How One Woman is Leaving Her Mark on Maine's Foster Children

By Lisa M. Clark 

www.genuinelyspeaking.net

Sara Disselkamp knew from a very young age that she wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Placed in foster care immediately following her Texas birth, Sara was adopted by William and Jane Disselkamp, of Millinocket, Maine, just weeks later. “They’re seriously the best parents I could ever ask for. They’ve given me more than I could ever imagine and I want to take that gift of giving and pass it on to others. They changed my life and I want to help be that change in someone else’s [life],” she says.

It is that unconditional love that spurred Sara to start a program aimed at helping Maine’s foster children. She lovingly calls it Something to Snuggle and her mission is to collect blankets. “Oftentimes, children are removed from their homes to be placed with a foster family and they don’t get to take any of their personal belongings with them. It hurt my heart to think that there are so many children in our state who are not only without forever families, but are also without something to call their own,” explains Sara, a 23-year old college student majoring in, you guessed it, social work.

“Although blankets are such a simple thing, they can serve as special security items during what may be one of the most difficult times in a child’s life. Everyone deserves something to call their own; we’re making that happen. Something to Snuggle seemed like the perfect name for the project.” recalls Sara.

According to the Adopt US Kids website (www.adoptuskids.org), there are about 2,189 children in Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) custody at this time. Although she is thrilled to be helping so many children in her hometown of Millinocket, Sara knows there is plenty more to be done. The goal is to get one of her blankets into the hands of every child in the system. “I need helping hands making these blankets wherever helping hands are needed. And when all of the children in Maine are helped, I’ll take on the next state!”

Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine (AFFM) and DHHS are just two of the agencies that will be receiving blankets from Something to Snuggle.

What’s next for this thoughtful young woman? Well, in May of 2016 she will graduate from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work. Upon graduation, she plans to get her Master of Social Work degree, though she’s not sure just yet how she will put them to work. “As of now, I’m torn between working as a counselor or working in an adoption agency,” she says. However, before she does that, she’s got one more major thing to do- bring adoption into the national spotlight! She will be competing for the title of Miss Maine in November and her personal platform is adoption.

“Between school, work, preparing for Miss Maine USA, working on Something to Snuggle, and spending time with my loved ones, my plate is so full right now but that’s what keeps me going! I feel incredibly blessed to be able to be doing everything I love,” Sara says. There are many children today, and in the future, who are equally as blessed that Sara is doing what she loves. Her passion for this project abounds. With her enthusiasm and help from the community at large, there is no doubt that every child in Maine and beyond will see Sara’s dreams come to fruition. The world is a better place for having Sara Disselkamp in it.

If you would like to help Sara reach the goal of giving every child in foster care something to snuggle, handmade OR store bought, you are invited to drop off your donations at Curves of Calais at 7 Lowell Street, between May 13-June 15, 2015. Business hours are Mon & Wed 6am-7pm, Tues & Thurs 8am-7pm, Fri 6am-6pm, and Sat 8am-Noon. For more information, please call Curves at 454-CRVS (2787).

 

Also, be sure to “Like” Something to Snuggle on Facebook page so you can keep up to date!