Austin foster kids go on shopping spree paid by non-profit

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- Several Austin foster kids are getting a confidence boost before they head back to school.

On Wednesday, 100 foster kids are going shopping for new clothes to get them excited about the upcoming academic year. The local non-profit, Together We Rise, and Rue-21 are paying for the shopping spree of 50 boys and 50 girls at a pop-up shop from 3 to 6 p.m. at 500 E St. Johns Ave.

The shopping trip isn't just for local kids, across the country, at Rue 21 stores foster children are getting new clothes paid for by the non-profit organization. Together We Rise is also known for their Sweet Cases program, which gives foster kids a duffle bag filled with necessities from a hygiene kit to blankets.

As of June 1, just under 1,100 kids are in the Texas foster care system in need of a home. Almost half of those children from Travis County have been placed outside the county because there aren't enough foster homes.

Some local foster children are forced to eat, sleep, and shower in state office buildings due to a shortage of homes to care for them. Child Protective Services says the influx of foster children without placement occurred after several Texas facilities closed down.

"These kids have gone through your worst nightmare being abused or neglected by the very people that are there to protect them," said Travis County Judge Byrne. "They're very frightened, they're very scared, and certainly, they want a safe and loving place to be."

Click here for information on how to become a foster parent.

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