HARTFORD – Starting today and extending through May 14, Dunkin’ Donuts will sell a specially designed “Foster Care Awareness Donut” to highlight the important need for more foster parents in Connecticut.
The initiative is being carried out in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Families and Children (DCF) as part of the state agency’s celebration of National Foster Care Month.
The heart-shaped donut – decorated in the red and gold colors of DCF’s “ctfosteradopt.com” logo – will be sold across the state, except in Fairfield County. Promotional “table top tents” bearing information and contact numbers for DCF’s division of foster care services will be placed on the restaurant’s tables.
The Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation also will donate $5,000 to the Connecticut Association of Foster and Adoptive Parents (CAFAP) Hope Fund to benefit children in care.
Approximately 4,000 children whose parents are unable to look after them are currently in state care. Partnering with DCF as foster and adoptive parents, thousands of families have taken in babies, children and teens from diverse backgrounds. Many of these children suffer from emotional and psychological issues due to parental abuse or neglect.
The success stories are numerous, with many children adjusting well over time to their new, loving and secure surroundings. But there is still much to be done to raise awareness about the need for foster parents – especially for difficult-to-place children such as teenagers, sibling groups, medically complex children, and infants.
Jacqueline Ford, statewide recruiter for DCF, said the idea of asking Dunkin’ Donuts to create a foster care doughnut arose a year and a half ago, believing it would be a perfect way to reach people who may never have thou
ght about becoming a foster parent. Since then, she has been working closely with the foundation on the doughnut’s design. Wh
ile it proved challenging to replicate the Connecticut-shaped logo of CT Foster Adoption, Dunkin’ Donuts came up with the perfect design – a frosted heart-shaped doughnut decorated in red and gold.
Ford said the doughnut’s shape represents the heart found at the center of the CT Foster Adopt logo, and ties in with the agency’s tagline: “We all have love to give.”
“Dunkin’ Donuts is one of the most visited restaurants in our part of the country. It’s a ve
ry popular venue for coffee and doughnuts, and they get a lot of traffic,” she said. “It seemed like the ideal way to highligh
t our agency and the need to find more homes for our vulnerable foster children. Placing a child whose family can’t care for them in a safe, secure, loving home makes a huge different in that c
hild’s life. Every child deserves a happy home.”
Ford said DCF and CT Foster Ad
opt are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Dunkin’ Donuts on this initiative. “I would love to thank them for their support,” she said. “It means so much.”