Howard’s Heart is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing individual, needs-based support to vulnerable teens in our community.
In 2014 Amy started doing holiday gift card drives for kids in care while working at DHS in Portland. The Facebook group started as about 50 friends and family. Since then it has grown to over 400 enthusiastic members.
In 2017, Amy added a back to school drive in response to their requests for more ways to help. Last year they donated 20+ fully stocked backpacks and completely filled the holiday wish lists of over 100 teens in addition to providing about $500 in miscellaneous gift cards and toiletries.
“We don't assume that we know what these kids' needs are, but instead endeavor to ask.”
— Jennifer Boling, FOUNDER
Now we’re working to expand our efforts from backpack and holiday gift drives to providing year-round support to teens in foster care and other vulnerable teens based on their specific needs; everything from graphing calculators and musical instruments to tutoring and college prep courses.
Vulnerable teens in our community need your help! Whether these kids are in the foster system, in transitional housing, or simply in need of support, as they grow older, their needs grow with them; school supplies, college application fees, and extracurricular activities all cost time and money that many vulnerable teens and families find beyond their reach.
We team up with social workers, foster families, community partners, and, most importantly, the teens themselves to identify where they need extra support; we then locate existing resources and create bridges between these teens and their community. When such resources are unavailable we will work to fill those needs through our own fundraising and donations.
We strive to go beyond the basics, working to connect teens with scholarships and financial assistance for summer camps, occupational internships, and extracurricular courses to help students explore their interests and passions. Our goal is to offer educational, cultural, and other enrichments that teens in foster care are too often denied.