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Local nonprofit supporting transitioning foster care kids to fundraiser

Fill this house will be hosting its annual fundraiser Dec. 27 at Around the Corner (18606 Detroit Ave., Lakewood.) The event will feature the band, Ralph’s Basement and will go from 7 until 10 p.m. The $25 door charge and includes beer and appetizers.

By Nicole Hennessy

Westshore

In most households there is a bath mat to step on after showering, a mop and bucket to clean the floors, kitchenware used to prepare meals for friends and family, pillows to sleep on and an endless list of additional amenities often taken for granted and used daily without considering how important they are.

Odds and ends missing from cupboards and drawers are replaced promptly — grill sets in the summer and potato mashers around the holidays.

But imagine not having access to the most basic essentials of any home.

This is where the Bay Village nonprofit, Fill This House (FTH) comes in.

Created in 2007 to address the needs of young people who’ve aged out of foster care, FTH provides common household item to clients, many of whom find themselves suddenly left to fend for themselves at the age of 18, with little more than a garbage bag of clothing.

Executive Director, Laura Geuther, having just returned from a delivery, said she’s stayed in contact with many of the young people she’s worked with in her year with FTH.

As she has her own children, she’s found it difficult not to form bonds with this group of young adults that she sees as undeserved and unrecognized, though the nonprofit’s website states that in Cuyahoga County alone, anywhere from 200 to 300 kids age out of foster care each year.

Geuther’s volunteer position, which has amounted to a full-time job, leaves her wanting to do more in terms of mentoring.

“I wish I had more time,” she said, another appointment waiting for her.

Unable to distribute furniture, as FTH is a small operation, the organization does have a list of “critical items” needed to help as many clients as possible.

Since April 2013, Geuther estimates the number of young adults she’s personally assisted to be around 65.

Sticking around to install shower curtains and shelving or just providing moral support, she also takes the time to pray with each client and provide them with lists of organizations that might also be useful to them.

Additional ways community members have helped are through in-house corporate drives and fundraisers, church events, in-home gatherings and school or business service projects.

After a successful fundraiser in 2012, FTH volunteers are hoping for an even larger crowd at the Dec. 27th event.

“This is the coolest thing I’ve ever done…besides being a parent,”Geuther said. “I feel like these are, kind of, my second set of kids and I absolutely love it.”

 

SIDE BAR: Fill This House is always looking to fill various volunteer positions. Those interested in obtaining more information on volunteer opportunities or where to direct donations are encouraged to contact Laura Geuther at 216-513-5447 or lgeuther@fillthishouse.org. More information on the organization can be found at http://www.fillthishouse.org/index.html.

 

 

 

 

 

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