Ten-year-old Largo girl collects toiletries for hundreds of foster kids in the Tampa Bay area

Guardian ad Litem needs volunteers & supplies

LARGO, Fla. -- Breanna Banning’s quest to help hundreds of foster kids in the Tampa Bay area started like many other adventures. The 10-year-old didn’t want to brush her teeth.

“My mom told me I should be thankful,” says Breanna. “Other kids don’t have toothbrushes and toothpaste.”

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Her mother Dana should know. She has been very active fostering children, including most recently a boy Breanna calls “Julius", who has since been adopted.

“Sometimes these kids leave [families] with nothing but the clothes on their back in the middle of the night,” says Dana.

The Guardian ad Litem program in Pinellas and Pasco Counties represents the child, often acting as an intermediary between families. 

With almost 6,000 children going through the foster program over the course of the year, and a limited state budget to help them, the children often lack basic needs. Which brings us back to Breanna and her “Helping Hands” mission.

“Let’s start collecting supplies for all those kids,” Breanna told her mom after the teeth-brushing incident.

And she did.

Breanna gave a speech about her mission at a local Elks Lodge. She decorated a donation box at her parents’ work, Banning Lumber and Millwork in Largo.

She already collected enough supplies like toothbrushes, toothpaste,  deodorant, makeup bags and hairbrushes in just a few months to help hundreds of kids.

To learn more about the Guardian ad Litem service, visit www.galf6.org.

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