Dart Foundation grants Borrowed Hearts Owensboro $42,000 to support foster children

August 31, 2023 | 12:09 am

Updated August 30, 2023 | 10:34 pm

Borrowed Hearts Owensboro, a local nonprofit dedicated to serving foster children, received a financial boost on Wednesday as the Dart Foundation presented them with a $42,000 grant. The organization will put the funds toward providing new shoes and duffel bags to children in foster care with the goal of enhancing their sense of self-esteem and belonging.

Amanda Van Bussum, the founder and president of Borrowed Hearts Owensboro, expressed gratitude for the grant.

“This grant is a huge gift to us. It allows us to tackle a couple of projects that have been like dream projects for us, but we just didn’t really have the means to tackle,” she said.

Van Bussum said the funding will allow Borrowed Hearts to ensure that every child in foster care locally can receive new shoes at least twice a year. She said what makes the initiative special is that the children will have the opportunity to choose their own shoes, promoting a sense of autonomy and normalcy in their lives.

In addition to providing new shoes, Borrowed Hearts plans to introduce duffel bags to accompany the hygiene packs already distributed to new foster care placements. 

Borrowed Hearts Owensboro opened its doors on December 5, 2019, with Van Bussum saying they experienced immediate and overwhelming community support.

“It’s been amazing. It’s truly been unbelievable. Not everyone feels called to be a foster parent, but I think that everyone has a heart for children who are in foster care, and people like having a way to help,” she said.

The organization is located at 1705 West 2nd Street and is laid out similarly to a store, though Van Bussum noted items are provided to foster children free of charge. These items include clothing for babies, toddlers, kids, and teenagers, aligning with the heart of their mission.

The Dart Foundation is a private family foundation established in 1984 that serves as the charitable organization for Dart Container.

Jennifer Southard, human resources manager at the Owensboro location for Dart Container of Kentucky, said the foundation specifically donates to areas where the corporation’s facilities are located, “to try to make an impact in the communities where our employees live.”

The selection process involved employees nominating organizations within the local community. Borrowed Hearts Owensboro was one of the three approved organizations with the most nominations. Employees then voted on those three finalists, with Borrowed Hearts emerging as the top choice. 

“I think there are some employees who have been personally touched by that organization, so it really had a special place in a lot of their hearts, and others have seen the work that they’ve done in the community too,” Southard said.

For more information about Borrowed Hearts Owensboro and how to contribute, visit their website or Facebook page. The organization accepts donations throughout the year to support their initiatives.

August 31, 2023 | 12:09 am

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