Hearthside backpacks benefi t foster kids


Residents and families at Hearthside at Castle Heights donated 60 backpacks and school supplies to the Wilson Trousdale Resource Parent Association Thursday afternoon. From left, are Linda Ligon, activity director; Joe Minor, resident; Frank Williams (sitting), resident; Trina Hildabrand holding Isabella, resource parent; Helen Major, resident; Minnie Harlan (standing), resident; Ethel Furlough (sitting), resident; Debbie Dufresne, secretary of the association; and Robert Springer, director at Hearthside.KALYN SHELLY / The Wilson Post By KALYN SHELLYThe Wilson PostResidents at Hearthside at Castle Heights, assisted living facility, donated 60 backpacks and hundreds of school supplies to the Wilson Trousdale Resource Parent Association to help prepare their children for going back to school. Trina Hildabrand, resource parent, and Debbie Dufresne, secretary of the association, accepted the generous donations on behalf of the Wilson Trousdale Resource Parent Association Thursday afternoon. This is the third year that Hearthside has made a back to school donation to the association. “Not many people step up to help our kids and we really appreciate all the support these residents give us,” Hildabrand said. “They have loved our kids and we are very appreciative of everything they do for us.”Hildabrand said their organization is made up of about 20 members in Wilson and Trousdale Counties. She said they have close to 100 kids in custody at this time. She explained that resource parent is how they refer to foster parents in hope of getting rid of the stigma attached to the term. “Our work with the resource parent association started a few of Christmases ago when we stated the sock tree,” said Robert Springer, director at Hearthside. “The association tells us their greatest needs and we work to help them”.“So many volunteers do so much for the residents of Hearthside and this is an opportunity to give back to those who could use the help in our community. There is a very special place in our hearts for the children in the community,” Springer said. Linda Ligon, activity director at Hearthside, explained that last year they were able to collect 50 backpacks for the foster children and this year they decided to set a goal of 60 backpacks. She said with a lot of help and support from the residents and their families they were able to reach their goal.“Last night we were saying, ‘are we going to make it?’” Ligon noted. “So many of the residents kept coming back and asking if we needed more money. They would say, here’s another 10 or here’s 20 to help reach our goal. They made such a great effort the meet the needs of school time.”Staff Writer Kalyn Shelly may be contacted at Kalyn@wilsonpost.com.