Categories: Business

Compassion Unboxed

written by Amy Doan | photo by Rusty Aperture Photography

Pediatric nurse Lyndsee Wunn thought she was familiar with the foster care system. But nothing prepared her for what she experienced when she and her husband, Geoffrey, became foster parents in 2012.

“We filed the paperwork on a Thursday, got the phone call that there was a drug-affected infant who needed a home the next Monday, and picked him up Wednesday,” said Wunn, 37. “It was head-spinning.”

In May 2014, the Wunns adopted their foster son, Cooper, and he’s now a happy, healthy 2-year-old who loves to play with his older brother Landon, the Wunns’ biological son.

But there are thousands of other children like Cooper who haven’t yet found a permanent home. Wunn wanted to give them a bit of comfort, control and security during what can be a scary, chaotic time. Just weeks after Cooper’s adoption, Wunn launched the nonprofit Boxes of Love, which provides foster children with a box of new clothing, stuffed animals, toiletries and books to call their own.

“People don’t realize how quickly these children have to leave their homes,” said Wunn. “There’s rarely time to grab a favorite blanket or anything familiar. They’re moving from place to place all the time, and if they do have possessions, they have to carry them around in garbage bags.”

Wunn started Boxes of Love with some casual donation requests on Facebook, at first assembling and delivering the boxes by herself from her home in Troutdale. Now she has two part-time volunteers. Together they’ve delivered more than 100 boxes and work with social workers at local hospitals. Her goal is to eventually provide boxes for every foster child in the Portland area.

“I’ve been a pediatric social worker for twenty-one years, and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Shannon Boreson, a licensed clinical social worker at Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland. “There’s so much love inside those boxes. It’s a fresh start, a patch of brightness in what can be a sad situation stemming from abuse and neglect.”

Each box is worth about $500 and is tailored around the children’s ages, which range from a few days to eighteen years old. Infants and babies get teethers and burp cloths. Older children get backpacks and styleconscious teenagers appreciate clothing gift cards. All boxes include the book Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, and Wunn always tucks in a personal note that says in part:

“I know that right now, things may be difficult and somewhat confusing, but it is so important for me to let you know that you are loved. You are amazing. You are brave, courageous and strong…Always remember that you are special and you are loved.”

Published by

Recent Posts

Spring Whiskey Events Around Oregon

MARCH 25 Distillery Startup Workshop Mon, Mar 25 – Fri, Mar 29 Corvallis Corvallis, OR MARCH 28 The Eastburn’s Whiskey…

1 month ago

Women and Whiskey at Freeland Spirits

Freeland Spirits sets out to do distilling differently written by Sheila Miller Freeland Spirits started with a Texas grandma, a…

1 month ago

Gravel Riding Calendar 2019

WASHINGTON Cascadia Super Gravel (Olympia) — March 30 Vicious Cycle's Gran Fondo Series Ephrata — March 17 Goldendale…

1 month ago

Gravel Ride the PNW

Get off the pavement and into backcountry on gravel roads across the Pacific Northwest by Kevin Max I climbed the…

1 month ago

Northwest Destination: Spokane Rising

Spokane is the right jumping-off point for outdoor adventure and sophisticated city life written by Cara Strickland If you’re looking…

1 month ago

Trip Planner: Redmond

Central Oregon’s oft-overlooked city is getting cool before our eyes written by Sheila Miller Not so long ago, downtown Redmond…

1 month ago