Meghan’s Wish bags provide the essentials for the first 24 hours of a foster care placement
Those first few hours of a placement? Every foster parent and caseworker knows just how important that time is. Colorado foster parent Guinevere Munib knew she could help others during those first 24 hours, and the memory of her childhood best friend inspired her to do more. We asked Guinevere about her nonprofit that provides children and teens with the essentials during those first 24-hours in care.
Why were you drawn to foster parenting?
Every life is important – I teach my kids that – so I wanted to back that up with my own actions. To show my kids what that lesson means. It has been an amazing, difficult road. If you’re doing it right, you’re supposed to get attached. It hurts, but it’s also cool to see parents succeed.
What made you decide to also start your nonprofit?
My family and I noticed that almost all of the children who came into our home had nothing but the clothes on their backs. Sometimes the little ones wore just a diaper. Each child should have something of their own in such a tumultuous time, and I also knew that foster or kinship parents would need supplies and clothing for that specific child during those first crucial hours.
I started Meghan’s Wish Foundation to provide and distribute 24-hour supply bags for children entering the foster care system in Colorado. In just the first year, we’ve distributed more than 200 bags through Arapahoe County Human Services, Shiloh House and various individual foster and kin homes spanning from Adams County to El Paso County.
My friend Meghan always dreamed about becoming a foster parent, but she passed in 2012 before she was able to fulfill that dream. Through this organization, she’s able to “mother” children in Colorado.
What does each bag contain?
Each bag contains one full outfit (new or gently used and seasonally appropriate), one set of pajamas (new or gently used), one pair of new socks, one pair of new undergarments, a stuffed animal, and a fun personal item such as nail polish, makeup, a small toy or a book. I also include various travel size toiletries and a personalized encouragement card from various community members. New bras are provided separately so we can make sure that each child or teen has the right size.
The bags are intentionally small, so caseworkers or first responders can keep them in the trunks of their cars or in a small space in their office.
How can people help?
We run solely on donations and volunteer hours. Anyone who wants to pack bags or hold a donation drive can email me at email@example.com or contact me directly through our Facebook page. Our storage space is also my garage, so I’m also looking for a partner in the Denver Metro area who can provide free storage.
County and child placement agencies can also email me. I would love to bring Meghan’s Wish to communities across in Colorado.
Guinevere and her husband Randy live in Aurora. They have been fostering with Hope and Home for the past two years. If you’re interested in helping Meghan’s Wish or if you’d like to bring the bags to your county, email Guinevere at Meghans_wish@yahoo.com or contact her through Facebook.