Gail's Story

Gail’s Story

Launching a new initiative to replace “the black trash bag” for children experiencing foster care

In Massachusetts alone, more than 10,000 children and teens are placed into foster care each year.  They can achieve whatever they set their minds to — and a caring, nurturing home that provides the right structure and support is foundational to helping them grow and thrive.

At HopeWell, that’s why we’re incredibly grateful for foster parents like Gail Cardone. For more than 20 years, Gail has opened her home and her heart to young people in need of the love, stability, and support that is necessary for any of us to live fulfilling and productive lives.

But Gail has also gone above and beyond typical foster parenting duties — in 2007, Gail and another foster parent launched “M.T. (My Transition) Pockets,” an initiative to provide new, wheeled suitcases to youth experiencing foster care, who all too often are shuffled around with their belongings in a black trash bag.

“You can’t visualize what a child goes through, taken from their homes mid-day or in the dead of night with their lives reduced to a few things in trash bags while strangers stand around telling them what their lives are like,” Gail said when the project launched.

But for Gail and other HopeWell foster parents, it’s not just about what she gives to the youth in her care, it’s what she gets in return.

“This family-oriented organization has provided awesome support [and] education, which has given me the opportunity to experience the most extraordinarily enhanced life,” Gail told supporters at our When I Think of Home Gala.

“I have been fortunate to have fostered 20 young people, even adopting one who is now married and lives in Texas,” she added. “Helping children reach and soar beyond what their world has provided for them is incredible. I am humbled and forever changed.”

“What we’re trying to do is make their lives a little easier, a little better”