As a foster child, Connie Bellows bounced from home to home – now, she heads a nonprofit called Project Care Case that has provided ownership and dignity to over 1,200 foster kids.
RecognizeGood honored Connie Bellows of Project Care Case with the 58th RecognizeGood® Legend award in a presentation at Lonestar Social Services (15300 FM 1825 #101, Pflugerville, TX 78660), beginning at 12:00 pm on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016. During this event, RecognizeGood made a $1,000 pay-it-forward donation to Project Care Case in Connie’s name.
Connie Bellows was adopted at six weeks old and placed into the foster care system at age 12 to escape a toxic home environment, then because she was ineligible for adoption spent the next six years in several different foster homes. Connie made it through the foster care system and into adulthood, but memories of having her meager belongings dumped into a box or sack as if they were trash stuck with her. By 2008, Connie and her husband Eric had fostered and adopted five children of their own in addition to raising their three biological children. One night Connie awakened with a vivid recollection of what would turn out to be a prophetic dream. In it, she had started a nonprofit that provided suitcases to kids in foster care. She began to envision the possibilities. Given her background in the foster system and as a foster parent, she knew that providing foster children with suitcases and personal belongings would, in effect, give them a sense of dignity and ownership. Project Care Case was born. That Christmas, Connie and a community of compassionate supporters delivered their first set of 40 “Care Cases” to Starry, a Christian nonprofit that provides foster care and adoption opportunities. Each Care Case provides a foster child with the basics and more: a wheeled suitcase, a minimum of two changes of new clothing, pajamas; socks, undergarments, personal hygiene items (toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, brushes, and combs), a teddy bear, a pillow and blanket, and a Bible in age-appropriate language. Over the past six years, Project Care Case has put together more than 1,200 Care Cases for foster children in agencies in Central Texas.
As a 2016 Legend, Connie is now eligible to participate in RecognizeGood’s Say Thanks Austin campaign, an annual event which presents Central Texas with a unique opportunity to say “thank you” to a group of remarkable individuals who contribute their time and talents to our community. The participant with the most Thank You votes receives a pay-it-forward donation of $10,000 to the nonprofit of their choice.