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  • Writer's pictureCandace Gulotta-Haggart

Junior League of Lafayette Members package care kits for Foster the Love

Junior League of Lafayette is at it again partnering with the amazing organization, Foster the Love, to provide items for first night bags that foster children in Acadiana receive when transitioning into a temporary foster home. These are critical items for children and teenagers as they navigate through difficult times.

Foster the Love provides support and resources to the foster community in South Louisiana. Their mission is to encourage and support foster and adoptive families, empower and support children, youth, and families affected by trauma, and educate the community on the needs of the foster system.

After speaking with Executive Director Heather Meylian, the League learned that donations of toiletries items, especially items that children of color use, were in high demand for the first night bags.

“While pajamas and diapers are always welcome and fun and easy to purchase, having the proper items for hair of all types helps to boost children’s, especially teens’ confidence,” Meylian said. “This makes these children feel special, thought about, and important. We are beyond grateful to the Junior League of Lafayette for providing these necessities for so many of our children in care.”

Children who enter foster care usually have few to no personal items and foster families are given limited time to prepare for the arrival of the child in their home. The first night program helps meet the basic needs of children as well as support foster families when accepting new placements.

The Communications Council worked together at their March committee meeting to organize baskets with shampoo, conditioner, and lotion as well as items donated from the League’s EmpowHER. (pronounced Empower Her Period) committee to distribute to local foster children.

Melanie Traylor, Marketing Chair, organized the Done in a Meeting event – giving her committee the opportunity to volunteer their time during a regularly scheduled League meeting.

“After doing administrative type work for the League for the past four years, I was really feeling disconnected from the work we do with the community, and I realized if I felt that way, potentially so did my committee and many Members of the League,” Traylor said.

“I knew I wanted to do something to benefit foster children and families because they seemed to be a consistently underserved population and I am thrilled to be able to help this wonderful organization in our community.”

Junior League of Lafayette supports Foster the Love and many other area organizations through our community programs that focus on community collaboration, health and wellness of women and children, and women’s leadership. The League is able to do this important work thanks to support for our fundraisers like the Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI), a week-long awareness campaign that harnesses the power of social media to illustrate the restrictions poverty places on choices, opportunities, and access to resources.

For more info on LBDI and how you can donate, visit For more information on Foster the Love and how to provide items for first night bags, donate or volunteer, visit

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