug and alcohol abuse, incarceration, poverty and homelessness. We help them find housing, and they always need household items.”

Pasto says she wants the community to fill a whole room with a variety of new items. “Together we can make sure that teens leaving foster care have what they need.”

According to Pasto, “People rarely have hope chests anymore, but they used to be a way to prepare for a new home, by collecting nice things — towels, sheets, dishware, etc.”

You can help by bringing brand-new household items to Pasto’s office at 1204 Nix Drive and placing them in the Hope Chest in the lobby.

Kitchen, bath and bedroom items like dishes, cooking gear, small appliances, towels, sheets and pillows are in high demand. She will be collecting until the end of June.

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