CINCINNATI — When we met Keshia Tucker outside the newly remodeled Price Hill Library, she -- as always -- had her SUV stocked with diapers, pajamas, hygiene items and more for children in foster care in the area.
Tucker started A Fostered Child Organization five years ago hoping no other child would need to be taken from their parents to live with someone else.
“I wasn't the only one affected as a child," Tucker said. "Me becoming a ward of the state affected the whole family. We wanted to prohibit that from happening. Our organization decided that we are going to foster the needs of children and families, not just children.”
Tucker said at the onset of the pandemic she wasn’t sure how the organization would continue to meet the pressing needs. She said she “went into a depression, because I'm like, oh, my God, I'm not going to be able to help anybody. We have to be inside.”
This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, though.
“We had volunteers that were outside, already providing meals and different things to children and families in the community and they came to me and said, let us help you,” Tucker said.
She said that with a new partnership with Hamilton County Job & Family Services “we were able to assist children and families with getting computers and financial assistance. We were helping families to electronically apply to receive finances to overcome boundaries. Gas and electric, their rent. We have partners and networks with so many other organizations here in the city of Cincinnati, which is a big deal for us.”
Tucker said the next step for AFCO is looking for a permanent location where people can come to get “assistance with applying for the financial aid that they need to live and survive.”
For now, Tucker and her volunteers will keep filling the SUV, doing pop-ups in parks, and more, to get donations where they are needed.
“It’s amazing the things that we've been able to do coming out of such a difficult transition for everybody,” Tucker said.