TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It’s that time of the year when families rush to get their kids new clothes and supplies for the start of school. A Tucson family is making sure children in foster care don’t go without.
"It's so desperately needed," Michele Wright, executive director of Spreading Threads. "These kids deserve to feel valued and to have dignity and I'm a big believer in that."
While families are stocking up on back to school supplies, kids in foster care are often unable to afford this yearly tradition. Since 2012, nearly 17,000 foster children have received donations collected by Michelle Wright. Foster children are very near and dear to her family. Michelle and her wife have four children, all of whom they adopted.
"I was once a foster kid and just seeing the kids coming in and it's really just a blessing," said Michele's son Joseph Wright. "It warms my heart being able to give them clothes that they weren't able to go out to the store and buy on their own."
The need has only grown through COVID-19 as donations and resources for organizations that assist foster families have dried up.
"A lot of the resources they were used to accessing either weren't open or it was very difficult to get to them," Wright said. "So I was like no we are not closing, we are just gonna mask up and Lysol our bodies and do it."
Spreading Threads has had an exceptionally high number of emergency clothing pulls during COVID-19 with 600 emergency pulls since mid-March. Wright said she isn’t tossing in the towel and wants these families to know they’re not alone.
"Letting those families know, I have your back," she said. "Don't be ashamed to call me, don't feel like 'oh I already called last night,' No, that's exactly why I'm here to lift you up so whenever, I'm here."
Spreading Threads is in need of donations to continue helping children in foster care. Visit the organization’s website to find out how to donate, resources in the community or if you’re wanting more information on becoming a foster parent.