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Mi Campaign Picks Up Where Toys for Tots Leaves Off: ‘Tweens and Teens

December 10, 2007

Ypsilanti, MI – A Michigan woman has created a new charity that should fill an important need. When Kim Buchholz gave some thought to the popular "Toys for Tots" campaign, she realized that this gift program and similar ones don't do much for older kids, ages ten and up.

So her "Toys for 'Tweens and Teens" is collecting gifts for more than 100 older kids in foster care. Buchholz, an Eastern Michigan University student, says the goals go beyond putting presents under trees. She says the group wants to make a real university "connection" with young people who are part of the foster care system.

"For people to reach out and demonstrate to these kids how much we really do care about them, it might be that extra care that they need to stay with their education and go on to higher learning."

Buchholz adds that 'tweens and teens are less likely than younger kids to find permanent homes before they "age out" of the foster care system. She hopes this new gift charity spreads to college campuses nationwide, and keeps its focus on kids in foster care.

"And when they do get out and on their own, if they don't have family around to kind-of foster the next direction in their life, they'll feel like they already belong somewhere."

In her research, Buchholz also has gift advice for other Michigan shoppers who have gifts to buy for kids in that age group. She reports that athletic gear, electronics, pajamas, jewelry sets, perfume and room decorations are the items most often requested.

Deborah Smith/John Robinson, Public News Service - MI