Teytum’s Gifts is a non-profit organization created for the purpose of bringing hope and comfort to children in the Yakima County who are entering foster care for the first time.  There are currently over 700 orphans in Yakima County.  There are over 10,000 orphans in the state of Washington, over a half million in the US and more than 153 million worldwide.  We have a crisis and its right here where we live.  We have a great opportunity and responsibility to stand in the gap for children who have a great need.

Imagine a child torn away from everything they have ever known.  It’s easy for us to look upon the situation without compassion and simply say something like, “It’s about time!” or “They’re better off!”  That may or may not be the case; however, we’re asking that you look upon this situation through the eyes of the child.  All you have ever known has been abruptly taken and you don’t understand why.  You have just been taken from your home and your family in tears (probably kicking and screaming), and taken to an office where you are told that you will have to live with a new family for a while.  You don’t understand why this is happening.  Most likely you had to leave without taking anything with you; no change of clothes, not your favorite possession or even a blanket.  If you were allowed to take anything at all, it was likely thrown into a garbage sack; yes, a garbage sack.  Now imagine if this were your own child.  Wouldn’t you want to step in and do something? 

Teytum’s Gifts is giving everyone a chance to do just that; to step in and give a gift to every child in our area that had to leave literally everything behind.  We are asking people from our community to donate money/financial support, specific items, a gift box, or a complete backpack for a child in need.  For more information, please go to our website at Teytumsgifts.com.  Teytum’s Gifts will collect the donations and prepare them for delivery. We want every child to receive a complete backpack that will both meet their immediate physical needs as well as give comfort and hope as they abruptly transition into a new, unknown life.  We want these children to know and feel that they are loved - not forgotten and that they matter.  These backpacks will go with every child and become their own personal possessions. 

We also want these backpacks to be helpful to the social workers as they are the first ones comforting and entertaining these precious children as they search for a new home and family. When a child is waiting to be placed with a new family, they often times have to wait there for hours while family after family says, ‘no’.  Inside their new backpack are things that they can play with, cuddle and read as they wait for a family to say ‘yes’.   

Lastly, we desire these backpacks to be helpful to the foster family or relative placement as they quickly transition a new family member(s) into their lives.  When a family says ‘yes’ and invites a child (children) into their home, they often times will not be able to run to the store and pick up a few things that are needed.  Inside the backpacks are items that help meet the child’s most immediate needs – such as a bottle, formula, diapers, school supplies, underwear, socks and toiletries.  This allows the family a little more time to collect what is needed to provide for their new child. 

Our goal is to make sure that every department in the Yakima County has a backpack for every child that comes into their care.  As Teytum’s Gifts continues to grow in support, we hope to extend from the Yakima County to both Ellensburg and Grandview. Through the process donating backpacks to orphaned children, we have been given the blessed opportunity to come alongside the Church in our responsibility to oversee the needs of orphans, educate the community about foster care and support families that want to become licensed foster parents.  We know that not everyone is ‘called’ to be a foster parent, but everyone can help in some way.  Every gift is meaningful because a child will be impacted by it.

 Thank you for taking the time to learn about Teytum’s Gifts.  We hope that you will consider supporting this cause whether it be financial support, specific items, a gift box, or a complete backpack for a child in need.   We are very blessed to be working with the people from our community in a way that makes a difference in the lives of our local youth

My vision is to incorporate this organization into the area of Spring sports (specifically baseball and softball) in the Yakima Valley.  He have called this endevour Bring Me Home:  Fielding the Needs of Foster Children.  I would like each player (either entire team or just varsity) to commit themselves to either make a full Teytum’s Gift (backback, essential items, and some "extras") or to donate/get a donation for $30 (the approximate cost to create the gift).  The Teytum’s Gift, or $30, would be due by Friday, March 25.  Once each player has committed to this endeavor by filling out the attached form, I will order shirts with the “Bring Me Home” logo in your team’s specific team colors.  I would like all teams participating to wear these shirts for warm-ups during their first game in May, as May is National Foster Care Awareness Month.

Teytum’s Gift will arrange to pick-up or a time to drop off (please do not drop off directly to DSHS) the donated items.  Please let me know if you would be willing to participate in helping out our area's foster kids this spring season.

Thank you.

Jesse and Stacey Benedetti