Most of us can recall the great feeling of becoming an adult, and landing your first apartment or first place to call your own.
What most of us cannot imagine, probably, is the feeling of accomplishing this, after growing up as a child in the foster care system, and then "aging out" of that same system, as you become an adult.
Rise Above was founded in order to provide children in foster care with an opportunity to participate in enriching activities, despite financial restrictions.
Nick Pelletier, Rise Above board member, and Founder / President of Pelletier Properties at Keller-Williams North Central, began the Start Above initiative to focus on kids who are no longer in foster care, to help provide them with a fresh start to their new lives.
This week, Rise Above and Pelletier Properties, working together, completed their third Start Above project. The two organizations teamed up to furnish the apartment of a recently aged out individual who has been working hard to get his life on the path to success.
Together, they shopped for items, packed trucks filled with furniture and other goodies, and spent a full day turning the new digs into a comfortable and cozy home.
"Most times, these individuals have had very little that was truly theirs during their life, and having something of their own is a true fresh start," said Nick Pelletier.
"For that reason, our favorite part of doing this is seeing their faces the first time they see their new home. It really is thanks to our clients that we are able to share our success with others. Our previous projects were in other areas of Massachusetts, so it felt great to do this one more locally," Nick expressed.
Above: Time to get the mattress, and then load it into the truck. Below: Nick Pelletier and the gang from Rise Above begin their shopping extravaganza, picking out carpeting, pillows for the couch, and other items to help furnish the apartment.
Sarah Baldiga, co-founder and Executive Director of Rise Above, explained: "this Fitchburg apartment project is just one of the nearly 5,000 Massachusetts youth in foster care who Rise Above has been able to serve since we got started in 2009, and we look forward to serving thousands more youth in the years ahead."
Sarah also spoke highly of the relationship between the two organizations: "We are so grateful for our Start Above partnership with Pelletier Properties, which has made a huge impact on the lives of several youth in foster care."
Below are some more pictures from this latest team effort in providing foster youth with resources, programs, support, and activities, to help them begin their lives.
Above: Decisions, decisions ........
Below: After lots of shopping, moving, putting things together, and working room by room, here is the completely finished look of the apartment. We think it looks pretty darn good!!!
Rise Above will be celebrating its 10th year helping the foster care community, with a gala in Worcester on May 18th. Pelletier Properties will be there to celebrate with them. You can find out more about Rise Above at: www.weriseabove.org
As always, we are here to help, and we love our clients. You can find Pelletier Properties right here at our website and blog, or on our various Social Media pages at:
Thank you so much for reading.