The refreshing splash of cool water after that first cannonball into the swimming pool. The laughter that fills the air on unscheduled days with friends. The palpable excitement walking into a store to pick out brand-new clothes, shoes, backpacks and school supplies as summer slides into fall.
For many of us, late summer conjures sweet, unforgettable childhood memories. But for children and teens living in local shelters, group homes and treatment centers, summer can be a sad, lonely time.
That’s why, a few years ago, Carrying Hope decided to dedicate our annual summer event to children and youth in foster care by throwing them an incredible pool party crafted just for them. Yesterday, we spent the most wonderful afternoon with three dozen teens and tweens, splashing, laughing and just enjoying the day. Each child received pizza, snacks and cake, a summer-centric Hope Pack, and a $100 Walmart gift card to use for back-to-school shopping. Between this event and our Houston pool party earlier this month, we spoiled nearly 60 fabulous kiddos and provided them with sweet memories that we hope will last for years to come.
We’d like to say a huge thanks to our sponsors, including Sophie Chasen, a rising high school senior who fundraised to purchase more than 25 $100 gift cards for her fellow teens; all of our additional gift-card donors; Trudy’s Tex-Mex, who donated $1,000 worth of gift cards so the shelters and group homes can enjoy some special out-to-eat meals; and DoubleDave’s Pizzaworks, who offered discounted pizzas for the event.
We are proud and grateful to be turning 6 years old this month thanks to the incredible and overwhelming support of the Austin and Houston communities. Thank you for making special memories like these possible for the kids who need it most.