As they prepare to move on to the next stage of their lives and into young adulthood, a few teens who have gone through the foster care system will garner an assist toward doing just that.
The Republican Women of St. Charles Parish will be granting a Citizenship Award to nominated students who are about to age out of the foster system, and with it a financial boost toward anything that might be needed to get set up on their own – be it going toward an apartment, to buy furniture, or anything else the recipient may need. Each recipient will be a St. Charles Parish graduating senior student.
The club raised over $14,000 that will be divided among two to three graduating senior students who are in foster care, with several local businesses chipping in to make the sum a realty. Central to the fundraising effort was the RWSCP’s Red Elephant Luncheon, which was held at Destrehan Plantation in March and included a “parade of prizes,” silent auction and a public officials meet and greet.
Students were nominated by parish teachers, and those nominated are interviewed for the potential honor.
“It’s not a college scholarship, because not everyone may go to college, but they may need an apartment or may need furniture … this is money we give with no expectations, to help you get your start in life,” said Carol Levy, the organization’s president. “So many local businesses donated (for the fundraiser), gift cards, services, meals, bottles of wine … one even donated a roof, all so we could make money for these (awards).”
She added several local leaders also purchased items to help with the cause.
Levy said that given the events of the past several months, these donations are not taken lightly.
“I think it’s a beautiful thing when you have all these businesses, to have so much devastation with Hurricane Ida, and they’re so willing to gladly help out once we tell them what it is we’re doing,” Levy said. “It really warms your heart.”
She also made clear – this is an apolitical event and award.
“(The Republican Women of St. Charles Parish) is how we gather and organize, but this isn’t political at all. It’s for everyone,” Levy said.
For Levy, this is a cause near and dear to her heart, as she is a mother to two adopted children, one of whom via the foster care system.