Harvesters’ club collects donations for foster care families


Joselyn Yoo

Pascack Valley’s Harvesters' club, a nondenominational club that explores Christianity, collected donations for Embrella. All items are going to children who have aged out of the foster care system and need basic necessities.

Joselyn Yoo, Staff Writer

Pascack Valley’s Harvesters’ club, a nondenominational club that explores Christianity, collected donations such as food, college supplies, and hygiene products for Embrella, a nonprofit organization that supports foster families and kids. According to Embrella’s website, the organization provides scholarship programs for children and training and services for parents. 

“In this newspaper, there was this article about these women in Westwood and they were collecting supplies for Embrella,” co-leader Emma Stankus said. “I was like ‘Wow, this is amazing.’ I was trying to look for something to  support, and so we decided to support them and found out that like the organization is reliable and everything.”

Joselyn Yoo
A list of items donated to foster care families and children for Embrella.

All items collected are going towards children who have aged out of the foster care system in the transitional phase from youth to adulthood. When foster children reach 18, they are no longer under the care of their foster parents and many lack basic necessities, according to the club adviser and history teacher Marisa Mathias.

“Many of these kids are still in high school and they’re expected to find a job, a place to live, and means of transportation to get to their school and job,” Mathias said. “A lot of studies have shown that within two to four years of aging out of the foster care system, 40% of kids who age out are homeless, are receiving public assistance, are incarcerated, [and] experiencing drug and alcohol abuse.”

Mathias said it is important to raise awareness about this issue since it is a struggle that many teenagers face once they immediately turn 18.

“I feel like a lot of people feel it’s an issue, but they don’t really know about it that much,” Stankus said. “Around here, there isn’t that much talk about foster care. Once they get out, a lot of them don’t know where to go from there.”