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York County industry leader helps Carolinas foster kids ‘feel safe'

(Article by David Thackham, The Herald

When children are taken from their homes to enter foster care, they are told to fit a few possessions into a garbage bag, according to a foster care specialist.

Sometimes, kids leave with only the clothes on their backs, with little to no idea of what will happen next, according to Gina Davis, president and executive director of the foster care agency, Ticket to Dream.

But thanks to a partnership between a bedding company and two foster care agencies, 200 fewer children in the Carolinas will feel a little less of that fear and uncertainty.

“It’s about consistency, a sense of safety,” said Davis. “We’re just so excited to be a part of it.”

Bedgear, which has a production facility on Langston Street in Rock Hill, has teamed up with Ticket to Dream and Together We Rise to create, outfit and send 200 pillow care packages to foster children in North and South Carolina.

The package, which will be given to children when they enter foster care, contains a teddy bear, a pillow, a coloring book and hygiene items.

Children of all backgrounds, but especially those in foster care, desperately crave a sense of normality, according to Eugene Alletto, CEO of Bedgear, who traveled from New York to Rock Hill to lead a care package workshop Thursday.

Employees spent time Thursday afternoon decorating each of the bags, hoping to give each of them a little individual creativity and love.

Alletto called the project “the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“Their sleep environment is so, so important to feeling safe,” he said. “What’s amazing to me is that so many kids don’t have that safe place. I’m excited that we have this higher calling, that we’re going to put our money where our mouths are.”

The Children’s Home Society of North Carolina will receive 100 bags, the South Carolina Youth Advocate Program will receive 75 bags, and the Growing Home Southeast on Anderson Road in Rock Hill will pick up the remaining 25 bags.

“This pillow may seem like a small thing, but to them, it’s consistency,” said Davis. “It’ll smell like them, it’ll feel comfortable to them. And hopefully for the 200 foster kids in North and South Carolina, it’ll change the way they view foster care.”


panel discussions included with opening comments that will talk about the business climate we have in SC, what are some of the positive attributes and impact of our business climate and what are some of the definitive challenges.  The moderator will then provide introductions of our three panelists and then begin with a question and answer session.
Audience questions will be taken at the end of the session.

The moderator will begin the panel discussion with opening comments that will talk about the workforce development topic related to SC, what are some of the positive attributes and impacts to our economic development situations and what are some of the definitive challenges.  The moderator will then provide introductions of our three panelists and then begin with a question and answer session.
Audience questions will be taken at the end of the session.

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