Living on your own for the first time is tough even under the best of circumstances, let alone for foster youth, who often do not have necessary household items to get started on their own. That’s why this annual Towel, Toiletry and Luggage Drive is so important. “When you participate in the Spring Drive, you’re setting foster youth up for success,” says Jessica Gauna-Miller of United Way’s Women United. “The goal is to support foster youth as they prepare to leave the system.” They’re asking the community to donate towel sets (one bath towel, one hand towel, one washcloth), toiletry kits (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc.) and luggage (new or like-new carry-on size bags or duffle bags). You can either drop them off in person at United Way’s office at 10389 Old Placerville Road in Sacramento, or through their Amazon wish list, which can be viewed online at The gathered goods will be donated through Sacramento County’s Foster Youth Emancipation Basket program to around 300 local foster youth who are preparing to leave the system. The Spring Drive only lasts through April 17! So please, if you can, consider donating to this great cause.

**This write-up first appeared in print on page 12 of issue #263 (April 9 – 23, 2018)**