Discarded Trash Bags Capture the Struggle of Foster Children in Sobering PSA

#DonateYourSmallTalk campaign raises awareness of system

A startling statistic about foster care. FosterMore
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Every day, 700 children enter America’s foster care system. From there, the path to landing a stable home situation is rocky at best, especially for older children. Though there are currently more than 400,000 children awaiting foster care, their stories are typically shrouded in silence. Among the scores of national issues that we allow to take center stage, the subject of a crowded, impersonal foster care system does not get as much of our attention as it should.

FosterMore, in partnership with mcgarrybowen, recently released a new minute-long PSA, filmed in the streets of New York City to help raise awareness of youth in foster care. Heaped along the side of the street trash bags emblazoned with a singular fact: “Foster kids get a trash bag and 10 minutes to pack up their lives” when transitioning into homes.

The imagery is simple yet sobering. Perhaps intentionally, it invokes the idea of these children being pushed to the sides of both the system and our attention. Talking about it is the first step to creating ways to help these children in need.

Last month during National Foster Care Month, FosterMore encouraged a public conversation about the current state of the foster care system with the #DonateYourSmallTalk campaign. The concept rests on the idea that choosing to ditch inconsequential chatter about the weather or lunch in favor of actually talking about the important matter of foster care will promote awareness and empathy.

“We are proud [of] the #DonateYourSmallTalk campaign where through the power of words and conversations, we ensure foster care children are at the center of everyday conversations and more importantly, set up for success when they grow up,” said David Ambroz, founder of FosterMore. “Like all children, foster children and youth have dreams, aspirations and unlimited potential. Foster youth need not only loving and safe homes to live in but also resources that can create paths of opportunities.”

In addition to the campaign that is on their website, FosterMore is partnering with Give Back to issue $5 million in college scholarships to college-bound foster youth in California, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Robert Carr, the founder of Give Back, is thrilled for the opportunity to invest in the children who need the most support: “Education provides children with elevated opportunities for success, and every child, no matter their circumstances, should be able to attend college.”


Agency: mcgarrybowen

Laurel Flatt, President
Marisa Bernstein, Account Director
Muriel Neary, Account Executive
Anna Conroy, Group Planning Director
Kurt Fries, Chief Creative Officer, Chicago
Andres Arlia, Creative Director
Christian Liu, Creative Director
Mark Olson, Executive Producer
Tracy Tran, Production Manager of Content Studio
Madison Amalfitano, Associate Producer

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Shannon Miller is a writer, podcast creator and contributor to Adweek.