Youth Leadership Group to Share Art Supplies to Those in Foster Care


Gary Newman

The Ashland Beacon


   What started as a service project idea at a leadership conference, has now bloomed into a fully operational drive to deliver art supplies to students who’ve been placed in Foster Care. Youth leadership of Boyd and Greenup Counties is a future leaders program for Juniors, and nine students from Boyd County High School, Rose Hill Christian School, and Fairview High School have made it their mission to supply foster care students with an art supply package.

   “We’ve come up with a volunteer service project called Art Matters,” Boyd County Junior and group spokesperson, Maggie Kinnel said, “we wanted to supply children in the Boyd County Foster Care system with their own set of art supplies. We have enough materials to cover about 150 children in Boyd County that are in the Foster Care system and we have bags and journals for all of those kids.”

   Kinnel shared, “In Boyd County, for every 1,000 kids there are 103 kids in the foster care system. The point of youth Leadership is to get a project started that’s going to be annual, so right now we only can serve 150, but by the end of it, we want to be able to serve every kid in the foster care system.” Sharing the long term vision for the group, she continued, “We want to keep exponentially growing the amount of supplies we have.”

   “Foster care kids can’t take a lot of things with them when they’re switching homes, so by giving them an art supply bag,” Rose Hill Junior Eliza Crawford stated, “they’re able to carry it with them and keep it with them as they move.”

   “It would mean a lot to me and to the whole group that we were able to take something we thought of on the fly at one of our leadership conferences that we’re making a difference in someone’s life by giving them something they get to take with them everyday that helps them get out their emotions and take time to work on something they enjoy,” Kinnel continued, “We wanted to be able to give them an outlet. Art provides an outlet that a lot of foster kids might not be given.”

   Art Matters leaders are already working to put the packages together, but seek to partner with the community, to fill the final need. “We don’t have the supplies to go with the bags. We’re looking to start a community wide supply drive to help fill those bags.” They seek art supplies to equip the bags for distribution. Donations can be markers, Watercolor kits, Colored pencils, crayons, & pencils for elementary aged students, and Colored pencils, gum erasers, drawing pencils (graphite or charcoal), drawing pens, & watercolor kits for middle and high school aged students. Donations can be dropped off at Boyd County High School Family Resource Center, Fairview High School Family Resource Center, or in the lobby at Rose Hill Christian School.

   Donations will be distributed alongside an already established program that distributes hygiene backpacks to foster care students. Distribution is set for March.