[disclaim]This is a sponsored post on behalf of Mattress Firm and the Mom It Forward Blogger Network. All opinions are 100% my own.[/disclaim]
Have you ever considered becoming a foster parent? It’s something my husband and I have discussed. There were more than 650,000 kids who spent time in the foster care system in the U.S. in 2014, and each year more than 250,000 kids enter the system. The majority are very young and many have a chronic illness. Those kids who can be adopted often wait two years to be adopted. It can be tough to be a foster kid.
Not everyone can be a foster parent, but anyone can help a foster child including you and your kids! From May 2 through June 26, Mattress Firm is hosting a clothing drive to collect new and very gently used clothing for foster children to provide essential items they need.
Many times foster children arrive to their foster home with only the clothes they are wearing. It is often extended family who take the children, which can mean they don’t qualify for federal or state aid. Donations like these are often what helps these families care for these kids. By donating clothing, you are helping them make this transition a bit easier to a new home, new school, and a new community.
Mattress Firm is also hosting a contest for Kid Heroes to help kids give back to their community by helping foster children now through 5/22. Mattress Firm is asking parents of children who make a clothing or monetary donation to their local Mattress Firm store to share a photo and caption of their child making a donation.
You can take a photo of your child having a bake sale to raise money to donate, putting some clothes in the donation bin at the store, or something else. Mattress Firm just wants to see and hear how your kids are helping out foster kids. Along with the photo, they would like a caption describing how your child is supporting the cause.
There are three ways you can enter the Kid Heroes Contest — Twitter, Instagram, or Direct Upload.
For Twitter and Instagram, here are the instructions to submit a photo:
- Snap a photo of your child making his/her donation to the Mattress Firm Foster Kids clothing drive. Photos of your child supporting foster kids out in the community will also be accepted.
- Make sure your account (Instagram or Twitter) is public or your entry will not be seen. (You can turn your privacy settings back on in a few hours once you’ve submitted your photo. Or, you can upload your photo directly to the content gallery on www.MattressFirm.com/KidHeroes.)
- Publish your photo on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #Donate4FosterKids. Include a brief caption stating why your kid hero wants to help foster kids. (Make sure your post is a new one – it must have been newly uploaded from May 2-22. You can’t edit an existing post and tag it with the hashtag.)
- Share your photo with family, friends and co-workers to encourage votes! Upon entering, you will receive a response on your Instagram post or a reply to your tweet from @MattressFirm with a unique bit.ly URL linking people directly to your photo to make voting and sharing easy!
For a Direct Upload, here are the instructions to submit a photo:
- Go to www.MattressFirm.com/KidHeroes.
- Find the Kid Heroes #Donate4FosterKids content gallery.
- Click the ‘Submit an Entry’ button and follow prompts to upload your photo.
- Upon submitting your entry, you will see a unique bit.ly a unique bit.ly URL at the top of your screen. This URL links people directly to your photo to make voting and sharing easy.
- Share your photo with family, friends and co-workers to encourage votes!
The photos will be in a gallery on Mattress Firm, and then voting will take place to have a chance to win the grand prize. The finalists and winner will be determined by the most votes. The top 5 photos with the most votes will move onto the final round from 5/23 through 5/29. The winning photo will be announced 5/30, and that kid hero will receive a $500 Toys “R” Us gift card and $5,000 donation to a local Mattress Firm Foster Kids nonprofit partner of the winner’s choice.
You can learn more about the organizations who are benefiting from this clothing drive by click here. It breaks it down by state. I found several local organizations in my area such as CASA of Denton County and Helping Hand Home of Denton.