People in downtown Cedar Rapids ‘Stuff the Truck’ for those aging out of foster care

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 4:26 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -On this Giving Tuesday people in downtown Cedar Rapids helped ‘Stuff the Truck.’ Items donated are going to help support people in foster care as they age out of the system.

The truck was stuffed with household essentials outside of the Craft’d coffee shop on 1st Street Southeast. The donations will go to young people 18-23 who have aged out of the foster system and for the first time are living on their own.

”Once they age out of foster care they lose a lot of services and you understand what it’s like moving into your very first apartment, it’s a big step and you need that support from other people around you,” said Rachel Rigdon, Board President of Junior League of Cedar Rapids.

Foundation 2 Crisis Services currently serves around 100 people aging out of foster care in Linn, Benton, Jones, Johnson and Iowa county. Seeing the truck fill up and knowing how those donations will help was emotional.

”It’s overwhelming and it’s amazing because they are just so deserving of these items and so to have the community see that and acknowledge that is just really powerful,” Renae Koth explained, Program Manager for Fostering Futures at Foundation 2 Crisis Services.

For more than a decade the Junior League of Cedar Rapids has been stuffing suitcases for this cause using monetary donations. This is the second year they’ve stuffed a truck which involves the community in a new way, and helps give even more.

”As inflation continues to grow it gets more and more challenging to fill up the suitcases with just monetary donations and so when people bring in in-kind donations it really helps us further our mission and fill more suitcases,” said Rigdon.

People who still want to donate can drop items off at Crat’d until December 4th. Those who’ve helped deliver the items know how much it means to people on the receiving end.

”It’s like Christmas, they get to open it all up and organize their own space and just really have that sense of belonging,” Koth said.

Several area businesses and groups came together to support the ‘Stuff the Truck’ event. Van Meter matched the first $1,750 donated to the cause and offered up a box truck to transport the donations. ESCO Group and Transamerica also matched the first $1,750 in donations. Palmer Group covered the cost of coffee and specialty drinks from Craft’d for those who donated.