PALM BEACH GARDENS — Fran Sadoff-Lebow had little trouble raising thousands of dollars for a national children’s charity.
The Palm Beach Gardens resident and former special needs teacher reached out to everyone she knew to support Comfort Cases, a Maryland-based nonprofit that provides children in the foster care system with backpacks filled with essential items.
“I am a really good networker, and have a bit of a pit-bull personality,” Sadoff-Lebow said.
With an assist from her friends and many others, Sadoff-Lebow raised about $4,000 to purchase 67 backpacks and supplies with which to fill them.
On Sunday, she will host a packing party with 15 of her friends to pack the bags with supplies such as pajamas, blankets, toiletries, books, stuffed animals and baby items.
Once the backpacks are filled, they will be delivered to Speak Up for Kids of Palm Beach County, Inc., a nonprofit that works with the Guardian Ad Litem program to advocate for the physical, educational and emotional best interests of children in the dependency court system.
Sadoff-Lebow plans to send Speak Up for Kids 25 backpacks per month beyond the initial donation because of the size of its caseload.
According to the organization, there are more than 1,400 children in Palm Beach County who are involved in dependency court.
“We selected Speak Up for Kids because they are local,” Sadoff-Lebow said. “Also, as a Guardian Ad Litem for children in foster care, they advocate for children in care on a daily basis.”
Sadoff-Lebow worked with foster care children and special needs students for about 30 years as a teacher and administrator in Maryland. When she heard of Comfort Cases through a friend, Lesley Robinson, she jumped at the opportunity to assist in its mission.
“I worked with many foster care children,” she said. “So many of them had such a low self-esteem and lacked a sense of dignity. I was very intrigued with what Lesley shared and wanted to volunteer, especially after having experienced a different side of working with children in need. I have done a lot of volunteer work. This just called to me.”
Sadoff-Lebow plans to continue her work with Comfort Cases, whose mission is to bring dignity and hope for children in foster care. These children often carry their belongings in trash bags when they move from home to home.
“Our goal is to get a Comfort Case to everyone of the 438,000 children in foster care in the United States,” Sadoff-Lebow said. “No more trash bags.”
Sadoff-Lebow is accepting donations for Comfort Cases. For information, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.comfortcases.org.