Fostering Futures is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, currently serving children and youth in foster care in St. Louis and surrounding Missouri counties.
Our mission is to support and empower children and youth in foster care, as well as young adults aging out of the foster care system.
Hello! My name is Erin Oberbeck and I am the President of Fostering Futures.
Prior to launching Fostering Futures, I spent several years working as a case manager in the foster care system. I've seen all the good that can come from the foster care system and I have also seen the struggles these children and young adults face.
Being a child living in the foster care system is challenging enough, without that painful reminder at holidays and birthdays that you are a “foster kid". Regardless of the circumstances leading to a family separation, being away from your family during this time is hard. Foster families are incredibly gracious, but they often do not have the means to make Christmas special for the children in their home. Teenagers and young adults are particularly left out, as most donations to the foster care system are for very young children.
Determined to help these children, especially the teenagers and young adults, feel special during the holiday season, I reached out to friends and family. It all began with a simple Facebook post asking anyone that was interested if they could donate gifts for the teenagers on my caseload. I anticipated a few offers for support but was blown away by the number of donors interested in sponsoring a child or donating gifts. That first year, with the help of some very gracious donors, we provided a full Christmas for almost every child at the agency!
Each year our goal is to not just provide a gift, but a full Christmas to each child, teenager, and young adult in foster care. We use this opportunity to not only grant wishes to children, but to also help with their needs.
As the program continued to grow, I sought to impact change for children in the foster care system through another area that made a significant impact on me. The number of children carrying their belongings in trash bags when moving between placements was devastating to me. I established a large fundraiser to collect suitcases and bags for children in the foster care system. Thanks to the efforts of many, we collected hundreds of suitcases and bags! The mission of providing every child in foster care with a suitable piece of luggage to carry their belongings continues today through Fostering Futures.
Here we are now, 6 years in, and each year we have been able to sponsor more and more children. Thank you to everyone who has helped, sponsored, and donated along the way! A very big thank you to my incredible board of directors who have made the launch of Fostering Futures possible. With this new organization, we hope to affect more change for children and young adults in the foster care system, with a passion for assisting young adults who are aging out of the system. You can help make all this possible. Together, with our generous donors, we can make an impact in the lives of countless individuals. We thank you in advance for supporting Fostering Futures.