Young people who are in foster care when they reach their 18th birthday often face extra challenges when beginning their adult life.
Most are eager to begin life on their own. However, in many cases, they do not have the family or community support that most young adults do to meet the challenges of beginning life on their own.
Logan Lineberger of Sherrills Ford decided to do something to help these teens. For his Eagle Scout project, he collected materials that a young adult might need to get started in life. Each “starter kit” included enough items to fill a large, plastic storage container. Lineberger included things such as dishes, eating utensils, sheets and a pillow case, toiletry items, cleaning supplies and Ramen noodles.
Lineberger, 17, is the son of Crystal and Eric Lineberger and is one of six siblings. He said his first idea for an Eagle Scout project was to arrange for young people in foster care to participate in Scouting for free. However, he learned that project was too complicated.
When he contacted Catawba County Social Services program manager Amy Herman, he learned that there was a real need for items to help young adults when they leave foster care. She gave him a list of items that are commonly needed. He decided to collect enough items for 15 young people, since this is the approximate number of teens who “age out” of the foster care system during one year in Catawba County.
Lineberger first asked members of his church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to donate. When he did not receive everything he needed from his local church, he emailed the leaders of other LDS churches in the area asking for their help. He made a flier describing what would be needed. The items were collected from church members and others in several western North Carolina counties. Lineberger, his family and members of his local church packed the plastic bins.
“I learned that doing a project like this takes a lot of organizational skills,” said Lineberger, a senior at Bandys High School.
Lineberger said he plans to attend college, although he has not decided on a particular college. He said his hobbies include playing video games, reading and learning about medieval-style weapons.
Want to help?
Catawba County Social Services operates a program called LINKS to help prepare teens who are about to transition out of foster care into independent living as adults. This program accepts donations from the public to help these youths with the cost of necessary items not covered by government funding. If you would like to donate, go to www.velocitypayment.com/client/catawba/socialservices1/index.htm. Select “LINKS” from the drop-down menu and complete the form. Please give your mailing address if you would like to receive a letter acknowledging your gift. You may also donate to this fund by making out a check to Catawba County Social Services and writing “LINKS” in the memo line. Donations should be mailed to Catawba County Social Services, P.O. Box 669, Newton, NC 28658.
For information about the LINKS program, email Lori Benfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.