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Middle-schoolers team up to make foster moms feel special

Three fifth-grade girls set out on a mission for this year’s Mother’s Day: use their artistic talents to show DePelchin foster moms they’re appreciated.

As part of a school project, the three students — Heaven Weathersby, Jordan Doherty and Isabella Mata — handcrafted more than 250 Mother’s Day cards to present to DePelchin’s deserving moms. 

The idea was spawned by a school assignment requiring the girls to participate in a service project.

Looking for a unique service opportunity, one of the girls’ moms, Nicole Weathersby, contacted DePelchin and learned of its desire to give each of its foster moms a special card for Mother’s Day.

Weathersby said she knew right away that her daughter’s team could rise to the challenge. The students began tackling the project in March, with a goal to complete more than 200 cards by May.

While the girls’ parents helped with purchasing materials and coordinating card-decorating sessions, the girls managed production of the cards entirely by themselves. The entire process took about a month, with the girls working on the cards both collectively and individually.

Heaven Weathersby, Nicole’s daughter, said she learned a lot about teamwork through the project.

“It was fun working with my friends because we get along good and liked sharing ideas,” she said. “If you work together, you will get through things a lot faster, and if you don't work as a team, it will take much longer.”

By May, Heaven, Jordan and Isabella had completed the project, having handcrafted more than 250 cards. On May 10, the day before Mother’s Day, DePelchin presented the cards to many of its foster moms at its annual Foster Parent Appreciation Picnic.

“The cards were so well-received,” said Lynne Spiwak, manager of foster care services. “They were beautiful and a meaningful way to show our foster moms they are appreciated.”

Prior to Mother’s Day, DePelchin distributed cards made by the middle-schoolers, along with cards made by other volunteers, to all of its foster moms, including moms across Texas who provide foster care through Caring Family Network.

Teaming up to make foster moms feel special is something Heaven and her group said they hope to do again.

“Making the cards was a good experience,” Heaven said. “I’d like to make cards for DePelchin every year.”