Organization that supports foster kids needs your help during COVID-19 closures

SPOKANE, Wash. — Not being able to have more than 50 people gathered together has cut down on socializing in our community, that includes fundraisers.

Treehouse, a non-profit organization that helps local foster kids, cancelled its big fundraising event this week.

This is a hard financial hit. Their event was supposed to be Wednesday, and it usually raises close to $1 million. That money goes to helping foster kids and teenagers here in our community.

Treehouse said with everything going on in the world, they need our support now more than ever.

Kids in foster care are known for being one of our most vulnerable populations.

“Any transition they face is traumatic,” said Ernest Henderson, associate director of education for Treehouse in Spokane.

Treehouse is an organization that helps foster youth get through it all, even while they’re facing their own troubles during this time.

“Foster parents, caregivers, typically don’t have to provide these ten meals a week, that they are now going to have to provide. So we are concerned about their food, and even housing. We are not sure how that will impact foster parents, overall,” Henderson said.

Even with uncertainty, they’re continuing to pour all their energy into students like 19-year-old Alex Gerkensmeyer.

“I left my family when I was about 13 years old. And I went from house to house. I think I went through five houses,” Gerkensmeyer said.

He knows what it means to struggle and be underestimated as a foster kid.

“Think that I couldn’t do it, or think that I needed extra help because I was foster care. I just wanted to show people that I’m just a regular person that if I need help, I’ll ask for help but if I don’t, I can make it on my own,” Gerkensmeyer said.

Alex is now an Eastern Washington University student, studying to be a nursing major. He is the product of what can come with a little help from Treehouse.

“They’re making foster kids and their families get through these hard times. By making sure we have enough to eat, making sure our rent is paid for,” Gerkensmeyer said.

Treehouse has an online campaign happening right now to raise money. You can find that link HERE. They said they appreciate any donation of any size.