For teens in the foster care system, it can be easy to lose hope of finding their “forever family.” For Willia Burton-Orr, a freshmen at Saint Raphael Academy, hope stayed strong within her during the two years she was in foster care, and she was finally adopted this past August. Still, she hadn’t forgotten how it can be a particularly difficult time for teens.

Willia wanted to do something to bring teens in the foster care system hope and let them know they are being thought of. After consulting with Adoption RI and her Theology teacher, Mrs. Caroline Aldrich, Willia decided to make Easter baskets for the teens in the organization and involve her fellow freshmen with a “giviWillia Burton-Orr, a freshmen at Saint Raphael Academy, organized an Easter basket drive for Adoption RI.ng contest.”

The students were asked to bring in ChapStick, nail polish, hand lotion, lip gloss, perfume, cologne, socks, reusable water bottles and Nerf footballs. The items were then divided into bags for girls and boys. Willia requested donations of candy from faculty and staff as an added treat for the baskets.

While waiting for the donations, Willia enlisted an assembly line of friends last week to decorate paper gift bags that were used as the “baskets,” which were delivered to Adoption RI this week and will be dispersed to teens next week. Willia is hoping to make this an annual donation drive.

“I believe we are very blessed to have a young lady like Willia as part of the Saints family,” wrote Mrs. Aldrich in an email explaining the project. “I am so proud of [Willia and her friends] for their maturity, compassion, selflessness and generosity.”

For more on Willia’s story, read the article in last weekend’s Pawtucket Times.

 

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