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Local Girl Prepares Homemade Meals for Southeastern Michigan Foster Youth

 In Art & Gallery News, Park West Foundation, Philanthropy, Video

Since 2006, the Park West Foundation has been dedicated to supporting young people who have aged out of Michigan’s foster care system. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation has realized that Michigan foster youth are particularly in need of prepared meal and food donations.

“Quarantine is extra lonely, especially when these kids have no family support to lean on,” says Park West Foundation Program Director Saba Gebrai. “The idea that someone is thinking about them and knowing that they are cared for is the most important thing.”

The Park West Foundation was created by Albert and Mitsie Scaglione, the owners of Park West Gallery, the world’s largest art dealer, which is located in Southfield, Michigan. So, when the daughter of a Park West employee was recently inspired by a school project to help local young people, her father knew exactly where to turn.

Harper is the daughter of Robert Schlagheck, Park West’s Chief Financial Officer. Several weeks ago, she was assigned to create a vision board as homework. Her “vision” involved helping others, so her parents encouraged her to bring her visual plan to life.

Harper and Robert Schlagheck dropping prepared meals off at the Park West Foundation. Photo Credit: Robert Schlagheck

After learning of the Foundation’s need for prepared meal donations, Harper and her family cooked and packaged two different sets of homemade meals for the Park West Foundation to distribute among their sponsored Michigan foster youth. Harper happily delivered her meals to Saba Gebrai and Donna Varee, who helps coordinate donations for the Foundation.

Photo Credit: Robert Schlagheck

“As God’s hand would have it, we have the Park West Foundation on the first floor of our building,” said Robert. “Donna and Saba leapt into action to coordinate the delivery of meals. All we needed to do was prepare and package them.”

Photo Credit: Robert Schlagheck

When asked why she was so excited to contribute these meals to the Foundation, Harper said that she “wants people to know they are not forgotten, and they are cared for and loved.”

Harper’s prepared meals were distributed by the Park West Foundation to current and former foster care children around Oakland and Wayne counties. “One young lady is a culinary student and she was very excited to receive both meals at her dorm,” said Gebrai.

Photo Credit: Robert Schlagheck

Are you looking for ways to help serve kids in the Southeastern Michigan community just like Harper? The Park West Foundation is currently seeding donations of essential items that will help these amazing young people start their new lives on the right foot. We do not accept used items of any kind.

We are in urgent need of the following household items:

  • Kitchenware
  • Kitchen towel and kitchen supplies
  • Bath towels and washcloths
  • Complete bedding sets for King, Queen, and Full-sized beds
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Children’s books

Donations can be dropped off at the Park West Foundation at 29469 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, MI 48034, Monday through Friday, between 10 am and 6 pm. You can contact Donna Varee to coordinate donation drop-off at donna@parkwestgallery.com or call 248-354-2343, ext. 1203.

You can learn more about the Park West Foundation at https://parkwestfoundation.org/

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