Campus Drive Helps Teens in Emergency Foster Care

Campus Ministry finished its Lenten Backpack Drive with roughly a carful of donations to give the Key Program in Methuen, Mass., which helps teenagers who go into emergency foster care.

Donations arrived throughout Lent, including about $300 in cash that Augustinian Volunteer Gina Hackett used to buy more items with which to fill backpacks. There are about 40 backpacks plus another 10 bags of donations that separately didn’t fill backpacks.

“I’ve been sorting and going through these things and putting them together,” Hackett said.

As donations arrived, they were stored in the third floor chapel at the Sakowich Center. Contributors were led by faculty and staff, and graduate students but one R.A. collected donations as a hall project. “The business school rocks and they always donate to all the drives,” Hackett said.

Donations included things like toiletries, sweats, pajamas, yoga pants, and fleece blankets.

The Key Program works with at-risk youth from 13- to 17-years-old. It has two residential homes in Methuen and provides a tracking service for teens who aren’t in the residential program, as well as outreach workers who visit at-risk youths and their families in their homes.

“Sometimes these kids get taken from their home in an emergency with just the clothing on they have on, so this will provide them with hygiene products, basic clothing to get them by,” said Kep Program Office Manager Susan Mokray, who works under Regional Director Susan Spitale. “It’s a very good thing.”

Hackett said she plans to load up her car and deliver the donations Friday, April 26.