n Friday, April 20, 2001, around dinnertime, my husband and I were trying to think of what to do for the weekend, when we received a phone call that changed our lives. I’d be lying if I said I remembered the exact words, but our social worker told us a baby boy had been born that day and did we want to bring him home for good on Sunday? Even though we had been on the adoption agency’s list for years, it seemed like our son joined our family in a flash.
Thankfully, we had a bassinet and car seat and diapers and gender neutral clothes at the ready, as though anyone can ever be ready to be parents in 36 hours. But we had enough to get us started.
Imagine you are waiting to be a foster parent and you get a call that a child needs you now. Only you weren’t quite ready and the child has the equivalent of an overnight bag of things. And I do mean “bag”—their personal items often come in a black trash bag. Maybe it’s TWO children, siblings who need you, or maybe it’s a child with special needs that will take your time and concentration away from your ability to procure things you need.
What a gift it is that Foster Love Project in Dormont helps fill that gap with items for children whose lives are rapidly changing. Whether it’s a bassinet or preemie clothes or formula, a foster parent can grab what he or she needs quickly and for free so the focus can switch to loving the child and getting him or her started on a new life.
Senior editor Katie Wagner talked with some local parents and others involved with Foster Love Project. Read her story and find out ways you can help. 
This year is the Center for Theater Arts’ 40th anniversary, but the COVID crisis that forced them to close for a few months has driven the amazing, inclusive group into extremely hard times. Read Annette Bassett’s story to see the great work they’ve done in the last four decades .
Foster Love Project and Center for Theater Arts are two fabulous, caring local nonprofits. Please see our Charitable Giving Guide, which is filled with quality organizations doing good work. They would appreciate your giving them a look if you have extra to donate.
Mt. Lebanon Magazine is dedicated to helping our local nonprofits thrive. When places like the Historical Society of Mount Lebanon, Outreach Teen & Family Services, the Mt. Lebanon Nature Conservancy and the Mt. Lebanon Community Foundation succeed, it makes life better for all of us.
Happy Thanksgiving. We hope you get to spend time with the ones you love.
Laura Pace Lilley, Editor in Chief
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