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High gas prices impacting foster care organization’s mobile service

Fostering Connections mobile unit
Posted at 4:11 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-11 18:03:08-04

TULSA, Okla. — Fostering Connections, a Tulsa nonprofit providing essential supplies to foster families in Tulsa and rural communities, may soon have to stop its mobile service.

The increase in gas prices is making it hard to travel.

“We never expected to be paying these kind of fuel prices,” said Rosie Still.

Still is the business and volunteer coordinator at Fostering Connections. She also drives their mobile unit.

The mobile unit, Mobile Connections, provides clothes, toys, books, hygiene products and other essential needs to foster families in rural counties.

“Often when children come into foster care they have nothing. They come in with the clothes on their back,” said Still.

They visit six counties, Creek, Okmulgee, Osage, Rogers, Wagoner, and Washington, each month. Still fills up the bus every single week.

Friday morning using diesel, it cost $196.29 to fill up the bus from a quarter tank. Still says under $200 is a good day.

On average, they spend between $800 and $1,000 a month to have enough gas to provide service to these rural families. As prices continue to climb, Still says it’s getting more difficult to have the program.

“Never in a million years. Honestly, I thought my bus would fall apart first. I didn’t think gas would stop our program,” said Still.

She says many of the smaller communities they serve don’t have many other providers to help foster families.

“This is every single month and the same people can go every single month. There’s just nothing like that,” said Michele Marlow, a foster mom who lives in Bartlesville.

She’s visited the mobile unit and says it’s very helpful for her family and others in the area.

“You can get a pair of shoes and four outfits for your kid every single month,” said Marlow. “Just to have somebody that can come to us is just amazing.”

Fostering Connections wants to continue to provide this crucial service to foster families in our area.

“I don’t know what we would do if we lost it, now that we’ve got it,” said Marlow.

There are several ways to help, including donating viapaypal, venmo, give lively, or their website, or texting MOBILECONNECT to 44-321 to donate.

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