PORTLAND, Ore. -- On any given day in Oregon, 7,600 children are living in foster care. Many arrive at their temporary homes with little notice and few belongings.
Local foster mom, Allie Roth, saw the problem firsthand and decided to do something about it with help from a few hundred of her friends.
Roth founded With Love to help little ones in foster care, from newborns to children as old as 5. With Love provides clothes and basic necessities to foster families in the area. The nonprofit is fueled by donations.
“We barely buy anything,” said Roth. “It all comes from the community.”
Roth started the charity out of her home, but it’s now moved to a bigger warehouse site in Tigard. All the clothes and baby gear are cleaned, sized and separated, then delivered for free. The children also get blankets, books and a stuffed animal so they have something of their own.
“These kids come with the clothes on their back,” said Roth.
It was a lifesaver for Emily when she started fostering. Only 27 years old and single, the first few days were challenging.
“I thought I had all the basics that I needed to care for a baby,” said Emily. “But I was wrong!”
She admits it can be hard never knowing when a child is going to come or go, but her goal has always been to love each child for as long as she has them.
“It is a huge emotional roller coaster,” explained Emily. “People tell me all the time I couldn’t do it. I’d get too attached, but that’s the point. If you think you’d get too attached then it probably means you would be really good at this.”
Emily is certainly attached to Harper, who arrived in her home at only 6 days old. Harper is almost 2 now, and will be staying with Emily much longer. Just last week, Emily was able to adopt Harper.
“Having her in our family now, I think she’s just going to grow up and be an amazing girl,” said Emily.
A family that started “With Love” that will now last a lifetime.