UW-Eau Claire program providing gift baskets for low-income students

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Eau Claire (WQOW) – A new program at UW-Eau Claire is helping to ease the stress of back-to-school shopping for students in need.

It’s called the Fostering Success Program and the goal for the upcoming school year is to provide gift baskets full of necessities, such as toiletries and school supplies, for students who are either former foster youths or those who identify as homeless.

“We have 50 students identified in the upcoming freshmen class who would be eligible for Fostering Success and we’re expecting that number to rise as we talk to more of the incoming students,” say Angie Swenson-Holzinger, the associate director of advising at UW-Eau Claire. “A lot of times students who are former foster youth or homeless have to re-tell their story over and over again, and we want to bridge some of those gaps.”

This idea is now a year in the making and one of the people responsible for bringing it into existence is UW-Eau Claire student Taz Smith. She is a former foster youth herself and says a few simple items can make incoming students feel welcomed and safe.

“What I wanted for the program was for incoming freshman to be able to have that support system,” Smith said. “A support system that I kind of had but not as much as what I wanted to have. I was more worried about paying for school, getting supplies and all of that. The simple things that normally parents would provide for their students.”

The is program still needs to raise roughly $6,000 to get all of the supplies collected so the gift baskets can be distributed.

If you are interested in donating visit their website for more information.

Rebecca Fiala

Rebecca Fiala

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