Foster Kids Get Early Christmas Present

Teresa Shuptrine
Teresa Shuptrine
Betsy Nesti
Betsy Nesti

HONOLULU (KHNL) --  Christmas came a bit early for a group of very special kids in our foster care program.  The donations were made possible by moms who wanted to show foster kids how much they're loved.

A suitcase filled with goodies was lovingly packed for kids who don't have much to call their own.

"My first group of special needs siblings came with one shoe box," said Teresa Shuptrine, a foster mom. "All four children's possessions were in this one shoe box."

That's why the MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) Club of Honolulu - East wanted to reach out to Hawaii's foster kids.

"We were told they sometimes have plastic bags to bring their belongings to the next place where they're going to go," said Betsy Nesti, a spokesperson for MOMS Club.  "This breaks our hearts so, we thought suitcases. This is great!"

To raise money, they published a cookbook filled with favorite recipes.  "Buns in the Oven and Other Favorite Recipes" sold out at the Baby Expo couple of weeks ago, allowing the MOMS Club to buy 41 suitcases.

Each one customized, from a mom to a child.

"Having something that's tangible, having something that's real, having something that's their own, their own personal items to take with them, wherever they need to go. I think it means an awful lot to them," said Shuptrine.

But the eventual goal is to get rid of these suitcases.

"The next step from there is to have these suitcases eventually go into the trash can, as a symbol, that each and every child will have a safe, nurturing home that they'll never have to leave again," said Shuptrine.

A permanent home, so they'll never have to pack another suitcase ever again.

Kamehameha Schools and Kokua Ohana also helped in collecting donations.  Native Hawaiians make up more than half of our state's foster children.