A local Coast Guard wife is thanking the community for stepping up and giving back to area foster kids. It's a project that is close to her heart having gone through the system -- she knows first hand the need.
"While I was in foster care - I thought I was the only one at first that had this black trash bag full of my stuff - then as I went from home to home I realized all these kids had black trash bags," said Jenny Dexter-Edsall.
Jenny grew up in foster care in the Boston area and aged out of the system at 19 years old. She was even homeless and living in her car for a short time.
"I always vowed that one day... When I got older when I was situated, married, and had everything, and I had the time -- that I was going to do something to make a difference," said Jenny.
When we met her back in March, the Coast Guard wife and mom had just teamed up with non-profit "Together We Rise" and had a goal to raise enough money to buy 100 duffel bags for foster kids and supplies to go in them.
"After my interview with FOX 10 News aired -- I just kept watching as the donations just were pouring in and I was like wow. To say I was ecstatic is an understatement. I was very teared up when the boxes came in... I couldn't open them up fast enough," recalled Jenny.
The donations kept rolling in and she was able to double her goal and purchase 200 bags.
Jenny's husband is stationed at the USCG Aviation Training Center in Mobile. With fellow coasties and their spouses -- this weekend she had an army of volunteers helping her stuff the bags with blankets, teddy bears, coloring books and crayons.
"I couldn't have done it without them. My life in the Coast Guard has been amazing and the support you get fro the Coast Guard and Coast Guard families -- it feels like I finally have a family.. You know it's so heart-warming," said Jenny.
Also on-hand a dozen area foster kids who got to personally hand paint their own bags and pick out their own stuff. From one foster kid to another -- Jenny says it's only the beginning for let them know someone cares.
"And I just want these kids to know no matter how hard it gets... there's a light at the end of the tunnel. There's me at the end of the tunnel if you need something I'm here. I would give the shirt off my back," said Jenny.
She still needs help collecting toiletries for about 40 bags for teenage foster kids. If you would like to help you can email Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org.