Travis County Rainbow Room Children
Organized by: Kate Goodrich
EVENT DATE Jun 19, 2016
Most of you know that I recently lost my beloved father, Mike Goodrich, who was the most generous, consistently gracious, genuinely kindhearted man I had ever known. I am 27, financially independent (or at least dependent on the Government), and I have a mom, sister, and community who has surrounded me like an army throughout this whole ordeal, and I still feel scared, lost, isolated and alone almost daily.
Now imagine being a child, losing one or both of your parents for one reason or another, and not having anywhere else to go or anyone else to lean on. How much more scared, lost, isolating and alone would that feel?
My heart broke in to a million pieces yesterday when I read that SIXTY-SEVEN Austin area children slept on the FLOOR of Texas State office buildings in March and April alone. They had literally no where else safe to go and spent at least two nights or more on the floor of a Texas State Office Building under flourescent lights on makeshift mattresses. I think that Travis County state District Judge Darlene Byrd summed it up eloquently by saying "We do better for dogs and animals in animal shelters than this.”
Take a moment now and read about what these children go through for yourself here, and if nothing else, be aware that this is happening and say a prayer for the stresses of our system and our Texas government tonight. I sincerely believe that we can do better than this. We can't change the system right now (except by being cognizant with our votes), but we can contribute in small and intentional ways, the exact same way that my dad lived his daily life.
I reached out to the author of that article and spoke with the Child Advocacy clinic professor at my law school about this and he said that the most effective way to help was to reach out to The Travis County Rainbow Room. They are a non-profit located in Austin who are sponsored by Partnerships for Children. Their mission is to provide Child Protective Services’ caseworkers with the resources that they need to better serve these types of kids in our community. These are the people who take in and take care of the kids that have no one else to take care of them right now.
Through reaching out to them, I learned that there is an Amazon list that tells the current "Wish List" of the Rainbow Room. By all means, please feel free to purchase an item off this list directly, or contribute to this CrowdRise where I will buy as many things off the list as I can with whatever money we raise. I will order the items on Fathers Day, June 19th, in honor and memory of my sweet dad, and I will personally deliver all of the goods we collectively gather to the Rainbow Room's secure drop off site. You can find that Amazon Wish List Here.
In addition to the list of things on the Amazon Current Wish List, the Rainbow Room coordinators say that they also are always in need of:
- hygiene and toiletries (particuarly hair care products for African American hair)
- children's beds and bedding,
- baby basics,
- household cleaning Items,
- children's clothes.
Though they don't mention it, I would like to also add to this list coffee, snacks, and appreciative cards for the caseworkers who sit up all night with the children. We think our jobs are stressful and challenging...
If you buy or have any of those things that you would like to donate and are in the DFW area, please message me for a drop off area that you can drop those things off at and I will make sure they get to Austin. If you have any things that you would like to donate and you are in Austin, I will either come collect them from you, or you can message me through this page for my address and I will take them to the drop off site for you.
If you are a superhuman (single or married) who feels inspired to become a short term foster parent, or you know someone who might be this kind of brave and compassionate, please check out their how-to here.
If you believe in this cause but don't trust third party collectors to do the charity for you, that's cool too! You can donate directly here.
Check out this organization and the good works they do for Texas children through any of these means:
If you feel motivated to share about your donation or this Rainbow Room Drive, please make sure you use their hashtag #givingahand, and if you're giving as part of your 60 Intentional Acts of Kindness Before Mike's 60th Birthday Challenge, feel free to include the hashtags #60intentionalacts and/or #makeadifferencedoitnow.
Remember that dad's birthday is March 6th, and our goal is to have as many people as possible do 60 intentional (not random) acts of kindness before then. Absolutely anything counts, big or small, as long as you do it with the intention of sharing kindness. Writing down your acts as you do them helps, and this is a great and relavtively effortless way to add to your list!
Dad's philosophy, which is essentially the only thing keeping me breathing right now, was:
"Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, wherever you are that day."
These small acts can't do much, but maybe for a short time they can help reinforce that these Texas children aren't as alone as they might feel tonight.