2017 Toy Drive for Foster Care Children

Donate items and services for the Annual Foster Care Children’s Holiday Party



My name is Andrea. I’m 17 and about to go into my senior year at Crystal Lake South. Through most of my junior year, I worked with a small group of amazing women trying to help people in difficult situations, no matter the stress in their own lives. Working with these women in IOLS has helped me, not only recognize that everyone has struggles, but recognize that they are only temporary stepping stones to a better future.  I moved to Illinois in July of 2012. My aunt and uncle took me in after a 7 year struggle through my mom’s boyfriend’s emotional abuse towards me and apparent inability to hold a steady job. Close to 5 years ago, things looked like they might turn around when my mom got pregnant with Caleb. I thought that she would get her life together and would finally realize she didn’t want a family with this man. This was proved inaccurate when I became the parent of my younger brother. My mom was working nights and her boyfriend was working during the day, so I had him almost all hours,  Last summer, I had to make the decision to improve my own life by staying with my aunt and uncle and sending my mom and brother back to Texas. During this transition, working with IOLS helped me to cope. They helped me reach a happier place and report what had happened in my house. Without IOLS, I never would have made it as far as I have come.


Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.–Herbert Ward

Abuse changes your life, fight back and change the life of your abusers by breaking your silence on abuse.–Patty Rase Hopson

(Child abuse) is something that's not talked about. It's the dirty little secret. There is the immediate damage, but there is also the damage that it does down the road. It's the baggage that you carry. It's not here and today, it's tomorrow.–Melody Strong