UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of North Carolina donates $1000 for youth in foster care

Committed to improving the lives of foster care youth in North Carolina, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of North Carolina donated $1,000 to SaySo® (Strong Able Youth Speaking Out) to help fund new duffel bags and hygiene items for youth participating in their Children’s Home Society program. In North Carolina, there are currently more than 10,000 children in the state’s foster system.1 In 2021, 73% entered the North Carolina foster system due to neglect and 27% of these foster youth had been placed in four or more homes — higher than the national average of 23%.2

The SaySo® program caters to youth aged 14 to 24 who are, or have been, in the out-of-home care system in North Carolina, including foster care, kinship care, group homes and mental health placements. Youth often enter care with only a trash bag containing their most precious possessions quickly accessed before being removed from their homes or changing placements. SaySo® has worked for more than 15 years to provide youth with their own bag of essential items.

Research has shown that the simple routine of being forced to transport worldly belongings in a trash bag can have far-reaching implications for foster youths’ development, interpersonal relationships and future success but supplying a child with a $20 suitcase sends the message that the child and his or her belongings have value.3

Make a Difference Day is the largest national community day of service in the United States — celebrated on the 4th Saturday of October. Its aim is to inspire people from all walks of life to take action and make a positive difference in their communities.4 This year, SaySo® encouraged community members to make a difference in the lives of North Carolina youth by donating 5,000 full-sized hygiene items and new duff­el bags.

Kourtney White, SaySo® program coordinator, expressed her gratitude saying, “Thank you UnitedHealthcare for the donation of items for our youth in care across North Carolina! We are grateful for you joining in SaySo’s Make a Difference Day efforts.”

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of North Carolina is committed to working together with community programs to improve the lives of youth in North Carolina.

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