By Michelle Colesanti

Back in December, Forgotten Angels hosted Angels United, a fundraising event at Keel and Curley Winery. In January, from the monies raised, it was able to partner up with A Kid’s Place and give 14 kids a gift card and a shopping trip to the mall for some school clothes. The kids were then treated to a dinner.

For kids who are soon aging out of the foster care system, this was a blessing. According to Cindy Tilley, who started the non-profit Forgotten Angels organization for these kids or ones that come from rough home lives and need a helping hand, “I want to give these special individuals a place to feel like they belong and help them find their way. Whether it’s helping them further their education, or get prepared for school or work by getting them a haircut, new clothes, or updating a resume, this foundation will be there for them.”

The kids were excited about the opportunity to shop with their own money.

“She gave me money to buy my own stuff; no one ever did that for me before. It made me feel like a regular kid,” noted one kid. Another one said, “I was so excited to shop for myself. I had the best day ever.”

Resource Specialist at A Kid’s Place Mary Berg said, “As for me, I would like to say that Forgotten Angels addresses a very real need for teens that are aging out of foster care. This tends to be a forgotten group of children, and Cindy is making sure that they have the support they need.”

The next project for Forgotten Angels is to make sure that underprivileged teens that can’t afford to go to their prom will have the chance. For the new project, A Prom to Remember, to be a success, donations of formal wear (suits and dresses) are needed. Sephora in the Brandon Town Center mall will be helping out by doing the make up for the females and Bloom Salon & Spa in Valrico Square is helping with their hair. The Brandon Junior Women’s Club is also helping out with the Prom program.

Tilley would like to be contacted if anyone knows teens in the surrounding schools that may not be able to attend their prom due to lack of funds.

Forgotten Angels is in need of an older house or other space that someone may have available (as a tax write-off) for mentors to help students with mock job interviews, money management skills, and space for computers the students can work on. Storage space is also needed. A yard sale will be held soon to raise money. Any unwanted items that you would like to donate are welcome. For more info, contact 728-0461 or forgottenangelsfl@outlook.com, or visit forgottenangelsfl.org.