United Day lends helping hand to foster agency

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Griffin Davis, 9, of Beacon Falls paints a birdhouse to help foster children Aug. 9 at United Day School in Beacon Falls. Davis and his classmates donated school supplies and money they raised from a cake raffle to the Foster Adoptive Mission of Waterbury. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — Every year the United Day School in Beacon Falls students run a lemonade stand to help raise funds for an organization in the community. Last year the funds went to the Ambulance Association and this year the funds went to the Beacon Falls Public Library.

One student, however, had another cause that he wanted to champion.

Griffin Davis, 9, wanted to do something for foster children. He brought his idea to his school and was told that, if there were any foster agencies in the area, he could help raise money for them.

Davis said that evening him and his mother found the Foster Adoptive Mission of Waterbury and sent them an e-mail. The next morning he had received a reply back from Deb Kelleher, the agency’s regional coordinator.

The school came together over the idea. The students collected school supplies for the children in foster care and donated a weeks worth of funds from its cake raffle to the agency.

Kelleher visited the school Aug. 9 to receive the donations, thank the students and to lead the students in a project building and painting birdhouses.

For the project, Kelleher told the students about how there are some children who do not have homes to live in or a family to take care of them.

Ryan Kuhns, 8, of Beacon Falls paints a birdhouse to help foster children Aug. 9 at United Day School in Beacon Falls. Kuhns and his classmates donated school supplies and money they raised from a cake raffle to the Foster Adoptive Mission of Waterbury. –LUKE MARSHALL

She told the children that, for this project, they would all get to paint a small, decorative birdhouse. The birdhouses are sold at fairs around the state and the money goes towards college scholarships for foster children.

Kelleher told the students that these birdhouses also send a message about the state’s 4,600 children in foster care.

“Like every bird needs its own home, every child needs it own home,” Kelleher said.

Students were receptive to Kelleher’s message about helping children in foster care.

“I wish all children had a home to live in. I feel sad for them. Children need a home and love,” Ryan Kuhns, 8, said.

Davis was very pleased that he and his class had been able to raise money, donate school supplies, and help out children in foster care.

“It feels great,” Davis said.