A Little Time and a Keyboard: Spreading Childhood Joy and Experiences to Homeless and Foster Children with Fill A Heart 4 Kids

Friday, March 12, 2021

Spreading Childhood Joy and Experiences to Homeless and Foster Children with Fill A Heart 4 Kids

 Spreading Childhood Joy and Experiences to Homeless and Foster Children with Fill A Heart 4 Kids

Lake Forest Charity Fill A Heart 4 Kids Creates Special Childhood Moments for Foster, Homeless and At-Risk Children

We are a family. These words touched my heart as I talked to Annie McAveeney about her local charity Fill A Heart 4 Kids. Through her organization, McAveeney created a way to provide at-risk, homeless and foster children with not only vital resources but also joyful elements of childhood usually provided by the family.

The magical setting of the Fill A Heart 4 Kids location helps spread love.
The magical setting of the Fill A Heart 4 Kids location helps spread love.

Childhood Whimsy Uplifts at Fill A Heart 4 Kids

When I walked into Fill A Heart 4 Kids, I quickly basked in the love filling the location. The entire space charmed with magical hues and beautiful spring displays. Currently, Fill A Heart 4 Kids is working on an initiative called Project Hop to spread spring cheer to the children through creating Easter baskets. Community members can sponsor and fill Easter baskets in this whimsical setting! Adorable bunnies in all shapes and sizes, fanciful balloon designs, spring flowers, pastel eggs, lovely little topiaries, carrots ready for the nibbles of bunnies and more craft quite the special spot where volunteers assemble jolly baskets. 

Perfectly spring decorations at Fill A Heart 4 Kids create  a magical childhood setting for helping others!
Perfectly spring decorations at Fill A Heart 4 Kids create
 a magical childhood setting for helping others! 

The vibrant and endearing decor of Fill A Heart gave me the feeling that I walked into a jubilant playroom that I created out of love for my own child. I could feel the love of family infused in each project for the children throughout the year.

Meeting with Annie McAveeney the founder of Fill A Heart 4 Kids.
Meeting with Annie McAveeney the founder of Fill A Heart 4 Kids.

How Fill A Heart 4 Kids Began

Annie McAveeney's family fostered homeless children starting in 2007. Through their experiences, they learned about the staggering number of children in homes that were in need. Annie's daughter also wondered about who would provide those special moments a family would on holidays like Valentine's Day for these children. So, the family began a mission to provide not only valuable resources but also those special moments families experience to the children. The variety of services and activities Fill A Heart 4 Kids has grown to provide helps these children feel valued and cared for. 

Jubilant overflowing Easter baskets will create a special memory!
Jubilant overflowing Easter baskets will create a special memory!

When the children experience the beauty and warmth of these family moments, it helps them heal and move forward in life. Listening to Annie, my heart warmed by all of the ways the Fill A Heart 4 Kids provides experiences for the children in foster care. The staff at the foster homes are very dedicated and really care about the children. Fill A Heart 4 Kids assists them by crafting moments the family would often provide. Remembering the holidays, marking birthdays, conducting healing art classes, taking the kids fly fishing or taking them horseback riding, Fill A Heart 4 Kids helps create these childhood memories so many of us cherish.

Annie glowed as she told me about moments that the children were able to enjoy from the the love through Fill A Heart 4 Kids. The number of projects Fill A Heart 4 Kids engaged in absolutely amazed me! One of my favorites helped create vegetable and butterfly gardens that the children could help maintain. The children also engaged in art projects including painting benches.

Adorable vignette at Fill A Heart 4 Kids.
Adorable vignette at Fill A Heart 4 Kids.

Participating in Project Hop

Fill A Heart 4 Kids currently invites community members to assemble baskets for Project Hop. Additionally, Fill A Heart 4 Kids welcomes sponsors for the project. Project Hop is ongoing through April 3. Families and organizations can sign up for times to assemble adorable baskets up to the brim with treats and toys to deliver Easter delight to children in the homes. The minimum donation for a basket is $15. Fill A Heart provides all of the supplies for this Hoppy Cottontail Experience! You can sign up via Sign Up Genius for a time. This hoppingly fun project offers families a great project while helping others. Fill A Heart 4 Kids takes COVID seriously and has protocols in place so that your family can feel safe while assembling the goodies! You will even get to add a special touch by making a card to add!

Project Hop with Fill A Heart 4 Kids
Help Fill A Heart 4 Kids fill cheerful Easter baskets to the brim to spread childhood magic to foster children in homes.

For Easter, Fill A Heart also will be creating an Easter brunch experience for the children. The effort is looking for $10 sponsorships to help sponsor meals for children. Additionally, Fill A Heart will decorate the homes with Easter joy and create Easter egg hunts.

Building Memories

Fill A Heart 4 Kids serves to help foster, homeless and at-risk children build warm childhood memories that others build within the family. These experiences help the children feel the joy life can offer while healing and building a brighter future. Fill A Heart 4 Kids exemplifies the family we are as a community. Fill A Heart 4 Kids is an organization you should know and a way that we as a community can help homeless, foster and at-risk children. We are a family.

Other Ways You Can Help:

  • Follow Fill A Heart 4 Kids to keep up with initiatives throughout the year.
  • Donate money. The organization buys in bulk, so monetary donations are preferred.
  • Donate $5 or $10 Dunkin Donuts, Subway or McDonald's Gift Cards. 
  • Help with Project Hop.
  • Volunteer to help with a variety of service projects.
Spreading Childhood Joy and Experiences to Homeless and Foster Children with Fill A Heart 4 Kids


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