May is National Foster Care Month and this week’s #WomanCrushWednesday goes out to Lyndsee Wunn, pediatric nurse and founder of the nonprofit Boxes of Love. Many of her young (sometimes newborn) patients enter foster care directly from the hospital, after recovering from whatever terrible and often unthinkable situation they’ve been suffering in. It wasn’t unusual for Lyndsee to see kids sent to their foster homes with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. But it didn’t become PERSONAL until Lyndsee fostered and eventually adopted her youngest son. She realized if something was going to change, she would need to be the one to change it. She thought about what a difference it would make, for these scared, helpless kiddos to have something tangible to call their own. Something to provide a bit of comfort and dignity during a terrifying and uncertain time. Maybe a box of brand new clothing, shoes and comfort items?
Lyndsee posted her idea on her Facebook page, and the response was immediate, immense and overwhelming. Within a few weeks, she and her trusted volunteers put together the very first Box of Love and delivered it to a local hospital. And that was just the beginning, in 2014. To date, Lyndsee has given out nearly 600 boxes! Each one contains about $500 worth of new items, including clothing, shoes (plus clothes and shoes to grow in to), pajamas, toiletries, blankets, stuffed animals, toys, essentials for babies and other comfort items. Lyndsee wants every single child entering
foster care to know they are loved, they matter, and they are NOT defined by their situation.
Lyndsee feels incredibly fortunate that her “little” (HER word, not ours!) idea not only came to fruition, but has been so successful and continues to grow. Creating a nonprofit from a grassroots effort to provide a little com
fort to babies and kiddos who’ve experienced precious little comfort in their lives, is one of her proudest accomplishments. She’s had to step out of her own comfort zone in the past six years – Lyndsee is an introvert and promoting her org through public speaking, interviews and news stories doesn’t come naturally, although she says she’s getting better!
Lyndsee is married with two children and she still works as a nurse, in addition to running Boxes of Love. Family is her number one priority and she’s raising her kiddos to be kind, empathetic and caring people. She also wants them to know that helping to make the world a better place in some way is what’s MOST important. She’s setting quite an example for them.
Read about another hero to foster care kids: Pamela Heisler