Moving from one foster placement to another can mean that children in State custody lack even a minimalist “wardrobe,” or one that reflects who they are inside. Sometimes, the move to another home is abrupt, with little time to gather personal items. Clothing brought to a child or teen, new or used, may not fit their body or identity. That’s why volunteers from The F-factor came to Ryther for a girls-only workshop on fashion and wellness.
Ellen Young, ED of F-factor explained their goal of empowering children who have had a rough start, primarily those in foster care through fashion and self-care workshops. The F-factor helps children in our cottages overcome feelings of self-doubt and shame, much of it resulting from “failing” in an average of nine homes prior to coming to Ryther. The opportunity to explore likes and dislikes, such as colors, types of clothing and creating a style all their own is of huge benefit to the kids. The F-factor volunteer day included yoga and healthy smoothie tastings, plus two Sea Gals from the Seahawks were on hand to talk about various ways to exercise and get stronger. The Russell Wilson touchdown dance was a hit as the girls learned the cheer! The F-factor brought new clothing, hygiene items, make-up, and accessories based on each of the girls’ preferences as expressed during prior interviews. The girls were active participants and got to think about how they want to look and what they want to project to the world. One girl exclaimed as she walked in wearing her new outfit, “This is really a whole new level for me!” You could sense her joy and it was more than about having new clothing. It was about having a new sense of self that was positive. Thank you F-factor!